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World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31842829 Paul Gascoigne Paul+Gascoigne World

Paul Gascoigne recently left the USA after a spell in rehab for alcohol addiction, but it looks like the former England midfielder has slipped back into his old ways. The ex-Tottenham and Newcastle star was arrested for assault and being drunk and disorderly following an incident at a railway station in England at the start of July 2013. The troubled star has had a troubled life since his retirement in 2004. He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in 2008 to prevent self-harm and he has been arrested several times for drink driving. A doctor treating Gascoigne at a rehab center in Arizona described the process as "the worst detox I have ever seen".  

Clive Rose - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31300110 Wayne Rooney Wayne+Rooney World

Wanye Rooney has calmed himself down of late, but he is still certainly one of the bad boys left in today's game. His flat out inability to control his swearing, his B.A. hair weave, and his upbringing on the rough streets of Manchester make Mr. Rooney one tough dude. His most recent incident happened in Euro Cup qualifying when he kicked a member of Montenegro, and was banned three international matches. In another incident, Rooney was suspended for screaming profanities into a camera after scoring hat trick forr Manchester United.

Action Images / Adam Holt -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31196171 Vinnie Jones Vinnie+Jones World

Nicknamed ‘Psycho’ in his playing days, Jones was a player you wanted to avoid on and off the field. Possibly the most notorious hard man ever to put on soccer boots, Jones holds the record for the fastest ever yellow card in soccer…it took him just 3 seconds!! No stranger to antics off the pitch, he once allegedly bit off a journalist’s nose. He is now appearing regularly as a bad boy in Hollywood.

Action Images -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31300111 Nicolas Anelka Nicolas+Anelka World

Nicknamed "The Incredible Sulk" by his teammates, Frenchman Nicolas Anelka has not endeared himself to many people in the sport, and has even made some enemies in politics. Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, intervened in Anelka's 2010 World Cup meltdown in which Anelka made some nasty comments about his coach. President Sarkozy said he was "appalled" by Anelka's actions. The fact that the French striker has been on 10 different clubs in 16 seasons despit his exceptional skill speaks to the fact that he may not be the greatest guy to hang with in the locker room.

REUTERS/Aly Song -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31196172 Joey Barton Joey+Barton World

It is difficult to know where to start with Barton, having numerous incidents to his name. Off the field he has done jail time and been arrested several time. On the field he has talent, but becomes his own worst enemy when the red mist descends. The most notable of his recent scuffles was last day of the 2011-12 Premier League season. He got himself sent off before kicking Sergio Aguero and attempting to land a headbutt on Vincent Kompany on his departure off the pitch. That episode earned him a 12-match ban and a £75,000 fine.

Action Images -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31300109 Mario Balotelli Mario+Balotelli World

Manchester City's bad boy Mario Balotelli has been making headlines for years, despite the fact that he is only 21 years of age. On the field or off it, you can usually count on Balotelli to do something that is going to show up in the tabloids. Whether it is one of his numerous flings with several different porn stars, occasionally hanging out with known mobsters, firing pistols into the air in a crowded piazza, or throwing darts at youth players as a prank, you can always count on Mario Balotelli for amusement.


In a Premier League game in 2011, Balotelli unveiled a shirt reading "Why always me?" Why always you, Mario? Because you are just so darn entertaining.

Action Images / Jason Cairnduff -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31300112 Rio Ferdinand Rio+Ferdinand World

Rio Ferdinand has gotten himself into loads of trouble over the years. Never one to filter much of what he says, the Manchester United defender has had plenty of off the field run-ins. Ferdinand has had several excessive speeding infractions, as well as a DUI conviction. Along with fellow bad boy Frank Lampard, Rio appeared in a sexuallt explicit adult movie back in 2000.


While his actions have gotten him in trouble with the law, Rio's big mouth has gotten him in plenty of hot water too. On The Chris Moyles Show, a high profile radio interview program, Ferdinand uttered a homophobic slur to the host for which he recieved much backlash. In a separate incident, Ferdinand tweeted racist comments concerning the John Terry and Anton Ferdinand racial abuse case, which also got him into a good deal of trouble. The best thing for Rio at this point would probably to keep his mouth shut and stay off twitter for a while.

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31196178 Giorgio Chinaglia Giorgio+Chinaglia World

He was one of the best players to ever play in the United States, having scored almost a goal every game. In his time in Italy playing for Roma, he famously ran over to the Roma fans with his middle finger stuck up and exclaimed, “Look at me. I am Giorgio Chinaglia. I beat you!” After being criticized for his attitude off the pitch, he replied in a typical way, "I don't give a [expletive]. Why don't they judge me on what I did on the pitch?"

Action Images -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31196175 Roy Keane Roy+Keane World

Now a manager, Keane has retained his angry side and turned it into a positive to motivate his squad. Keane’s fiery temperament was part of what made him such an outstanding talent. Keane was sent off countless times for club and country over his career, most notably in a Manchester derby where he ended Alf-Inge Haalands career with a horror tackle.

Action Images -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31196174 Marco Materazzi Marco+Materazzi World

He remains one of the most disliked footballers in world soccer. He notoriously wore a Silvio Berlusconi mask to celebrate an Inter Milan derby win over AC Milan. Fans and players nicknamed him ‘the butcher’ probably owing to his over-aggressive play and behavior. In his spell of 27 games at Everton, Materazzi was sent off 4 times.


He was also involved in one of the most memorable moments in world soccer, when he was headbutted by Zinedine Zidane for supposed comments he made about Zidane’s mother.

Alessandro Garofalo - Reuters -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 31196176 Paolo Di Canio Paolo+Di+Canio World

One of the best players never to play for his country, Di Canio was also one of the most amazing personalities the Premier League has ever seen. He was sold to England after a fight with Juventus manager Giovanni Trapattoni. The worst moment of his career, and one of the most memorable in Premier League history, came when he pushed referee Paul Alcock over after being sent off for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal. Once leaving West ham, he went back to his beloved Lazio where he made a Nazi salute to the clubs ultras. Controversial figure to say the least.

Action Images -
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 30856962 John Terry John+Terry World

Impregnating a teammate’s ex? Check. In the dock for racially abusing a player, who happens to be the brother of one of your national teammates? Check. Holding a self-serving press conference at the World Cup that undermined your manager? Check. Terry, captain of Chelsea, is clearly a leader. The question is, would you follow?

Clive Rose - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 30860560 Diego Maradona Diego+Maradona World

England’s fans have never forgiven Maradona for the infamous “Hand Of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup, but Maradona’s antics only start there. Inarguably one of the greatest players to ever take the field, Maradona was also one of the most troubled, battling addictions to alcohol and drugs, and barely containing a volatile personality. How do you follow up a 1991 ban for testing positive for cocaine? You test positive for a banned stimulant at the 1994 World Cup. (Then, you go to Cuba.) Sober today, Maradona remains controversial, never more so than during his tenure as Argentina’s manager.

Kamran Jebreili, FILE - AP Images
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 30860589 George Best George+Best World

The Belfast-born Best was one of the greats of the 1960s and 70s. A legend in Northern Ireland and at Manchester United, he was a flamboyant, flashy playboy in the days before modern celebrity. Sadly, he was also an alcoholic, and would eventually die from his drinking and what he himself called a destructive streak. His oft-quoted quip was that he had “spent 90% of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted.” The tragedy was that Best — already a legend — had never lived up to his full potential.

STAFF/AFP - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 30860561 Luis Suarez Luis+Suarez World

Suarez gained worldwide infamy not once but thrice. First, he bit an opponent (!) while playing in Holland with Ajax. Suspended for seven games, he went on to deliberately handle the ball in a World Cup quarterfinal to deny Ghana a clear goal. Sent off, he celebrated wildly when the ensuing penalty kick was missed. He crossed the Rubicon with his racist abuse of Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. He was suspended for eight games by the FA.

PAUL ELLIS/AFP - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Soccer - All-time bad boys 30856960 Eric Cantona Eric+Cantona World

The enigmatic Frenchman was perhaps the greatest player to don the red shirt of Manchester United, but he is best remembered outside of soccer for his kung-fu kick of a Crystal Palace fan in the stands. Arrested, he was banned from the sport for eight months, fined and sentenced to community service. He has no regrets about the incident, telling the Telegraph of London last year that it was “a great feeling” and that he “did it for the fans.”

Joel Ryan - AP Images
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