Last week we witnessed the fallout between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber as well as the spectacular fight between Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna for the Rebels, leaving the team in a state of tatters. This led to a great chat between Marcel Sigg from Run Ride Dive and myself, wondering just how many team mates have wanted to kill each other over the years. That discussion has led to this list, the top 10 feuding team mates in sport.
10. Barry Bonds vs. Jeff Kent, Baseball
In June 2002, as the Giants headed toward the World Series, Bonds and Kent, who had a long-running “behind-the-scenes” feud (that everyone knew about), finally went public, as their brawl in the Giants dugout was caught on video. “Just add that to the half a dozen times we’ve done it before. It’s no big deal,” Kent said. No big deal. In the brawl’s immediate aftermath, Kent reportedly said to Baker, “I want off this team.” Kent signed with the Astros as a free agent after the 2002 season ended.
9. Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, Formula 1
When Alonso arrived at Mclaren as a double world champion, he believed that he would get star man treatment. Instead he was put on an equal bill with Lewis Hamilton. This started his annoyance and in the Hungarian Grand Prix, it was rumoured that Hamilton had the stewards investigate Alonso, resulting in a 5 place penalty. The relationship tethered and the two drivers were not speaking for the remainder of the season. Alonso lasted just one season at Mclaren!
8. David Batty and Graeme le Saux, Football
In his autobiography, Le Saux cites this spat as symbolising the fall from grace of Blackburn’s title-winning side of the mid-’90s. During a Champions League first round match at Spartak Moscow, the full-back took the ball off gritty Yorkshireman Batty but miscued a pass out for a throw-in. Batty berated Le Saux, Le Saux threw a punch, and the ensuing melee earned them both a two-game European ban.
7. Michael Clarke and Simon Katich, Cricket
Former Australia opener Simon Katich didn’t take too kindly to Michael Clarke’s suggestion that they hurry up and sing the team victory song as they sat celebrating a Test win in the SCG dressing room during the 2008/09 season. Pup was eager to get head out for dinner with then fiancee Lara Bingle and stuff the team-comes-first ethos. The old school Kat grabbed Clarke by the throat and held him up against a wall, basically signing his cricketing death warrant in the process.
6. Freddie Ljungberg and Olof Mellberg, Football
Ahead of the 2002 World Cup, the gathered media bore witness to some undignified wrestling, which came after Mellberg’s late sliding tackle on his teammate. Ljungberg, not known for his short temper, bounced back up to push Mellberg, who retaliated by grabbing the Arsenal midfielder by his jersey. Both players ended up rolling on the floor, taking an innocent third party with them, before being pulled apart by teammates and coaches.
5. Danny Cipriani and Josh Lewsey, Rugby
When rugby players clash they really mean business, and former Army man Josh Lewsey was in no mood to take any stick from young team-mate Danny Cipriani as they clashed during a heated defensive drill at Wasps in 2008. Cipriani apparently threatened Lewsey to watch his mouth, but he should have been watching his fists as World Cup winner Lewsey then laid out his team-mate with a knockout punch that left him with a cut lip and nose.
4. Eyal Berkovic and John Hartson, Football
Frankly, you’d have to be mental to upset big John Hartson. So, one can only assume Eyal Berkovic is indeed mental. The not-so-big Israeli took offence to a strong tackle from Hartson during a West Ham training session and responded with a quite frankly pathetic punch on the big Welshman’s leg. Hartson’s response was instant, with a powerful kick to the head knocking Berkovic back to the floor. Unluckily for Hartson, the whole incident was captured on camera which meant he made history by becoming the first player to be charged with misconduct for a training ground incident. The best bit of all? You can watch it all again here.
3. John Arne Riise and Craig Bellamy, Football
John Arne Riise’s refusal to sing karaoke annoyed his Liverpool team-mate Craig Bellamy so much he attacked him with a golf club while he was sleeping. It all ended well though when the pair celebrated a goal against Barcelona with a ‘golf swing’ celebration. So that’s okay then.
2. Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer, Football
Probably the most famous feud, was the feud between Newcastle pair Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer back in 2005. With the team trailing 3-0 at home to Aston Villa, the players were bound to be frustrated, but out of seemingly nowhere, the two were involved in an on-field punch up. The bizarre sight of Villa player Gareth Barry intervening between the two feuding Magpies was an enduring image at the time. Both men were sent off and Newcastle finished the game with eight men as Steven Taylor was sent off for a separate incident.
1. Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, Formula 1
Is there a more famous feud in sporting history? It started in 1988 when Senna joined Prost at Mclaren. From their first incident at the Portuguese Grand Prix, it was evident that these two men, though great drivers, would never be great friends. Senna broke an agreement in 1989 to not overtake on first corner, they crashed each other out in 1989 in the final race giving Prost the title. In 1990 when Prost moved to Ferrari, their dislike continued. It was entertaining, it was bizarre and it was feud worth topping any list.
Who stands out in your memory as the biggest bust-ups in sport? Let me know!