Friendly Fire: 5 times feuding teammates went toe-to-toe

Raheem Sterling's been sent packing by England after a scrap with Joe Gomez, but they can still patch things up - just look at these clashes


Ah, Raheem.

To be honest, the brawl between Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling speaks to two things – each complimentary of each other.

The first is that club football is king, regardless of whatever branding UEFA will put into international tournaments – and the other is that Gareth Southgate has no idea how to man-manage.

A fallout in the England camp is exactly what they need – utilise the aggression and harness it into performances. For far too long, there’s been an overly-friendly, borderline submissive attitude about the England camp and this would have created much-needed tension to keep everyone on their toes.

But there have been more toxic teammate fallouts than this, and you can bet your life we’re about to guide you through the very best of them.

2 Jan 1999: Eyal Berkovic of West Ham United on the ball against Swansea City in the FA Cup third round match at Upton Park in London. The game ended 1-1. Mandatory Credit: Phil Cole /Allsport

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John Hartson v Eyal Berkovic

This one comes with video!

Berkovic’s career hardly peaked during his time at City, but a low point would certainly be when he was the receiving end of John Hartson’s boot, exclusively meant for a football rather than an Israeli playmaker’s head.

After a heavy challenge, Berkovic went down – only to be helped back up by Hartson. Instead, Berkovic punched his leg. Hartson then proceeded to kick him in the head – becoming the first player to be charged with misconduct for a training ground incident.

Bruce Grobbelaar v Steve McManaman

We’ve all dreamt about being Bruce Grobbelaar in this instance. I don’t mean in general – that would be weird.

But if Steve McManaman is to blame, and he is for most of the world’s travesties, and he doesn’t accept that, you’d be tempted to throw him a slap.

Well, during a 1993 Merseyside derby, McManaman made an error which resulted in Everton levelling it up – and the goalkeeper let the youngster know about it.

David Batty v Graeme Le Saux

Blackburn played Spartak Moscow in 1995 in the Champions League. For our younger readers, you may find that difficult to comprehend, but yes – Blackburn won a Premier League title and went to Russia to play in a group game.

Graeme Le Saux nicked the ball off David Batty in the early stages of this one, and the hardman did not take it well when Le Saux kicked the ball out of play after a poor touch.

He went on to lambast him, before breaking his hand while throwing a punch. Broken bones!

Lee Bowyer v Kieron Dyer

It seemed relatively understandable to be annoyed with anyone who spells Kieron like that, but maybe Bowyer overstepped the mark – and not for the first time in his career.

Three-nil down to Aston Villa, famously known as the most embarrassing fate anyone can suffer in the professional sport of football, Bowyer kind of… grabbed his shirt and then Dyer… grabbed his shirt?

If this sounds overly intimate, it wasn’t meant to – just watch the clip.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic v Oguchi Onyewu

It may come as no surprise to anyone who knows about Zlatan, but he has had his fair share of run-ins.

Oguchi Onyewu isn’t someone you’d typically look to pick on. He’s six-foot-four and known for his aggressive approach to the otherwise beautiful game.

Both players were in the AC Milan squad at the same time, and while Zlatan made quite a name for himself during this spell, Onyewu wouldn’t play a single game.

Apparently Zlatan put in a hefty challenge on the centre half during a training game, which resulted in quite a spat – as the two began to throw punches – one of which landed, and saw Ibra reportedly breaking a rib for his troubles.

Must have been quite the connection.

Alan Shearer v Michael Owen

This one’s my favourite because they didn’t even scrap – they just backwards and forwardsed on Twitter and nothing quite sums up the modern game like that, does it?

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