Back when football was a thing, Jurgen Klopp said he would be seen as the world’s worst loser if he had spoken his real mind on Liverpool’s exit to Atletico. So for all his multiple good points, the German finds himself among our ten sorest losers…
* Neymar and then Neymar again
After Barcelona suffered a third consecutive La Liga defeat for the first time in 13 years in 2016, Neymar was caught on camera slapping Valencia full-back Antonio Barragán, who was merely celebrating the win with his teammates. This was sweet revenge for Barragan, who had endured a 7-0 Copa Del Rey thrashing by the same opponents just a few months previously and a torrent of abuse by Neymar who boasted (like a d***): “I earn 10 times more than you.” No win bonus this time….eh?
When Manchester United pulled off a last-minute penalty heist at the La Parc des Princes last year in the last 16 of the Champions League, an injured Neymar was in the stands. However, this didn’t stop another strop by the Brazilian this time on social media.
See Neymar on his Insta took defeat by #MUFC well: “They put 4 people who know nothing about football to watch the VAR slow motion. There is no penalty. How can it be handball when his back is turned. Go fuck yourselves …”
Say what you really think though mate….
— David Maddock (@MaddockMirror) March 6, 2019
UEFA didn’t take kindly to this advice and slapped the forward with a three-game European ban.
* Ronaldo and the thunderclap
Eventual winners Portugal had a very average start to the group stages of the Euro finals in France, drawing with unfancied Iceland 1-1. Cristiano Ronaldo, who had 10 shots and only one on target, decided to take umbrage with the nation of 360,000, suggesting they had a “small mentality” while claiming he himself was injured and not playing in his preferred position.
“It makes it even sweeter when he’s a sore loser like that,” Iceland defender Kari Arnason said. “I mean, he can say whatever he wants. He didn’t really get a chance today, he got one and he couldn’t put it away. What can I say? Sore loser. Tough s***.”
Arnason then went on to put the high moral boot in by claiming “his comments are the reason why Messi is always going to be one step ahead of him”. Ouch.
* Hope Solo takes coward’s way out
When Sweden beat the Americans on penalty-kicks in the 2016 Olympic quarter-finals, Stars and Stripes goalkeeper Hope Solo was hardly magnanimous in defeat: “I thought we played a courageous game. I thought we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down, I’m very proud of this team. And I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today, I strongly, firmly believe that.”
Swedish coach Pia Sundhage wasn’t that offended: “I don’t give a crap. I’m going to Rio, she’s going home.”
* Didier Drogba loses his sh*t
Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo turned down appeals on four Chelsea penalty claims in their Champions League semi-final in 2009 against Barcelona. To make matters worse, Andres Iniesta’s late, late strike sent the Catalans through on away goals to stun the Stamford Bridge faithful.
It was all too much for substituted Drogba, who angrily approached the official after the final whistle while wearing a pair of flip-flops. It wasn’t a good look in either attire or attitude as he yelled at the lTV cameras that it was all “a f***ing disgrace”.
🗓 ON THIS DAY 10 YEARS AGO:
🤬 Drogba screamed “IT’S A F*CKING DISGRACE” at the camera as Barcelona knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League pic.twitter.com/o2vPKFBvfP
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) May 6, 2019
The club were fined £85,000 (€100,000) for ‘the improper conduct of their players and the throwing of missiles by their supporters’ while Pep Guardiola went on to claim his first Champions League title at the expense of Manchester United, Chelsea’s conquerors the previous year.
* Putting the Arse in Arsene
Despite his erudite aura, Arsene Wenger has never taken defeat gracefully. Think of the Alan Pardew shove at Upton Park in 2006 after Marlon Harewood scored a late winner or the Jose Mourinho assault at Stamford Bridge when he was losing for the umpteenth time to his old nemesis.
It took the late Sir Bobby Robson to really remind the Frenchman of his duties. When Newcastle finally won in London at the 30th time of asking in December 2001 to go to the top of the Premiership, cue a Wenger whinge-fest and Thierry Henry chasing Graham Poll at the end of the game. Sir Bobby was having none of it, insisting that the Gunners had let themselves down. “Some people at Arsenal have got to learn how to lose.”
Wenger admitted himself that he does not bear up well in the face of a loss: “If you can introduce me to some good losers in this game, then I would like to meet them. There is no room for good losers here.”
* Introducing The Sour One
The first real signs of sourness by the self-appointed Special One came when his Chelsea team exited the Champions League semi-final at a fiery Anfield in 2005 just three days after taking the Premier League title. When Luis Garcia’s pre-VAR winning goal was subject to debate about whether it actually crossed the line, the Portuguese had a few outlandish theories about its origins. “They scored if you can say that. You can say the linesman’s scored. It was a goal coming from the moon or from the Anfield Road stands.” Mourinho’s sourness continued when he claimed: “The best team lost and didn’t deserve to lose.”
“Anfield is a magic place to play.
“They can even score goals that the players don’t score, like it happened in 2004/05 when Luis Garcia didn’t score the goal, the crowd scored the goal!”
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) May 7, 2019
Just for the sake of balance, when his Real Madrid team dumped Manchester United out of the Champions League at Old Trafford in 2013, Jose also claimed “the best team lost”. It’s easy to be gracious in victory. Especially if you are courting for a job after Sir Alex…
* Luciano Gaucci threatens to take his ball home
After a 3-2 defeat to Sampdoria in April 2004, Perugia President Luciano Gaucci threatened to withdraw his Serie A strugglers from the last four games of the season – after consulting with his kids of course. “I spoke to my children who were at the game and they told me Dad, seeing the things they are doing to us, it is best you withdraw the team from the tournament.”
Gaucci worked out that Perugia have been robbed in 28 of the 30 games they had played and that the referees rather than the opposition were “massacring us”. A few days later, Gaucci retracted the threat and Perugia were ultimately relegated to Serie B.
* Italy blaming Swedish subterfuge
After a dismal performance in Euro 2004, Italy could still save themselves from first-round elimination if they beat Bulgaria and Denmark and Sweden did anything but draw 2-2 – a result that would send both teams through at the expense of the Azzurri.
Well, the Italians looked after their own house with a last-gasp winner from Antonio Cassano. Trouble is, at almost the same time the Swedes made it 2-2 and the recriminations began. Italy team manager Gigi Riva accused the Scandinavians of “a great acting performance, pretending to be happy when taking the lead, yet always conceding an equaliser”.
The Italian State broadcaster RAI actually installed extra cameras at their match in Oporto to catch any controversial incidents. The only thing the Italians caught was an early plane home.
Italy’s first ever World Cup defeat? Against #Sweden
Last World Cup didn’t qualify for? 1958, in #Sweden
Last Euros didn’t qualify for? 1992, in #Sweden
Euro 2004? Italy out at group stage after 2-2 draw saw Denmark and #Sweden through
World Cup 2018 playoffs: defeated by #Sweden
— Daniella Matar (@DaniellaMatar) November 14, 2017
* The under-average loser Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool were dumped out of the Champions League at Anfield last month (last month? It can’t be) to condemn Jurgen Klopp to his first ever two-leg European defeat with the club. It seemed crazy that the match went ahead and no doubt it might secretly rile Klopp’s retrospective on matters that evening.
The German admitted he was an “under-average loser” and that it “doesn’t feel right tonight”. The frustration then boiled over when cranky Kloppo criticised the style of play from Atletico, saying “they should be able to play proper football”. Div. Dastardly Diego Simeone sounded almost like a moral guardian in comparison when he claimed the away goal rule that benefited his team in extra time was unfair. Still, at least Liverpool will be the longest reigning champions…
* Cristiano cry baby again…
Rafael Varane once said of Ronaldo: “It infuriates him when he loses, he cannot stand it. It’s true that sometimes, in the dressing room, it’s fun to lose just to make him mad.” When Portugal lost to Spain 1-0 to slump out of the 2010 World Cup, it brought to an end a miserable tournament where his “high point” was a goal against North Korea.
When a cameraman followed him post-match, Ronaldo lashed out and spat at his feet. Despite an anonymous performance, the Real Madrid star pointed the finger at the manager for responsibility: “Ask Carlos Queiroz.”
Tim Ellis – find and follow him on Twitter