Raheem Sterling vs Joe Gomez: Ten other famous training ground bust-ups in football

Mario Balotelli and Roberto Mancini infamously clashed in Man City training

Raheem Sterling will not play on Thursday evening for England versus Montenegro after clashing with Liverpool's Joe Gomez in training.

Sterling reportedly grabbed the young defender by the throat following the pair's squabble in Liverpool's 3-1 win over Manchester City on Sunday.

This morning, Sterling released a statement on Instagram apologising to Gomez and his teammates and that will likely be the end of the issue.

But down the years, there have been several training ground bust-ups that were way too extreme for a simple apology on Instagram.

Below, you'll find 10 of football's most infamous training ground clashes. Some were settled with apologies, others resulted in suspended prison sentences and £20,000 fines!

Joey Barton v Ousman Dabo - Man City, 2007

The most infamous training ground bust-up of all time.

After a few meaty challenges in training, Barton decided to whack the Frenchman in the temple with a right hook from behind, punching him in the face a further few times after.

Barton was handed a six-match ban by the FA and also received a four-month suspended prison sentence from the police.

Dabo after the clash with Barton

Andy Carroll v Steven Taylor - Newcastle, 2010

After finding out that Taylor was texting his old girlfriend, Carroll took matters into his own hands.

Carroll punched the centre-back, breaking his jaw in the process and ruling him out for the rest of the season.

The striker also damaged his hand and was seen sporting a bandage for a number of weeks after the incident.

Taylor and Carroll

Mario Balotelli v Micah Richards - Man City, 2013

Balotelli was always going to make the list, wasn't he?

Richards was fuming with the Italian for not trying hard enough in training, leading to the pair exchanging verbal insults and having to be broken up by teammates.

Both players issued public apologies in the aftermath.

Richards and Balotelli clash

Mario Balotelli v Roberto Mancini - Man City. 2011

Two entries on the list, impressive stuff from Mario.

After scrapping with Richards two years previous, the fiery Italian decided to target his very own manager this time around.

Balotelli's rough tackle on Scott Sinclair led to Mancini trying to drag Balotelli off the training pitch. The striker was sold to AC Milan a month later.

Balotelli v Mancini

Neymar v Nelson Semedo - Barcelona, 2017

With the world gripped by Neymar fever at the time, a clash with a teammate in training simply sent everyone over the edge.

The Brazilian's clash with Semedo in training was caught on camera and it was one of his final acts as a Barcelona player.

Soon after, he signed for Paris Saint-Germain for £198m.

Freddie Ljungberg v Olof Mellberg - Sweden, 2002

In the build-up to the 2002 World Cup, two of Sweden's biggest players were involved in a skirmish.

Ljungberg didn't take kindly to some rough challenges from Mellberg, grabbing the defender by the neck and wrestling him to the ground.

Four years later, the two players came to blows again in the dressing room after a disagreement in a match versus Trinidad and Tobago. They just really didn't like each other.

Ljungberg and Mellberg clash

Sergio Ramos v Sergio Reguilon - Real Madrid, 2018

Ramos was not happy when the young left-back accidentally caught him in the face in training attempting to block a pass.

The Real Madrid captain went after the player, kicked the ball at him and had to be calmed down by teammate Luka Modric.

In the end, Ramos and Reguilon made their peace on social media.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic v Oguchi Onyewu - AC Milan, 2010

Zlatan never shirks away from a confrontation, but this one led to him having his rib broke.

The Swede had a major fight with the 6'4" American centre-back after he attempted a horror tackle on Onyewu.

In his autobiography, Zlatan wrote about the incident: “We were crazy and furious - it was like life and death”.

Zlatan in training

Aboubakar Kamara v Aleksandar Mitrovic - Fulham, 2019

The two fiery strikers just never saw eye-to-eye, on or off the pitch.

On the pitch, they publicly clashed over taking a penalty and in training, they had to be dragged apart in a yoga session after Mitrovic felt Kamara had been rude to the teacher.

Later the same month, Kamara was arrested at Fulham's training ground on suspicion of actual bodily harm, resulting in the Frenchman being loaned to Yeni Malatyaspor.

Mitrovic and Kamara

John Hartson v Eyal Berkovic - West Ham, 1998

We end with a truly brutal clash.

At 20-years-old, Hartson shocked the footballing world in West Ham training when images surfaced of him booting Berkovic in the face following a disagreement.

The incident was filmed, shown to the world and led to Hartson receiving a £20,000 fine for his actions.

So there you have it, Sterling and Gomez are far from the first to have a squabble in training.

And when you compare their clash to the likes of Barton, Zlatan and Hartson, the England pair's was pretty minor...

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