As Aboubakar Kamara and Aleksandar Mitrovic take their feud to the next level, we fondly remember some of the greatest teammate fights in football history.
While commentators always insist that ‘nobody likes to see’ a good old-fashioned ruck on the football field, any fan will tell you that they love nothing more.
Any dull game can become 10 times as entertaining when a few punches are thrown, but the greatest treat of all is when those punches are thrown by teammates.
Two players from the same team launching into a UFC contest is the rarest of sights, so much so that it feels like the eyes are playing tricks, but these golden moments outlive 30-yard wonder goals in the memory.
Even when the feuds aren’t played out in public, there’s something magical about knowing that two teammates can’t stand each other and would rather lose the ball to an opponent than set their enemy up to score.
So, what are the most outstanding teammate fights and feuds of all time?
Craig Bellamy v John Arne Riise
You could easily do a whole top five of just Bellamy’s mortal enemies, in fact you could probably do a top 50, but the pick of the bunch has to be the Welshman’s spat with Norwegian left-back Riise.
When Riise refused to sing karaoke on a Liverpool team bonding trip to Portugal, Bellamy did what any reasonable person would do and went after him in his room with a golf club (we’re told it was an eight iron, a poor choice but we assume Bellamy didn’t have a caddy).
The fact that Bellamy didn’t do more lasting damage to Riise is an indictment of his golfing skills, but it meant that the two men then had to play in the same side as if one of them hadn’t attempted to maim the other.
Bellamy saw the funny side as witnessed by his golf swing celebration, but Riise got the last laugh as Bellamy was sold to West Ham five months later, which is more or less a prison sentence of its own.
David Batty v Graeme Le Saux
Looking back, it’s hard to believe this fight ever happened, not least because Blackburn Rovers were playing in the Champions League, having improbably won the title in 1994-95, taking advantage of a brief window when nobody was any good at football.
With reality setting in and Blackburn’s European dream disintegrating, Batty and Le Saux saved the day and delivered a moment fans will never forget.
After a passage of terrible 90s football that ended with Batty and Le Saux crashing into each other going for the ball, Batty berated Le Saux, who snapped and aimed a punch at Batty – a role reversal if ever there was one. Le Saux regretted it immediately as he broke his hand on Batty, who was hard as nails.
Of course, this is the same Batty who once fought every single Sampdoria player in a pre-season friendly for Leeds just for the hell of it and the same Le Saux who was taunted by teammates because he read newspapers.
There was no Round Two either for Blackburn or for this fight.
Mauro Icardi v Maxi Lopez
The John Terry v Wayne Bridge of Italian football, teammates and friends Icardi and Lopez fell out somewhat when Icardi began sleeping with Lopez’s ex-wife Wanda Nara as their marriage broke up.
To make matters even more soap opera-esque, Lopez has three sons with Wanda, who married Icardi in 2014, just months after the divorce with Lopez was finalised.
Icardi, who loves a good feud never misses an opportunity to rub Lopez’s nose in it on social media, especially revelling in his relationship with Lopez’s three sons. Ouch.
When they met in the Wanda Derby between Lopez’s Sampdoria and Icardi’s Inter in 2014 they didn’t stake hands and when Inter faced Lopez’s new side Torino two years later, Lopez took things further by grabbing his own balls instead of offering his hand.
I speak for the whole world when I say I’m praying for Lopez to make an unexpected return to Inter in the transfer window.
Lee Bowyer vs Kieron Dyer
Newcastle were 3-0 down to Aston Villa and had 10 men on the pitch when Bowyer and Dyer lifted the mood with a pub brawl shoving match.
The fight itself was a perfect flurry of drunken melee style bad punches, but the highlight was seeing Bowyer walk away with his shirt ripped open.
It fell to Villa’s Gareth Barry to get in between the two men and calm things down – typical boring behaviour from him – sadly ending the fight just as it was hotting up.
The players were forced to issue a public apology, but it was the most passion Newcastle fans had seen from their team for a while and the most entertainment too.
Everyone v everyone – Placido de Castro FC
The Brazilian lower leagues are a treasure trove of craziness and when things turned sour for Placido de Castro in the big one – a Campeonato Acreano clash against Rio Branco in 2015, all hell broke loose.
The impressive thing about this fight is that it manages to bring in so many players, all of whom have different ideas about who should be punching whom.
The result is a Ring a Ring o’ Roses of violence as the players comically spin around, all trying in vain to do some kind of damage to someone.