Following Southampton’s decision to suspend striker
Daniel Osvaldo for two weeks for an apparent training ground punch up with teammate Jose Fonte, that got me thinking…
Wouldn’t it be fun to take a look back at some other memorable soccer punch ups from the past?
No time for hesitation, lets get stuck in.
Lee Bowyer and Kieran Dyer
This is perhaps the most famous fight between soccer teammates, ever. It took place in front of 50,000 plus fans at St. James’ Park, who looked on in disbelief as both Bowyer and Dyer swung at each other like madmen before being separated. Both were shown straight red cards for violent conduct in the subsequent 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa, as the former England internationals lost the plot during a season of struggle for Newcastle. The term ‘windmilling’ sums up their fighting style. They’ve clearly never heard of the ‘Queensbury Rules.’
Eyal Berkovic and John Hartson
Back in the late 1990’s Harry Redknapp had assembled an extremely talented squad at West Ham United. He had a good blend of playmakers and bruising enforcers… and it was one of each that went toe to toe in a training ground bust up of epic proportions in 1998. Little Israeli playmaker Berkovic was taken out by bustling Welsh striker Hartson in a practice match and as the latter tried to help Berkovic up, the Israeli reacted angrily and punched Hartson in the leg. Cue an Eric Cantona-esque karate kick from Hartson that demolished Berkovic.
Joey Barton and Ousmane Dabo
One of soccer’s bad boys had to get in here somewhere (Joey Barton could have his own bust up top five…) and his fight with Man City teammate Dabo was shocking on so many levels. Barton spent four months in prison for the brutal attack and was sold to Newcastle upon his release. Barton battered Dabo and had to be dragged away by multiple players as this was a step too far, even for him. Barton showed no remorse: “Where I come from there are no rules. You fight until it’s over.” Yikes.
Oguchi Onyewu and Zlatan Ibrahimovic
USA, USA, USA… Sorry, got a little caught up there. But remember when Onyewu was an AC Milan defender a few seasons ago? Okay, good. Well, you may have not remembered that Onyewu stuck the indomitable Zlatan flat on his backside in a training ground altercation. Zlatan’s a big dude, but why on earth would he ever mess with Gooch? Only one winner, and the American defender won hands down.
NOTE: For the record Osvaldo was said to have landed a headbutt on Fonte and then punched him. Rumors of the Italian international wielding a sword around Southampton’s training ground are off the mark. We think.