For­mer Man­ches­ter City play­er Joey Bar­ton has become the most hat­ed foot­baller in his­to­ry.

A foot­ball play­er is a pro­fes­sion­al ath­lete who earns a lot of mon­ey by play­ing the game. He is not always a mod­el of moral­i­ty, good behav­ior or intel­li­gence. Many foot­ball play­ers (espe­cial­ly from Africa and Latin Amer­i­ca) gen­er­al­ly grow up in an envi­ron­ment where foot­ball is one of the few social ele­va­tors, and the oth­er path is a crim­i­nal group or some­thing worse.

There­fore, they often allow them­selves too much. You don’t need to look far for exam­ples. You can stay in Rus­sia. Arshavin with his sig­na­ture “The fact that we did not live up to your expec­ta­tions is your prob­lem”, Mamaev and Koko­rin beat­ing a restau­rant vis­i­tor with a chair are vivid exam­ples of this.

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But this is only the region­al lev­el. What hap­pens if we look at the his­to­ry of world foot­ball in a cross-sec­tion and try to find the most hat­ed foot­ball play­er, who shocked every­one with his actions and words. Who will become such a hero (or bet­ter yet, a vil­lain)? Every­thing has already been done for us. has com­piled a list of the most hat­ed foot­ball play­ers in his­to­ry based on user vot­ing.

For­mer Man­ches­ter City mid­field­er Joey Bar­ton was named the most hat­ed play­er. The sec­ond place was tak­en by the for­mer pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (FIFA) Joseph Blat­ter, the third was the world cham­pi­on in the Ger­man nation­al team Har­ald Schu­mach­er. In fourth place is the for­mer head of the Union of Euro­pean Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tions Michel Pla­ti­ni. Fifth was for­mer Sene­gal strik­er El-Had­ji Diouf.

Bar­ton is a good con­tender for the top spot. Jour­nal­ists note that he was a good foot­ball play­er, but a neg­a­tive per­son. “Stuff­ing out a lit cig­ar on a young player’s eye? Numer­ous acts of aggres­sion both on and off the field? Bla­tant­ly dis­gust­ing social media attacks on women in foot­ball?”

And here it is worth not­ing that the biog­ra­phy of Joey Bar­ton is excel­lent proof of the the­sis that many pro­fes­sion­al foot­ball play­ers are peo­ple who do not have many social ele­va­tors in life. He grew up in a work­ing-class fam­i­ly, he does not have an excel­lent edu­ca­tion, and the peo­ple with whom he grew up are not mod­els of decen­cy and virtue. For exam­ple, his broth­er is serv­ing life for his role in the racial­ly charged mur­der of Antho­ny Walk­er in 2005.