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Poll: Who’s football’s biggest diva? Valdes doesn’t come close

| 16.07.2015

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal seems to have started an almighty spat with goalkeeper Victor Valdes after claiming the Spaniard refused to play for the Red Devils’ U21 side.

The former Barcelona ace is now up for sale but not willing to take things lying down, the stopper has fired shots back at the Dutchman.

While the truth remains to be seen, the incident has set tongues wagging so today we’re asking who is football’s biggest diva?

Have your say in today’s poll and let us know if we’ve missed anyone using the comments below or by giving us the heads-up on Twitter.

But first, here’s Valdes firing back at Van Gaal, with apparent proof that he was more than happy to muck in with the Old Trafford reserves.

Carlos Tevez – Manchester City

While Valdes’ refusal to play for the red half of Manchester is debatable, Carlos Tevez’s for the blue half is not. Benched for a 2011 Champions League match against Bayern Munich, the Argentine refused to warm-up when requested by then-manager Roberto Mancini. A self-imposed strike ensued – basically a golfing holiday in South America – before both sides admitted defeat and Carlitos returned.


Mario Balotelli – Manchester City

Narrowing it down to a single moment for Mario “Why Always Me” Balotelli was a tiresome task. His failed trick shot against LA Galaxy and on-pitch spat with Aleksandar Kolarov were just two things that led to bust-ups with Mancini. But things came to a head when the pair fought – for real – in training.

Pierre van Hooijdonk – Nottingham Forest

Apparently fed up with Forest’s inability to strengthen the squad following their promotion to the Premier League in 1998 Van Hooijdonk refused to play and instead went to train with Dutch outfit NAC Breda.

Forest would not allow him to leave, however, and a stand-off lasting until November ensued. He eventually returned, but was not welcomed with open arms by the management, his team-mates or the Forest fans.


Peter Odemwingie – West Brom

The Baggies striker didn’t exactly throw a tantrum, but by camping out in the QPR car park all day on transfer deadline day in January 2013 in a failed bid to force through a move to the R’s, the Nigerian ace makes the list. A peaceful protest it may have been but still an example of a player going to drastic lengths when things don’t go their way!


Paolo Di Canio – Sheffield Wednesday

You kick an opponent and grab them around the face during a match and you expect to be given your marching orders.

Not so Di Canio who took exception to the red card Paul Alcock showed him in his ill-fated game against Arsenal in 1998. The Italian’s push on the ref is perhaps the most famous of a long line of fiery moments!

France World Cup 2010 Squad

After arguing with manager Raymond Domenech in 2010 striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home from South Africa but rather than bring harmony to the squad the France boss was faced with a revolt.

Apparently led by Patrice Evra, the entire playing staff then refused to train and released a statement declaring their displeasure and distrust in the FFF, Domenech and a rumoured “traitor” within the squad.

The row came after a 0-0 draw with Uruguay and a 2-0 defeat to Mexico and after losing the next game to the hosts 2-1 France were sent packing – coming bottom of a winnable Group A.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.