Football players are one of the most celebrated athletes in the world. They are one of the top entertainers in the global space and the weekends are usually boring when they are not in action. Many consider football players as role models and because of this, their way of living is always under scrutiny especially by the media.
It is believed that talent is all is needed to reach the top level in football. However, recent history has shown that this is not a fact. Many footballers who are very talented have actually made a shipwreck of their careers due to attitude and discipline issues. Some of them never got to shine on the big stage while some of them did manage to show at the top. However, their attitude issues made sure they fell as rapidly as they rose. In this interesting read, we have compiled 10 footballers who fell from grace because of their deficiencies in attitude and discipline. These footballers are not ranked in any particular order.
The fall of Jese Rodriguez is somewhat surprising. Having risen through the ranks at Real Madrid, he endeared his heart to many of the fans in Spain. He is technically gifted, pacy and has a good eye for goals. So good were his performances that he was dubbed the new CR7. Jese somehow allowed all of the praise to get into his head but not just that. He was also earning millions of euros and he ended up living an excessively undisciplined life. He spent his money on alcohol and women and somehow his performances depreciated. His career has not recovered after spells with Stoke City, Las Palmas, and Real Betis.
Raging emotions are of the weaknesses of even the calmest of football players. However, some of them tend to take it too far and such is Diego Costa. The Spaniard emerged as a fearsome striker with Atletico Madrid some years ago and he soon earned a move to Chelsea. His time in England was not entirely bad as he won titles but his bad temper was always there to soil his good works. He ultimately returned to Atletico Madrid where he has struggled for form since his return.
If there is any warning to young football players to be disciplined, that warning is clear in the story of Royston Drenthe. Drenthe was already a regular for Feyenoord before winning the U-21 European Championship in 2007. His performance earned him the golden ball award and a transfer to Real Madrid. However, his bad attitude saw him fall out with the management at the Bernabeu and he ultimately left the club. He did play for Hercules and Everton but his bad attitude reared up its head again and he never fulfilled his potential. Drenthe. Now 32, he plays for an amateur Dutch club side.
It is not an exaggeration to call Balotelli the king of the bad boys. Balotelli’s obvious talent cannot be denied but he has been plagued with issues on and off the pitch throughout his career. He fell out with Jose Mourinho at Inter, Roberto Mancini at Manchester City and he flopped badly at Liverpool. He moved to France at a time in his career and there were instances of getting unnecessarily booked. Having played at many top clubs and failed, there is no hope for him again at the top level. His pathway is that which should not be walked by football players.
Antonio Cassano was one of the most technically gifted footballer players in the early 2000s. Casano was a complete attacker with pace, strength, and dribbling ability. His talent earned him a move to Real Madrid from Roma in 2006. He spent two years in Spain with making just 19 league appearances. He has since played for Sampdoria and other teams in Italy but his problem was women. Cassano could not control his appetite for sex and it ultimately ruined his career. He even boasted in the media about how he has slept with over 200 women.
Emre Mor was once dubbed the “Turkish Messi”. A left-footed attacker with raw talent, Mor joined Borussia Dortmund from Nordsjaelland in 2016. A team that has been a stepping stone for players like Mario Gotze and Ousmane Dembele was just the perfect place for Mor but he messed it up with his bad attitude. Issues like publicly disagreeing with his manager coupled with a lack of modesty in spending saw him sold Celta Vigo after one year. His attitude did not improve in Spain either and injury troubles only made his situation worse. He is currently on loan with Olympiacos aged only 22. Upcoming football players can definitely take a cue on how not to behave from Mor’s journey
Football players often like to get one against their former teams especially if they left with bad blood. That was the case with Emmanuel Adebayor and Arsenal whom he joined from Monaco in 2006. He left in 2009 after falling out with the fans to join Manchester City. In a game against the Gunners, he raced the length of the pitch to celebrate before Arsenal fans and stamped Robin van Persie on the face. Some seasons later, he did a horror tackle on Santi Cazorla which earned him a red card. His career has been pretty much up and down since then.
If there was anything that hindered Joey Barton from reaching the top, it was the excess luggage of Bad attitude. Like many players in this piece, Barton was a gifted and talented midfielder but his antics, lack of discipline and unprofessionalism saw his career stunted. The one-capped England international could not help falling out with managers, teammates and even retired professionals. He currently manages Fleetwood town.
We are going way back with this one. Few Egyptian football players have starred in the Premier League before the likes of Salah. One of them was Mido who was a tall, powerful and technically gifted striker. He played for Tottenham, Middlesbrough and Wigan in the Premier League and other teams across Europe. One bone of contention with Mido was his pride and this made him appalling to many football clubs. He even fell out with his national team coach once.
Lord Bendtner as he is jokingly called in the media, the Dane is one of the rare football players who cannot but go beyond their boundaries. Bendtner lived in a world of delusion and trying to play being confident like Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo. However, he lacked the performance to back it up and all his delusions of grandeur have all come crashing down. There was even a time he had just two league goals in two seasons. He currently plays for Copenhagen in his native Denmark aged 32.