Soccer is an extremely passionate sport, from the fans to the players, there is high tensions on and off the field. And like any situation involving intense rivalries, there are clashing of heads, even between the most shocking teammates.
These are the top ten most historic soccer fights between teammates. From Craig Levein vs Graeme Hogg to Emmanuel Adebayor vs Nicholas Bendtner every true soccer fan will remember these controversies.
Craig Levein vs Graeme Hogg
To start our list of the top soccer fights between teammates, Craig Levein and his fellow teammate, Graeme Hogg were caught fighting at a pre-season friendly Stark's Park against Raith Rovers.
Raith was leading the game with 1-0 just before half time, and the two center-backs began to argue over who should have been marking the player who scored the first goal. Finally, fists flew, and Levein ultimately landed a strong punch that broke Hogg's nose. They were both dismissed, and Hogg received a 10-game ban while Levein received a 12-game ban, as well as his captaincy stripped.
Kevin Mirallas vs Leighton Baines
Though this wasn't much of a brawl, it is still one of the most memorable soccer fights between teammates. To set the scene, both Mirallas and Baines were in a disagreement as to who should take the penalty kick, Romelu Lukaku or Mirallas.
Ultimately, the decision was made that Mirallas was to take the penalty, however, Baines slapped Mirallas across the face in "encouragement" before he took it. And in the end, Mirallas misses the spot kick.
Fernando Ricksen vs Vladislav Radimov
In a game at Zenit St. Petersburg, Fernando Ricksen and Vladislav Radimov had to be separated on the field very close to the goal for throwing punches. This fight continued even after walking off into the sidelines.
Fernando Ricksen later checked himself into a rehab for anger management, founded by Tony Adams the clinic was named Sporting Chance. Explaining his reasoning behind rehab he said,
"I knew that I could lose everything: my family, my football, actually my whole life. I had a choice: I can continue and think that I’m feeling fine, in which case I lose everything, or, as the Dutch say, I bite the sour apple, take responsibility and fight for myself."
Emmanuel Adebayor vs Nicklas Bendtner
During a League Cup semi-final, the two Aresnal players Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner were seen in a public altercation on the field. Losing 4-1, the fight began as Adebayor head butted Bendtner after he had given him the finger.
As one of the top soccer fights between teammates, it came as a shock to every witness. However, it is believed that the root of the fight began in the locker room as Bendtner refused to take off his shoes, a requirement for everyone.
David Batty vs Graeme Le Saux
David Batty is known for his short temper, but his fight against Graeme Le Saux is one of the most memorable of his outbursts. During Blackburn's match against Spartak Moscow, Batty begins to swing at Graeme Le Saux. Graeme Le Saux simply takes a step back away from his swing in surprise, and Colin Henry takes the role of peacemaker, along with other fellow players.
Ultimately, they defuse the fight, but the shock on the players' faces is something that all fans will remember from that loss.
Joey Barton vs Ousmane Dabo
Joey Barton is another one of the top soccer players with a fiery temper. And during his fight in 2007, his fellow teammate, Ousman Dabo was his opponent. As one of the top soccer fights between teammates, Barton punched Dabo multiple times during a training session, enough to send Dabo to the hospital.
He sustained a detached retina and pressed charges against Barton for his injuries. Barton eventually went to jail after Dabo won his battle in court, being suspended to a prison sentence of four months. He also paid Dabo compensation for the injury.
Lee Bowyer vs Kieron Dyer
Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer found themselves in an altercation during the last ten minutes of their game at St James' Park, down 3-0. To the shock of everyone watching, the tension of the game transferred to the player's fists, and the fight resulted in many attempting to separate them, even their own opponents.
A humiliation to the players and to their team, the altercation resulted in a seven-game ban for Bowyer. They were both pressured to make a public apology for their actions.
Craig Bellamy vs John Arne Riise
Definitely one of the most memorable soccer fights between teammates due to the circumstances, Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise got into an altercation, but you can't really call this much of a fight. In Bellamy's autobiography, he reflects on a night out with the team with a few too many drinks.
He was telling Riise to sing a song, but after a few suggestions, he snapped and started to shout at him. After he left, Bellamy could not forget about the way that he spoke to him in front of the rest of the team. He was not in the right mindset at that night in his life, and the drinks didn't help the situation either. There were gold clubs in the lounge of their hotel, and he let himself into Riise's room as he was in bed. He struck Riise with the club, and today as he looks back at what he did says,
"I cringe. It was pathetic. It was stupidity of the highest level. It was drunken, bullying behaviour."
Eyal Berkovic vs John Hartson
One of the most intense fights on the field between teammates, it has been 20 years since John Hartson kicked Eyal Berkovic in the head at West Ham training. Being the first player to even be charged with misconduct for a training ground altercation, Hartson's antic was caught on camera.
The altercation began with a strong tackle from Hartson, which caused Berkovic to land on the ground. Hartson suggested his hand to help him to his feet, and Berkovic punched his leg. And then, the all too infamous kick to the head knocked Berkovic to the ground.
Hartson told the BBC,
"Even today it is the biggest regret of my career. I was 20 years of age. I was very boisterous, probably a little bit angry. I'd left Arsenal in 1997 and they went on to win the double in 1998. Eyal Berkovic was a good lad and to this day I don't know why I reacted the way I did. It was nothing personal against Eyal. It could have been anyone of the players on the training ground that day."
Fredrik Ljungberg vs Olof Mellberg
To complete our list of the top soccer fights between teammates, Fredrik Ljungberg and Olof Mellberg's fight broke out during a training-ground match for the Sweden World Cup.
The Arsenal players were players in a scrimmage to prepare for the cup while Ljungberg set off down the field to be greeted by Mellberg's charging power, knocking Ljungberg to the ground. When he got back to his feet, he grabbed Mellberg by the throat and began to wrestle, all to Mellberg's surprise. Daniel Anderson played the mediator and finally got the two to separate. Mellberg said,
"Of course I regret it. You can't put a positive spin on what I did. It is nothing to be proud about. It was stupid."