TOP 10 The PLAYER PROTESTS
A recent Greek second-tier game was halted for a sit-in over the migrant crisis, but what other footballers have staged a protest?
“Come on, darling, we’re leaving”
“It’s not for you to demand things that you’re not entitled to,” barked German delegate Hans Deckert at West Germany’s 1974 World Cup winner Uli Hoeness, fresh from victory over the Dutch. Hoeness was furious when his wife Susi was asked to leave the team banquet at Munich’s Hilton Hotel. Skipper Franz Beckenbauer led the mass walkout to an adjacent bar, leaving the German suits alone with their steins.
Kneesy does it
After three consecutive salary-free months, third-tier Spaniards Pontevedra dropped to their knees shortly after kick-off in their January 2011 clash with Lugo. “We’re like soldiers out there for the club, and we deserve better,” explained one unnamed midfielder. Sporting T-shirts reading “Solutions now!”, the players lost their Lugo battle 3-2 but won the war, and were paid by the end of the week. Result!
Red Devils skipper is Buchan the trend
Whether he was embarking on a trip across the Australian outback or refusing to accept freebies from sponsors as it was unethical, former Manchester United skipper Martin Buchan wasn’t a stereotypical footballer. When asked to hand in his passport for safekeeping prior to a pre-season tour, Buchan grumbled: “I’m not a child.” Manager Dave Sexton didn’t punish the Scot, saying: “Footballers need to think for themselves.” Refreshing.
Teenage netbuster gets the hook
“I believe they cause great harm to the wild salmon, and I’m not impressed,” 14-year-old Vancouver Island player Freyja Reed fumed in 2015. Her team’s new sponsor was Marine Harvest – the biggest operator of open net fish farms in Canada. After venting via Facebook, Freyja was dropped for breaking club social media rules. “It’s not appropriate for players to complain about the sponsors online,” argued a club spokesman. Nothing like free speech…
“It’s not right,” said Fred
“We’re“W doing this to highlight how the national team will suffer in the World Cup,” explained a ‘Common Sense FC’ spokesman in October 2013. The movement saw Brazil’s top-flight players sit on the field and cross their arms to demand changes to the fixture schedule. “We’re exhausted,” said Fluminense star Fred, “and we can’t function properly.” Maybe he was just getting in his excuses early for Brazil’s World Cup semi-final humiliation nine months later.
Bobo isn’t clowning around
Christian Vieri built a reputation for throwing strops throughout his career. But even he excelled himself when, following the sale of strike partner Hernan Crespo to Chelsea in 2003, he refused to celebrate scoring for Inter. “I will play to my usual excellent standards, and continue to score plenty,” the not-so-modest forward supposedly huffed, “but I’ll take no pleasure playing at the San Siro.” Vieiri was later sold – to fellow San Siro tenants AC Milan. Ah.
“Back of the net! No, wait...”