Part two of this two part series looks at the midfielders and attackers that make up this Football Villains XI, plus the substitutes who didn’t quite make the starting line up. The team lines up in a 4-2-4 formation.
Football Villains XI – Part Two
Centre Midfield – Joey Barton
No team like this would be complete without a certain Mr. Joseph Anthony Barton. Twice he has been convicted on charges of violence off the pitch, one of them leading to a six months prison sentence. He has also been charged by The Football Association three times for violent conduct. One for assault, one for punching a opposition player in the stomach and one for attacking three players on the final day of a season. Lets not forget when he stubbed out a lit cigar in the eye of a Manchester City youth player at a Christmas party. Add these to being no stranger to a yellow or red card makes the one-man controversy magnet Barton, one of the first names on this team sheet.
Centre Midfield – Sinisa Mihajlovic
This Serbian hard man and ex Lazio and Roma player in the 90’s/00’s was difficult to ignore when choosing this team. Although he settled into a central defenders role while in Italy, he also played in central midfield, left midfield/wing and attacking midfield. With this in mind, his liking of a tackle and his ferocious shooting ability he earns a place in this teams midfield. It’s his antics however that really earn him his place. Spitting at an opposition player while getting beat at home, which went unnoticed at the time by officials and then sent off in the same game for two nasty lunges. He was subsequently banned for eight games and fined £12.700. Racially abusing Patrick Viera repeatedly in one game. A jail sentence for this was a possibility until Viera decided not to press charges and Mihaijlovic apologised in the middles of the pitch at the next European home game. It’s these incidents and a temper that is known throughout the world of football that earn him a place in the starting eleven.
Attack – Edmundo
A hugely talented player, capped 39 times by Brazil, he is the man nicknamed “The Animal”. He is a player who could go down as the most controversial in Brazil’s history. In 1995 he caused a car crash while drunk, killing three people, although he has never been sentenced. Sent off 5 times in one year and seven times in another, his temper was never far from the service. Given a 40-day ban after causing a fight between players, which resulted in 6 red cards. Fined $10,000 for smashing a TV camera during an interview after his team lost and then soon after he was given a 15 day suspension for criticizing the clubs board for allowing the grass to get too long. With these incidents and many other bust ups and temper tantrums throughout his career, Edmundo has every right to be a starter in this team.
Attack – Diego Maradona
However brilliant he may have been and however medals/awards he may have, one being the “Goal of the Century” another, Fifa Player of the Century, No Englishman would argue Maradona’s inclusion in this team. Argentinians and the Scottish may argue otherwise. His “hand of god goal” during the 1986 World cup quarter finals against England will be talked about and shown throughout the world forever. This alone would get him into this team, particularly by the English. However his was no stranger to other on field as well as off the field problems. After an ill tempered game versus Athletic Bilbao when he played for Barcelona, he headbutted one player, elbowed another in the face and kneed another in the head. Maradona was transferred to Napoli soon after.
While at Napoli he received $70,000 in fines due to missing games and training due to his use of cocaine. He left Napoli after he failed a drugs test and served a 15 month ban. In 1994, during the World cup in USA, he was sent home after once again failing a drug test. This was the end of his international career.
Attack – Eric Cantona
Similar to Higuita, Cantona is the inventor of one of footballs most famous kicks. However Cantona’s did not amaze the crowd at Wembley one evening. His kung-fu kick on a fan at Crystal Palace in January 1996 is still talked about to this day and will forever be. For this incident, he was fined thousands of pounds, banned for eight months and given 120 hours of community service. He later admitted that the kick was a mistake but said that the attack was “great feeling, and a memory that he is happy for the fans to treasure”. This incident alone could get him into many a Villains team however Cantona has a long list of controversies on his playing CV.
The list includes:
- Fined for punching a teammate in 1987.
- Banned for two months in 1988 for a dangerous tackle.
- Banned again in 1989 for ripping off his club shirt and kicking the ball into the crowd when substituted.
- Banned from international football for insulting the national coach.
- Banned from the training ground for fighting with a teammate whilst at Montpellier.
- And in 1991 he was banned for one month by the French Football federation for throwing the ball at a referee. Cantona called each individual on the committee that banned him an idiot. His ban was increased to two months.
With these incidents and his brilliance and unpredictability in mind, he seems the ideal player to spearhead the attack in this team.
Attack – Marlon King
By no means a great on the pitch like some others in this team and not too controversial on it either, it’s off the field where Marlon King definitely earns his place in this team. Currently serving a jail term for dangerous driving, King is no stranger to prison and police in general. He has many convictions for such things as theft, assault, criminal damage as well as various driving convictions. He was also sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexual assault in 2008. Maybe villain is just too nice a word for Marlon King.
Andoni “The Butcher of Bilbao” Goikoetxea