The 10 most controversial players to ever play in the Premier League
- Luis Suarez
Since moving to Liverpool in 2011 Luis Suarez has managed to get himself both an 8 match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra and a 10 match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic. A few other minor incidents, including an abusive gesture at to Fulham fans, add to the long list of problems which have overshadowed this little Uruguayan's sublime talent.
- El-Hadji Diouf
Once described as "lower than a sewer rat" by Neil Warnock for taunting Jamie Mackie as he lay on the pitch with a broken leg, a game involving Djiouf rarely passes without incident. He has been fined on several occasions for spitting at fellow players and fans; most notably an 11-year old Middlesbrough fan whilst at Bolton. Racial abuse of a ball boy and assault add to his list of offences over the years.
- Paolo Di Canio
A lot of the talking points surrounding Paolo Di Canio have occurred whilst playing in Italy (a fascist salute to Lazio fans to be exact). However, not many could forget his shove on referee Paul Alcock in 1998 when playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal. An 11 match ban followed and he was moved on to West Ham shortly after. Premier League fans would go on to enjoy this eccentric character for several more years.
- Roy Keane
Roy Keane's aggressive temperament got him into trouble time and time again during his long career at Man Utd. He once launched a scathing verbal attack on his team mates and fans and also picked up an appalling disciplinary record as a player. But it was one gruesome act of vengeance in 2001 which stands out. After an ongoing rift with Alf-Inge Haaland, Keane was sent off in a meeting against Haaland's Man City after causing an injury which subsequently ended the Norwegian's career.
- John Terry
In 2001 Terry was fined 2 weeks wages for mocking American Tourists at Heathrow airport about 9/11. In 2002 he was charged with assault after a confrontation at a nightclub. In 2006 he was fined £10,000 for abusing Ledley King. In 2010 it emerged that he had been having an affair with his former team mate Wayne Bridge's girlfriend - an act which cost him the England captaincy. In 2012 he was found guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. He was fined £220000 and banned for 4 matches.
- Joey Barton
Whilst at Man City, Barton stubbed a lit cigar into the eye of a youth team player during a Christmas party. Known for being an outspoken individual, Barton was very vocal in his criticism of England players after their performance at World Cup 2006. In 2007 he was fined and banned for assaulting Ousmane Dabo on the training ground. He was also banned for 12 matches in 2012 after kicking Sergio Aguero on the last day of the season.
- Lee Bowyer
Lee Bowyer's career has been marred by numerous controversies. While at Leeds, he was accused of an alleged racist assault on a teenager and also charged after an incident outside a nightclub. His famous on field fight with team mate Kieron Dyer in 2005 earned him a 6 game ban and a police conviction. Throughout his career he claimed 80 yellow cards and 5 red cards in the Premier League.
- Eric Cantona
A brilliant footballer with an equal balance of arrogance and talent. Eric Cantona will be immortalised not only for his footballing ability but also his act of violence against a Crystal Palace fan in 1995. After receiving a red card during the game Cantona reacted to abuse from a particular fan and proceeded to kung-fu kick the man on his way off of the field.
- Mario Balotelli
Balotelli was always a source of entertainment in the Premier League. Another player who wasn't afraid to big up his own talent, the Italian proved to be both valuable and a liability for Man City. He reportedly once threw darts at an academy player and also had countless disagreements on and off the field. After one final bust up with manager Roberto Mancini he left Man City and returned to Italy.
- Paul Gascoigne
The large majority of Paul Gascoigne's controversies have occurred off the field. An ongoing battle with alcoholism and several drug and assault related charges have kept him well and truly in the spotlight ever since he ended his career as a professional footballer. His short stint in the Premier League with Middlesbrough and Everton was relatively incident-free, however he did once manage to break his arm whilst attempting to elbow George Boateng in the head.
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