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?

Australian Four Four Two - - UPFRONT -

“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...”

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