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Footballers who spoke ill about their former clubs

5) Neymar – Barcelona

Perhaps the most riveting transfer of the summer, Neymar created a storm in the football world with his decision to leave Barcelona. The Brazilian was supposed to be the cornerstone of Barcelona’s future after Lionel Messi; however, with the Argentine still at his very best, Neymar was looking at another three or four years playing under his spotlight. Thus, Neymar decided to leave Barca in order to become the undisputed star at PSG. While the main motive behind the move was the idea of winning the Ballon D’Or, Neymar’s recent comments against the Barca hierarchy suggests that all was not good behind the doors. Neymar criticised Barca board, claiming he was very happy at Barcelona and left a happy person; however, he did not believe that the current members were good enough to run the club. Now at PSG, Neymar is firing on all cylinders as he looks to lead PSG to a Champions League title this term.

4) Pepe – Real Madrid

One of the most mundane feelings around Real Madrid is that when they buy a foreign player, there is only a slight chance that he would end up staying at the club for more than 5 years. Such is the manner of changing things at Bernabeau that calls for freshness erupt season after season. However, Pepe has been a rare case in recent years, with the Portuguese staying at Madrid for as many as ten years before he ended his time this summer. The Real Madrid fans shall happily remember Pepe as a warrior; however, the Portuguese did not have any kind words to say for his former employers. Instead, he criticised the club’s behaviour during the contract negotiations. He also took a dig at the Real Madrid fans claiming that the club supporters were not passionate enough unlike at Besiktas, where the fans’ impassioned support motivates the players.

3) Mario Balotelli – Liverpool

The Italian striker is a classic example of how a lack of control and composure can take its toll on a player’s career despite the obvious talent he possesses. Balotelli did reach great heights during his time at Manchester City, winning the league title; however, his behaviour meant he was never away from the controversies. And while his talent got him moves to big clubs like Milan and Liverpool, he could never realise his potential, partially due his temperament. A move to Liverpool was seen as a panic buy by many and Balotelli did nothing to silence his doubters. After sealing a move away from the Reds, he spoke highly of the club’s passionate supporters but censured Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp, saying that he did not get along with them and also that he never really liked the club.

2) Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Barcelona

When the Swedish star moved to Barcelona in 2010 as a part of the swap deal which saw Samuel Eto’o move to Inter, it was seen as a blockbuster move by Pep Guardiola’s side. Zlatan too himself dreamed of playing for the club and it looked like the perfect marriage; however, things soon changed for worse as Guardiola fell out with the striker as he preferred to play Messi in the central role. Zlatan left the club after just one miserable year and has since always has had bad things to say about Barcelona. He said that the club’s top stars behaved like schoolboys, arguing that the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, two of the greatest players, had their heads bowed and did not behave like superstars, saying that at Barca, he thought it was like being at Ajax.

1) Dani Alves – Barcelona

The Catalan club’s board has come under heavy criticism in recent years due to their poor transfer activity and lack of concern for current players’ contracts. In recent weeks, the club have been condemned by the supporters for dragging Lionel Messi’s contract, with the Argentine star’s contract ending at the end of the season. Moreover, the ex-players too have reproached the club’s hierarchy, with both Neymar and Dani Alves criticising the club for their behaviour. Dani Alves, one of the most celebrated figures during his time at Camp Nou, left the club two seasons ago saying that the club did not respect him enough and he was delighted on the leaving them for free.


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