Icardi, Ibrahimovic, Carragher, Nasri: 10 sets of football teammates who didn't get along


Remember when Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer had a fight mid-match while playing together for Newcastle United?

Sometimes, teammates just don’t see eye to eye. Despite having shared goals, these are passionate individuals and dressing room fall-outs are rather common.

Of course, there are some true bromances in the game. English duo Mason Mount and Declan Rice are very, very close, while we’re sure that Mohamed Salah misses Dejan Lovren at Liverpool.

Not all teammates share such a special bond, however – there have been many instances of some who simply didn’t get along.

Here are 10 sets of teammates who, to put it plainly, hated each other.

Emmanuel Frimpong and Samir Nasri

Frimpong didn’t hold back in an interview with The Athletic in 2019.

“For me, the truth is I’ve never liked Nasri and I will never, ever like this guy,” the Ghanaian said.

“Even if he gives me five billion dollars, I will still not like him.”

The feud between the ex-Arsenal pair began in 2011 when Nasri took aim at Frimpong after he was sent off in a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Frimpong recalled how Nasri threatened him in a phone call.


“I took the phone and then it was Nasri on the phone threatening me, telling me that when he sees me, this that,” Frimpong added.

“I told him, ‘I’m not one of the players that’s afraid of you. If you want us to sort it out as men, we can sort it out as men.’

“To be honest, at that time when he left Arsenal, I could tell him what I actually thought about him because he was there so I could basically let him know my feelings.

“So I just told him that I don’t like him, I don’t respect him and I will never respect him as a professional player.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael van der Vaart

The Ajax teammates turned rivals following an international friendly between Sweden and the Netherlands.

Van der Vaart suffered an injury during the match at the hands of Ibrahimovic, and the midfielder accused the Swede of hurting him on purpose.

Ibrahimovic, naturally, didn’t take it well, and in his 2013 autobiography revealed that he threatened to break both of Van der Vaart’s legs.

The striker told his teammate, per the Daily Mail: “I didn’t injure you on purpose, and you know that. If you accuse me again I’ll break both your legs, and that time it will be on purpose.”

Kolo Toure and William Gallas

A centre-back pairing that doesn’t talk to each other is a recipe for disaster.

Indeed, Toure’s feud with Gallas ran so deep that the Ivorian felt he needed to leave Arsenal to avoid harming the Gunners even further.

“When you play with somebody and you don’t even talk to each other on the pitch it’s really difficult,” Toure said in 2010, per The Guardian.

“Me and Gallas … we didn’t talk to each other at all. One of us had to go and it was me.

“It was coming down to me really because I didn’t want to put the team in a difficult position, so I was the one who said I wanted to go.”


Jens Lehmann and Manuel Almunia

What is it with Arsenal teammates disliking each other?

This time it was their goalkeepers who fell out. Lehmann, a strong character, wasn’t happy with playing second fiddle to Almunia in the 2007/08 campaign.


Speaking to The Athletic in 2019, Almunia said: “The problems came when I was very excited and very fit, training well with so much energy and at that same time [Lehmann] wasn’t having his best time at Arsenal, so when Arsene Wenger decided to change the no.1… he’s a winner and he took it very badly, which is normal.

“He’s a national-team goalkeeper, big name, and I’m a small goalkeeper from Spain who comes along and makes it difficult for him – he’s thinking, ‘What the hell? This is not possible?’ So yes, we had difficult moments.”

Mauro Icardi and Maxi Lopez

Lopez might share a sly smile when he reads the latest headlines about Icardi’s relationship with his ex-wife, Wanda Nara.


This love triangle reads like the plot of a Hollywood film.

It began when Icardi and Lopez played together for Sampdoria.

Lopez offered Icardi a place to stay at his home, with no expectation that Icardi would have an affair with his wife.

Nara would eventually leave Lopez for Icardi, and Lopez made his feelings clear when he refused to shake Icardi’s hand ahead of a meeting against Inter Milan in 2014.


However, an ugly dispute between Icardi and Nara is currently being played out in public, with Nara accusing her partner of having an affair.

Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole

“I would rather sit down and have a cuppa with Neil Ruddock, who broke my leg in two places in 1996, than with Teddy Sheringham, who I’ve pretty much detested for the past 15 years.”

Andy Cole’s comments to the Independent in 2010 tell you everything you need to know about this rivalry.

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This spat dates back to 1995, when Cole made his England debut.

He came on as a substitute in a game against Uruguay but when he replaced Sheringham, the departing striker didn’t make eye contact and refused his offer of a handshake.

“From that moment on, I knew Sheringham was not for me,” Cole said.

The pair were reunited two years later when Cole joined Sheringham at Manchester United.

“We played together for years. We scored a lot of goals. I never spoke a single word to him,” Cole added.

Jamie Carragher and El-Hadji Diouf

To be fair, we imagine Diouf fell out with many teammates during his career.

The controversial Senegalese forward has publicly criticised Carragher and Steven Gerrard in the past few years – although the feelings are very much mutual.


Carragher considers Diouf the worst footballer he played with at Liverpool.

“The worst has to be El Hadji Diouf,” Carragher said.

“Actually, I quite enjoyed playing against him as you could kick him then – can’t kick your own players.”

Lothar Matthaus and Stefan Effenberg

Teammates for Bayern Munich and the German national team meant Matthaus and Effenberg spent plenty of time together, but Matthaus’ failure to take a penalty for his country in the 1990 World Cup final never sat well with his ex-colleague.

Effenberg called Matthaus “a quitter” in his autobiography, and even dedicated an entire chapter to his former teammate titled: “What Lothar Matthaus knows about football.”

It was a single blank page.

John Fashanu and Lawrie Sanchez

Wimbledon teammates Fashanu and Sanchez won the FA Cup final together in 1988, but behind the scenes a serious feud was being played out.

The two clashed in training, with Fashanu hitting Sanchez with “a shot that would supposedly knock a horse down.”

Fashanu’s only regret, he claimed, was “not striking Lawrie Sanchez sooner.”

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Ruud van Nistelrooy and Patrick Kluivert

Van Nistelrooy simply wanted Kluivert to take his football more seriously, and not to attend a rave in Amsterdam after the first leg of a Euro 2004 playoff against Scotland.

“I can’t do it all myself,” the former Man United striker told reporters. “I can’t be the only Dutch player who closes down and leads from the front.”


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