Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner have all been named in Australia’s squad for the Ashes and it is fair to say that they can expect a frosty reception from the home crowd for their ball-tampering scandal. Fortunately for them, they’re not the only athletes that the British public love to hate. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names that know how to rile up a crowd.
Loved by Chelsea fans, hated by rival supporters. Diego Costa’s time in the Premier League was not short of controversy. Battles with defenders and managers, his spell in England was eventful, to say the least.
The Australian star recently angered fans at Wimbledon following his interesting second-round encounter with Rafael Nadal. The controversial 24-year-old regularly gets booed at events due to his underarm serve, arguing with officials and taunting the crowd.
Boxing legend Mayweather has been regarded as a man who tends to choose the easy option. The 42-year-old regularly posts pictures on social media surrounded by cash, something which doesn’t go down well with most fans.
Famously lifted the Champions League trophy in his full Chelsea kit, despite being suspended for the game in Munich, a move that did not go down well with rival supporters.
The Italian was a real character during his time at Manchester City. An extremely talented forward, but one that would never quite reached his potential.
The Spanish centre-back has always been an unpopular figure around the world, especially in Britain. The defender injured Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the Champions League final back in 2018, which increased his dislike across the country, particularly in Merseyside.
Even though the NBA isn’t one of the most popular sports in Britain, the former LA Lakers star still managed to anger fans. The 40-year-old wasn’t well received in his home country, with his arrogance and selfish play not going down well with many.
American golfer Reed tends to get on the wrong side of the British public, especially in the historic Ryder Cup event. The charismatic star once needed a police escort from Gleneagles following an event after angering the Scottish crowd that much.
Even though he is regarded as one of the nicest professionals off the pitch, former Real Madrid star Pepe certainly hasn’t made many friends on the pitch. The Portuguese defender has angered fans in Britain across the years with his niggly fouls and diving antics.
The sprinter has been banned twice for doping during his career and relishes the opportunity to strengthen his case as public enemy number one in athletics at any given chance.
The USA forward recently starred on the pitch at the Women’s World Cup in France, however, it was her antics off the field that angered many in Britain, especially Piers Morgan, as the USA inflicted defeat on England in the semi-final.
Joey Barton was a true pantomime villain. A no-nonsense, tough-tackling midfielder. He was never afraid to tell it how it was and he certainly had a few run-ins with opposition supporters.
Former Australia captain Ponting was the man who the British public used to target any time they arrived for the Ashes. The skilful batsman endured some tricky times in England towards the back end of his career, something which delighted the British crowd.
The Brazilian angered supporters on the international stage for Brazil, picking up a reputation for diving and play-acting instead of showcasing his brilliant natural talent.
Pietersen was one of the most loved sportsmen in Britain in the summer of 2012, however, that all changed after a series of texts. The former England batsman exchanged derogatory messages with the South Africa team shortly before a match, which ultimately ended his positive relationship with many cricket fans in Britain.
Vettel has been involved in a long-standing rivalry with British favourite Lewis Hamilton over the years. The German driver has come out on top in several F1 drivers’ championships; however, it is Hamilton who is currently winning the battle between the two.
Gerwyn Price is not your traditional darts player. On the oche, he’s boisterous, passionate and isn’t afraid to rile up his opponent to try and gain an advantage. As a result, he is often greeted with boos during his walk-on after becoming darts’ pantomime villain.