Top TEN football traitors

It is widely expected that Joe Cole will leave Chelsea this summer with bitter rivals Tottenham and Arsenal racing for his signature. A move to a London rival could be unpopular amongst Chelsea’s supporters even though they may understand the players need for first team football (or more money, if you believe the papers), but who are the real turncoats in football?

10. Roberto Baggio: First up is Baggio, who transferred to Juventus from bitter rivals Fiorentina in 1990 for a then world record £8 million fee. His inclusion is a little harsh as he insists he was “compelled to accept” the offer and he said: “deep in my heart I am always Purple (the colour of Fiorentina).” However, the deal wasn’t well received in Florence and two days of full scale riots broke out in which fifty people were injured.

9. Jermain Defoe: (Charlton, West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth and back to Tottenham) Loyalty does not seem to be Defoe’s strong point as he handed a transfer request in the day after West Ham went down in 2003 and ended up going to London rivals Tottenham the next season. After falling out of favour with Spurs he went to Portsmouth for a season only to jump that sinking ship to return to White Hart Lane. Also, Charlton fans were not impressed when Defoe snubbed a professional contract at the Charlton to go to West Ham and subsequently he is booed at the Valley.

8. Paul Ince: The former Blackburn manager is another who didn’t exactly endear himself to the Upton Park faithful during his time as a player. In 1989 Ince was photographed in a Man United shirt long before his eventual £1 million switch to Old Trafford and has received some stick from West Ham fans for it ever since. The player also played for United’s hated rivals Liverpool (1997-99) after spending a couple of seasons at Inter Milan.

7. Nick Barmby: He became the first player to be transferred from Everton to Liverpool since Dave Hickson in 1959. His move from relegation battlers Everton to Gerard Houllier’s trophy chasing Liverpool side in 2000 made him a hated figure at Goodison Park and one of the biggest turncoats in Premier League history.

6. Ashley Cole: Just about everyone hates Ashley Cole, not just for footballing reasons either as the tabloids have dogged the defender for cheating on one of the nation’s most popular women Cheryl Cole? Or is it Tweedy again? (bah, who cares, right?).

Nicknamed ‘Cashley’ the Chelsea left-back was caught up in a tapping up storm whilst at Arsenal after meeting Chelsea officials in a hotel. He also angered his fans moaning about wages and released a controversial autobiography. The troubled player has sort of justified his switch (William Gallas going the other way and also something of a Judas) to Arsenal’s bitter rivals Chelsea after winning a league and FA Cup double, but he will remain hated by many fans.

Continue to page 2 for the top five

5. Alan Smith: Smith is just one of a few players to make controversial moves across the Pennines from Leeds to Manchester United in 2004 following the Elland Road club’s relegation from the Premier League. Before him both Eric Cantona (1992) and Rio Ferdinand (2002) had previously made the same switch.

However, Smith must be considered a traitor as he was one of those annoying badge kissers, he was a local Leeds lad and although it was expected that he would leave following the club’s demise in the Premier League many Leeds fans were hurt when he opted to go to their hated rivals at Old Trafford.

4. Luis Figo: The Portuguese midfielder made a highly controversial move back in 2000 from Barcelona to Real Madrid for a then world record fee of £37 million. Although he wasn’t the only one to make the move as Michael Laudrup (1994) and Luis Enrique (1996) did also, but I bet he was the only one to have a pig’s head thrown at him whilst taking a corner. On his return to the Nou Camp with Madrid in November 2002 the Barcelona fans also showered Figo with lighters, cans, bottles and smoke bombs erupted all around the ground, which added to an atmosphere which was already heated and violent.

3. Harry Redknapp: ‘Arry comes across as a slightly dodgy character with all the tax evasion charges that have been levelled at him in the past and his seemingly fickle nature when it comes to football management.

After spending two years at Portsmouth he angered the Fratton Park faithful when he went to South Coast rivals Southampton, who he relegated from the Premier League to the Championship and left them peeved when he moved back to bitter rivals Portsmouth….was he a double agent or something? He also claimed he would end his career on the South Coast, then he went to Tottenham in 2008, which makes him a Judas and a liar.

2. Maurice ‘Mo’ Johnston: You would have to be a little bit crazy to pour fuel on the fire that is the Glasgow rivalry between Celtic and Rangers, but that is exactly what Johnston did and he infuriated both sets of fans in the process.

After a spell at French club Nantes the former Celtic man issued a desire to rejoin the Hoops, but made a U-turn on his decision and joined the Gers instead.

As Mo is a Roman Catholic, who went to a protestant club he became equally hated by both sets of fans and has to be considered as one of the biggest Judases in football history.

1. Sol Campbell: The biggest Judas in football has to be Campbell, who made the most controversial moves in Premier League history when he signed for Arsenal from their most hated rivals Tottenham on a free transfer in 2001.

Ever since he has been labelled a ‘Judas scum’ and although that song (you know the one) is uncalled for the Spurs fans have every reason to be upset with the player who had been with them since he was 15, he was also there idol and captain.

Since then he has also walked out on Notts County after just one appearance and has been trying to sue former club Portsmouth over unpaid image rights, fees and bonuses. Sure he may be entitled to the money, but does he really need it and is it fair to kick a cash-strapped club when they are down? What a traitor.

Who do you think is football’s biggest traitor?

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