You can all breathe a sigh of relief…. The international break is nearly over with full league football will be back this weekend! No more watching England dominate “European Powerhouses,” such as Montenegro and Kosovo in European qualifiers.

This will be great news for England and Premier League stars Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling after their training ground bust-up in the run-up to England’s 6-0 win over Montenegro.

As a result of this Gomez was booed by Englands fans when he was substituted on in the second-half, England boss Gareth Southgate was quick to jump on Gomez’s side saying, “Joe had done nothing wrong, no England player should be booed when they wear the shirt. We’re a team. I don’t understand that.”

I’m sure you’ll not be shocked to find that in a sport as filled with passion and as fickle as football, Gomez isn’t the first to get grief from their own fans. However, some have been more high profile than others.

So, here is seven other times players have been booed by their own fans…

Wayne Rooney (England)

Disappointment and England, unfortunately, go hand in hand like Ant and Dec, chips and curry sauce and Gary Neville and Valencia (okay maybe not that one). Often, when things are going right for the three lions, the fans let the players know.

After Fabio Capello’s England had failed to make it out of the group stage during the 2010 South Africa World Cup, England’s fans were not happy. England were booed off by their travelling fans which led to a passionate response from Wayne Rooney down a TV camera saying “Nice to see your home fans boo you, that’s loyal supporters.”

Rooney received major backlash from the comments and later apologised saying “I said things in the heat of the moment out of frustration of our performance and the result,” he said in a Football Association statement. “For my part, I apologise for any offence caused by my actions.”

Rooney managed to get the fans back on side but unfortunately for him (and wife Coleen) hasn’t managed to keep himself out of the tabloids….

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

It is fair to say that Gareth Bales relationship with his fans during his time at Real Madrid has been like that of a Soap Opera with the Welshman never quite in the good books with his fans.

The Welshman has won four Champions League titles and a La Liga title during his time with “Los Blancos.” Although with moment’s pure brilliance (insert Champions League bicycle kick), Bale has lacked consistency and was booed after his side’s loss to Barcelona in 2018 sparking a major and well-publicised rift between player and club.

The Welshman recently said “I definitely have a bit more excitement playing for Wales,” with club director and former Real forward Predrag Mijatović then claiming Bale prioritised Wales – and even his interest in golf over his club side.

Bale has stayed with Madrid and his 15 million euro a year contract, so I guess on that wage we can’t feel too sorry for him!

However, the rift has sparked numerous transfer rumours to clubs all around the world with football fans never quite knowing ‘what’s occurring.’

Gabriel Heinze (Manchester United)

Heinze joined Manchester United in 2004 after impressing at French giants PSG. He and immediately established himself as first-choice left-back for United being named their best player in the 2004–05 season and won the league the season after.

The problems started following a lack of first-team football and a falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson. Heinze did the one thing you shouldn’t do as a United player; demand a transfer to arch-rivals Liverpool, who were reported to be interested in him.

Heinze had the transfer blocked and was booed by Manchester United fans constantly during the end of his career with the club. He then had his wish and switched for Real Madrid for £11.70m.

Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan)

The Argentinian now storming it on loan at PSG has built up a reputation over his career as a player with a prolific eye for goal. But he has also built up a reputation as being an Argentine nutcase, after calling out the ultras of his club at the time, Inter Milan.

He wrote in his book about an altercation after a 3-1 defeat with the ultras and their leader in which things got very heated. Icardi was warned about how violent some of the fans might be and wrote, “How many of them are there? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred? OK, record my message and let them hear it. I will bring 100 criminals from Argentina who will kill them on the spot.”

Icardi who was the captain of the club at the time became public enemy no 1 along with his wife who supported him. Ever since the incident in 2016, the Ultras have booed him and his wife more than Maxi López and have staged protests to the club resulting in his captaincy being stripped and his departure from the club this season.

David Beckham (LA Galaxy)
FOOTBALL in America is a growing sport and has been rising over the last couple of decades for Major League Soccer. Football has become quite a competitive competition with top players now playing for US sides. David Beckham was one of the first high profile players to make the trip over the pond to play for LA Galaxy and was a hit with the fans drawing large crowds to see one of football’s biggest stars.

Beckham enjoyed success at the club winning the MLS Cup three times, however, his tenure at the club wasn’t always an easy ride. In 2009, Beckham started a season-long loan to Italian giants, AC Milan. This loan move meant that he would miss the first-half of his second season with his parent club. Fans were outraged with his decision to leave and upon his return to LA they made their displeasure known by booing and holding banners, one stating the words ‘Go home fraud’.

Beckham managed to charm the fans and there is now a statue of the England legend outside the club’s stadium.

Emmanuel E “boo” ue (Arsenal)

Every footballer has their bad game it’s an occupational hazard and any pro will tell you that. However, not many have to endure matches like Emmanuel Eboue in his game against Wigan in 2008.

The right-back made 214 appearances during a seven-year spell for his north London side, but it’s fair to say this performance was on par with Prince Andrew in his news night interview.

The Ivorian started the match on the bench and was brought on by Arsene Wenger with his side having a 1-0 lead over the Latics. With ten minutes to go Eboue came on the pitch and possibly did everything he could wrong, with each mistake causing more anger in the Gunners crowd. His time on the pitch concluded after tackling his teammate Kolo Toure and giving the ball away and was quickly substituted by Wenger to a symphony of booing from the angry crowd.

It’s fair to say Eboue managed to earn the Arsenal faithful’s trust back but his performance will always go down as one of the worst in Premier League history.

Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
Another Arsenal player now this one blowing the Eboue controversy out of the water. It’s fair to say Xhaka hasn’t always been north London’s golden boy during his time at Arsenal.

His recent controversy came in his sides recent match against Crystal Palace which ended a 2-2 draw. The Swiss midfielder left the pitch to boos when he was taken off in the 66th minute. Xhaka – who was somehow captain at the time – reacted by gesturing to the fans and swearing before ripping his top off and storming his way down the tunnel.

His actions were met with anger and calls for him to apologise from both fans and ex-players. After a few days, Xhaka released a statement saying he was antagonised over comments made by internet trolls towards him and his family which caused him to reach “boiling point” he later apologised for his actions.

Still being kept out of the Arsenal team with his captaincy has been stripped with no one knowing what his future at the club will be. All we do know is it will definitely be one of the many problems on the mind of Unai Emery.

Picture credit (All under CC License)
Rooney – Илья Хохлов
Bale – Дмитрий Журавель
Heinze – Amarhgil
Icardi – Вячеслав Евдокимов
Beckham – Calebrw
Eboue – Lynchg
Xhaka – @cfcunofficial

Featured image – Ben Sutherland on Flickr