Suarez, Tyson, Mayweather, Mourinho: Sport's biggest villains were named in 2019 vote

  • Kobe Tong

Luis Suarez is one of football’s most notorious pantomime villains.

Although the Atletico Madrid striker is widely revered as one of modern football’s finest players, there’s no denying that his achievements in the beautiful game will always be tainted somewhat.

After all, controversy seems to have followed Suarez wherever his career has taken him and for every football fan that loves him, it’s probably safe to assume that every other one dislikes him.

Suarez’s controversial career

Ok, maybe that’s too harsh of a stance, but the fact of the matter is that the Uruguayan has made more than his fair share of enemies over the years.

Besides, it’s saying something when his handball on the line against Ghana at the 2010 World Cup doesn’t really scratch the surface when compared to incidents that saw him banned for months.

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However, Suarez isn’t the only athlete to have gained the status of a pantomime villain over the course of their career and it’s a phenomena that can happen for various reasons.

From generally seeming like a dislikable person to simply being a bit of a ‘s***house’ on the pitch, various athletes have gained a reputation for being a villain within various shades of fondness.

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Sport’s biggest villains named

And when sports fans spoke with their feet during a vote in 2019, it turned out that Suarez was viewed as the biggest villain of all despite facing competition from similarly controversial stars.

According to the Liverpool Echo, listeners of ESPN’s ‘Head in the Game’ podcast voted the former Barcelona and Reds striker as the biggest villain in sporting history.

That is quite the status to hold, that’s for sure, but there are plenty more divisive figures who could easily have beaten Suarez to top spot, so be sure to check out the top 10 down below:

10. Roy Keane


9. Diego Maradona

8. David Warner

7. Sergio Ramos

6. Floyd Mayweather

5. Diego Costa


4. Jose Mourinho

3. Mike Tyson

2. Joey Barton

1. Luis Suarez


Sport’s pantomime villains

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a list of sportspeople who have had their fair share of indiscretions over the years.

The likes of Ramos, Mayweather, Tyson and the late Maradona have all been involved in controversies ranging from behaviour in their sphere of competition to off-field carelessness.

Suarez is perhaps most famous for his various biting incidents with Otman Bakkal, Branislav Ivanovic and Giorgio Chiellini all having been on the receiving end of the Uruguayan’s gnashers.


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Combine that with having been found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra during a Liverpool vs Manchester United game and it’s easy to see why so many fans would have voted for him in 2019.

As such, no matter what Suarez goes on to achieve in the twilight years of his goal-ladened career, the results of ESPN’s vote goes to show that they’ll never truly be able to shake off his notoriety.



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