During his time at Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas became pretty unpopular with Tottenham fans.
The midfield maestro, who broke into Arsenal’s starting XI at just 16 years old, not only had immense talent, but also possessed a fiery streak that sometimes landed him in hot water.
His ire was often aimed at opposition managers who’d ground out results against the Gunners.
When he was only 17, he threw a slice of pizza in a post-match melee that landed in the face of Sir Alex Ferguson. In 2007 he had a run-in with Mark Hughes after his Blackburn side had drawn 0-0 against Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Hughes said: “He came off the pitch and asked me if I had played for Barcelona and when I said that, ‘Yes I did’, he said something to the effect of ‘that wasn’t Barcelona football, was it?'”
He also went toe-to-toe with a manager who would go on to boss Arsenal’s bitter rivals Tottenham.
In 2007, Redknapp’s Portsmouth side managed to nick a goalless draw against Arsene Wenger’s side, and Fabregas wasn’t best pleased.
Fabregas, who now plays for Chelsea after a spell at Barcelona, admits in this week’s A League Of Their Own TV show that he gave Redknapp a bit of grief after the game, but ran scared when the veteran English manager bit back.
He said: “It was at the end of a game with Portsmouth, and it was a nil-nil. I was young and you know, stupid. I want to win and I just saw him there in the tunnel of the Emirates and I just said, ‘Your team plays like s***’. And he just turns round and says, ‘You are a horrible man’. I just ran away. After that, we’ve been best friends. Every time we see each other we hug, we talk.”
At least he knows how to pick his battles.