Football fans are notoriously partisan. You only have to look at Liverpool fans unerring support of Luis Suarez and Chelsea fans steely support of John Terry in light of questionable incidents surrounding both players, to see that 99 times out of 100, a club and it's supporters will stay behind their players.
However, that can all change, and some club's are renowned for being a little less lenient when it comes to their playing staff. Real Madrid fans attacked Gareth Bale's car, despite the Welshman having won ten trophies in four years at the Bernabeu, so we're not quite sure what they have to be so angry about. Whilst mindless fans of JSK in Algeria tragically killed their forward Albert Ebosse, who was just 24 at the time.
From politics to poor performances, there are an array of ways to irk your own fans. Here are our seven footballers who were or are hated by their own fans:
7. Joleon Lescott
Joleon Lescott didn't have the best of time at Aston Villa
You could hardly blame Aston Villa fans for not being particularly fond of any of their players during the 2015-16 Premier League season, as they slumped to a bottom of the table finish with a miserable haul of just 17 points. One man who really failed to cover himself in any glory though was Joleon Lescott. The former England, Everton and Manchester City man looked uninterested for much of Villa's campaign, and tweeted an image of a luxury Mercedes-Benz following a 6-0 defeat to Liverpool. He later described Villa's early relegation as "a weight off the shoulders", which surprisingly didn't help his cause with the club's supporters.
6. Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet's 18 month stay at West Ham United was a real rollercoaster. He arrived looking like the signing of the summer, a snip at just £10.7 million from Marseille. He beat players at will, created chance after chance for his teammates and scored some simply magnificent free-kicks. No-one was surprised to see the Frenchman named Hammer of the Year, but in January of 2017, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic appeared on our screens as a broken man, revealing that Payet no longer wanted to represent the Londoners. Between then and his eventual return to Marseille, it's fair to say Dimitri Payet wasn't the most popular player at the London Stadium.
5. David Beckham
Manchester United midfielder David Beckham took a lot of flack in 1998
Bizarrely, despite being one of the most popular men in football, David Beckham was twice disliked by supporters of the club he played for. The first came in 1998, when Beckham was just 23. Becks was sent off for England for an innocuous but stupid kick on Diego Simeone. He was lambasted by the press and drew criticism from football fans across the country, including his own at Manchester United.
The second time Becks lost the love of his own fans came after his high-profile move to LA Galaxy. Seen as the poster boy of 'soccer' in the US, Beckham probably realised he had left top level football behind too early at just 31, and he went on-loan to AC Milan in 2009. The move saw him miss 17 games for the Galaxy, and supporters were unimpressed, questioning his commitment and booing him upon his return. Becks went on to recover his relationship with all three of England, Man Utd and LA Galaxy fans.
4. Charles Itandje
Cameroonian international Charles Itandje would have been forgotten on Merseyside by now if it wasn't for one incident. The French-born goalkeeper spent three years at Anfield, making no league appearances, seven cup appearances and being loaned out once. But it wasn't the fact that he was rubbish that irked the Reds fans, it was his behaviour at a Hillsborough memorial service. Itandje was spotted smiling and nudging his teammates, but Liverpool fans were unamused, and the backlash he received was severe.
3. Mauro Icardi
Despite being by far the best player at Inter Milan, there are still a large portion of the Nerazzurri faithful who want to see the back of their star man and club captain. Aged 24, Icardi already captains Inter and has scored 82 goals in 148 games for the club, but he sparked controversy when he released his autobiography in October 2016. Icardi was critical of some of Inter's ultras, and made claims about flying over criminals from Argentina to kill them. The Argentine has since had his best ever season, but some fans still want to see the back of him.
2. Roman Zozulya
One of the briefest and most recent incidents in this seven, Roman Zozulya joined Rayo Vallecano on-loan from Real Betis in January 2017, but never played for the second tier side. Rayo, a club from the self-proclaimed 'poor but proud' Madrid neighbourhood of Vallecas are well-known as a leaning left on the political spectrum. They didn't take kindly to the arrival of Roman Zozulya then, a Ukrainian striker formerly of Dnipro.
Rayo fans branded him a Nazi, and urged him to get out of the club. Their campaign proved successful, in the sense that Zozulya returned to Betis without making a first team appearance for Rayo, however, his links to the right wing in Ukraine have been called into question, and the whole perception of Zozulya may have been a consequence of the rising trend that is 'fake news'.
1. Sadayev and Kadiev
Chechen football players Gabriel Kadiev and Zaur Sadayev upon signing for Beitar Jerusalem
When supporters of a club are proud to chant 'Here we are, the most racist team in the country', you know that there is something wrong, and there is plenty that is wrong about Beitar Jerusalem. The club, which is the only in the Israeli top flight to have never had an Arab player, is a symbol of right wing politics in Israeli football, and they have a particularly vitriolic supporters group called La Familia.
Keen to dispel any notions of racism at the club, Beitar's chairman brought in two Chechen muslim players in 2013, Zaur Sadayev and Dzhabrail Kadyev. The move didn't quite have the desired effect. The treatment of the duo by certain sections of the Beitar fanbase at both training and matches was disgusting. When Sadayev scored his first goal for Beitar, hundreds of fans vacated the ground in protest. Both players left after a single season and are back playing in Chechnya.
Have something to tell us about this article?