Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

The most notorious spitters in football

Frank Rijkaard
Frank Rijkaard spat into Rudi Voller's mullet not once but twice as hostilities between Holland and Germany boiled over at the 1990 World Cup.
Frank Rijkaard Frank Rijkaard spat into Rudi Voller's mullet not once but twice as hostilities between Holland and Germany boiled over at the 1990 World Cup.
Francesco Totti Italy's golden boy Francesco Totti found himself in hot water after spitting in Christian Poulsen's face at Euro 2004. His lawyer argued he deserved leniency because he "is a sensible and socially responsible person who has helped people in difficulties". Fifa disagreed and banned him for three games.Francesco Totti Italy's golden boy Francesco Totti found himself in hot water after spitting in Christian Poulsen's face at Euro 2004. His lawyer argued he deserved leniency because he "is a sensible and socially responsible person who has helped people in difficulties". Fifa disagreed and banned him for three games.
Sinisa Mihajlovic Lazio star Sinisa Mihajlovic was banned for eight matches after he kicked and spat his way through a 4-0 Champions League defeat to Chelsea. Never has the chant of 'just because you're losing' been more apt.Sinisa Mihajlovic Lazio star Sinisa Mihajlovic was banned for eight matches after he kicked and spat his way through a 4-0 Champions League defeat to Chelsea. Never has the chant of 'just because you're losing' been more apt.
Christophe Dugarry Birmingham derbies are rowdy affairs at the best of times but Christophe Dugarry succeeded in upping the atmosphere a notch in 2003. The Birmingham star unloaded into the face of Aston Villa's Joey Gudjonsson in what was a volatile match. He claimed he was clearing his throat and Gudjonsson got in the way. The FA didn't agree and fined him £12,500.
Lionel Messi The Argentinean wizard proved even the best players in the world like a bit of spitting action. During a La Liga match the Barcelona man landed one on the back of Malaga winger Duda.
Patrick Vieira Patrick Vieira landed himself with a six-game ban and a £30,000 fine when he spat in the face of Neil Ruddock. The Arsenal midfielder had been sent off but had no plans of leaving the pitch quietly, instead choosing to send some spittle in the direction of the West Ham man.
El Hadji Diouf The most notorious spitter of them all. In 2003 while playing for Liverpool he spat at Celtic fans and a year later was at it again when he spat at Portsmouth skipper Arjan de Zeeuw during his time at Blackburn. He's also faced numerous other accusations from fans that he's sent a loogie in their direction.
Slobodan Rajkovic Chelsea's young Serbian Slobodan Rajkovic found himself the subject of a one-year ban from football after spitting at the referee during the 2008 Olympic Games. The defender, currently on loan at FC Twente, saw his punishment downgraded to an international ban upon appeal.
Alexander Frei Another spitting incident from Euro 2004. Switzerland's Alexander Frei was hauled up in front of the authorities accused of spitting on the neck of Steven Gerrard. A lack of evidence saw him let off before Uefa decided to ban him for three games anyway.
John Terry The jury's still out on this one. Videos appeared to show the Chelsea captain send a well disguised loogie onto the neck of Carlos Tevez during the 2008 Champions League final. Charges were never brought - presumably United felt Terry had suffered enough following his penalty miss.

Footballers were warned to stop spitting amid fears of spreading swine flu.

Blackburn and Bolton have confirmed outbreaks of the virus and now the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued a warning to curb the 'disgusting' habit.

A spokesman for HPA said: "Footballers, like the rest of us, wouldn't spit indoors so they shouldn't do it on the football pitch."

Indeed, and to highlight the risks of such a 'disgusting' habit, we've hauled together football's worst spitting offenders.

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