Sir Alex gives his views on the Italians
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has never been afraid to speak his mind, as he is only too well aware after his recent comments about referee Alan Wiley. Yet with the following comment he offended an entire nation: "When an Italian tells me its pasta on the plate I check under the sauce to make sure."
Bryan Roy insults the entire city of Nottingham
Dutch footballer Bryan Roy had just moved to Hertha Berlin from Nottingham Forest when he was asked to sum up the differences between the two towns. What followed ensured there was no chance of a return transfer: "Berlin has everything. It is a cosmopolitan city with theatres and the people are open-minded. They are not as narrow-minded like the people in Nottingham. There are no theatres, no cinemas, hardly anything. All Nottingham has is Robin Hood... and he's dead"
Ian Botham insults Pakistan... and his mother in-law
In the build up to the 1992 World Cup final against Pakistan, the outspoken Ian Botham gave his views on the upcoming opponents: "Pakistan is the sort of country to send your mother in-law to." England lost.
Viv and Merv on the merits of their own countries
"This is my island, my culture. Don't you be staring at me. In my culture we just bowl." said the West Indies' Viv Richards to Australia fast bowler Merv Hughes (pictured). "In my culture we just say f*** off." was Hughes' response.
Freddy Shepherd on Newcastle supporters
In 1998 former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd was struck by the News of the World's 'Fake Sheikh'. In the expose it was revealed that Shepherd had referred to female supporters of the Tyneside club as "dogs". He was forced to leave his post within two weeks of the scandal breaking.
Souness sides with The Sun
Liverpudlians hatred of The Sun since the newspaper's coverage of the Hillsborough disaster is well documented. That Liverpool manager Graeme Souness was happy to take the paper's shilling in exchange for an interview (which was published on the third anniversary of the disaster) had phone-ins jammed and letters from fans saying they were sickened.
Gazza insults Norway... for a laugh
Former England international Paul Gascoigne was approached by a Norwegian television network and asked if he would care to send a message to Norway. "Yes," he replied. "Fuck off, Norway," and then ran away laughing.
The Damned United
Brian Clough's reign at Leeds United may have been short, but it was eventful enough to spawn a book and film in its wake. Taking one of his first training sessions, Clough told the Championship winning Leeds players: "You can all throw your medals in the bin because they were not won fairly." Not the politest of introductions.
Paul Casey: America's most wanted
A tongue in cheek remark by English golfer Paul Casey that the Europeans wanted to win the Ryder Cup because they "properly hated" the Americans blew up to epic proportions. That he lived in the States and had an American girlfriend were ignored. The Yanks wanted blood. He was dropped by equipment sponsors Titleist and roundly booed by Americans everywhere he went.
Georgi Hristov on the locals in Barnsley
Former Macedonia international Georgi Hristov observes the differences between Belgrade and Barnsley: "The local girls are far uglier than the ones in Belgrade. Our women are far prettier and they don't drink as much beer."
Manchester United striker Michael Owen recently moved to play down his comments about playing for the biggest club in the world.
His original comments angered many Liverpool fans who felt the statement was an insult to his former club.
Owen isn't the first sportsman to alienate a swathe of people with his words. From insulting clubs, towns and entire nations, here's the ten best mass insults.
>>Click the image to see the list