Ibrahimovic, Carragher, Van Nistelrooy: Football teammates that disliked each other

Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool

It’s easy to assume that all football teammates get on.

After all, they spend pretty much every day with each other. Whether it’s training, eating, travelling, showering or sharing incredible moments on the pitch, teammates can form extremely close bonds.

However, with all that time spent together, it’s only natural that some players will clash. There are bound to be many different personalities at an entire football club who simply don’t get on.

Therefore, we wanted to look at 10 sets of teammates who didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye. In fact, they openly hated each other.

Emmanuel Frimpong and Samir Nasri

This feud began between the two former Arsenal players in 2011 when Nasri slammed Frimpong for getting sent off during a 2-0 loss to Liverpool.

“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.”

Frimpong gave an explosive interview to the The Athletic in 2019.

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

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

Arsenal v Manchester City - Carling Cup Quarter Final

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael van der Vaart

The two former Ajax teammates clashed during an international friendly between Sweden and the Netherlands.

Ibrahimovic injured Van der Vaart and the Dutchman believes it was deliberate.

In his 2013 autobiography, Zltan 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.”

Sweden v Malta

Kolo Toure and William Gallas

Toure and Gallas had the potential to be a fantastic centre back pairing at Arsenal. But their relationship wasn’t exactly strong.

“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.”

Newcastle United v Arsenal

Jens Lehmann and Manuel Almunia

More clashes at Arsenal…

Lehmann wasn’t too 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.”

Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers - Premier League

Mauro Icardi and Maxi Lopez

We probably all know why Icardi and Lopez aren’t exactly friends…

It began when Icardi and Lopez played together for Sampdoria.

Lopez offered Icardi a place to stay at his home. It didn’t go to plan as Icardi would have an affair with his wife, Wanda Nara.

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.

More recently, Nara accused Icardi of cheating on her but the pair are still together.

Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole

We explained recently how, despite playing together at Manchester United for four seasons, Sheringham and Cole weren’t friends.

Cole accused Sheringham of ruining his England debut in 1995. Cole was replacing Sheringham, who didn’t make eye contact and refused his offer of a handshake.

“I didn’t want to play the game after that,” Cole told The Daily Telegraph in 2019. “That’s how embarrassed I felt.

“Snubbed on the line when you’re making your debut as a young kid… I think I hit the bar in the game but I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

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

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.

“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.”

Jamie Carragher and El-Hadji Diouf

Diouf wasn’t the most likeable person and has taken on Liverpool legends Gerrard and Carragher since leaving Anfield.

But it’s Carragher who appears to hate Diouf the most.

He called 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.”

Meanwhile, Diouf said: “The difference between Jamie and me is that I am a world-class player and he is a s**t.

“The type of s**t that writes a book and mentions me all the time. Me, in my book, he does not warrant one phrase: he’s a f*****g loser.”

Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool

Lothar Matthaus and Stefan Effenberg

Matthaus and Effenberg were teammates for both Bayern Munich and the German national team. So you’d think they’d get on quite well…


Matthaus’ failure to take a penalty for his country in the 1990 World Cup final didn’t go down well with Effenberg.

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

It was a single blank page.

How petty can you get?

FC Bayern Muenchen And Paulaner Photo Session

John Fashanu and Lawrie Sanchez

Wimbledon were called the “Crazy Gang” for a reason.

Despite winning the FA Cup final together in 1988, a serious feud between two key players was occurring.

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

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

FA Cup Final Hero Lawrie Sanchez Wimbledon 1988

Ruud van Nistelrooy and Patrick Kluivert

Kluivert attended a rave in Amsterdam following the Netherlands’ Euro 2004 first leg playoff. It didn’t go down well with Van Nistelrooy.

“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.”

Patrick Kluivert and Ruud van Nistelrooy
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