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Lewandowski, Rooney and seven stars who left their clubs on bad terms

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Lewandowski utilized the press to spread the message that he wished to exit the club; Photo/Sky sports
  • Lewandowski utilized the press to spread the message that he wished to exit Bayern, which eventually paid off with Barcelona securing a deal for him.
  • With the nature of football and the vast finances involved in the sport, it’s perhaps unsurprising that players sometimes kick up a fuss when pursuing an exit from a club.
  • The Poland international angered Bayern fans by saying: “My era at Bayern Munich is over

Robert Lewandowski made his desire to leave Bayern Munich very clear during the last few weeks of his time at the club, doing so in a very public war of words between the Polish forward and German champions.

With the nature of football and the vast finances involved in the sport, it’s perhaps unsurprising that players sometimes kick up a fuss when pursuing an exit from a club.

This often tarnishes their reputation at the team they’re leaving and a sour taste lingers in the mouth of that club’s fanbase.

Lewandowski utilized the press to spread the message that he wished to exit the club, which eventually paid off with Barcelona securing a deal for him.

However, while on Poland duty he angered Bayern fans by saying: “My era at Bayern Munich is over. I don’t see any possibility to continue playing for this club anymore.”

“Bayern is a serious club and I hope they will not keep me only because they can do it. A transfer is the best solution. I hope they don’t stop me.”

This riled up those at the club, with many believing he should have shown far more respect.

He isn’t the first to request a move in such a manner, with many before him leaving clubs on less-than-fruitful terms and diminishing their status amongst fans.

Here are 7 players who left clubs on sour terms, just like Lewandowski.

Wayne Rooney – Everton to Manchester United

Rooney was an emerging star when he made his move from Everton to Manchester United, having starred for the Toffees as a teenager.

The Englishman handed in a transfer request to manager David Moyes on a napkin, which opened the door for the Red Devils to make their move.

Rooney later said that it was Everton that forced him out having been troubled by financial issues and that it was Chelsea that offered the most money.

Carlos Tevez – Manchester United to Manchester City

Tevez played for Manchester United between 2007 and 2009, and the Red Devils wanted to make the deal permanent from West Ham.

Carlos Tevez video claims Argentine is football's biggest s***house | GiveMeSport

Tevez played for Manchester United between 2007 and 2009; Photo/Givemesport

They were confident of getting it done and believed Tevez wanted to stay, having been an important part of their Champions League success the year prior.

However, annoyed by the club’s poor communication, he accepted Manchester City’s offer instead and made a cross-town move, angering the United faithful with a ‘Welcome to Manchester’ sign.

Ashley Cole – Arsenal to Chelsea

Cole was involved in one of the messiest transfer sagas in Premier League history, having made a move from Arsenal to Chelsea.

The left-back claimed he almost “crashed his car” when he saw Arsenal’s contract offer, having been offered a £55,000-a-week deal.

He would join Chelsea a year later on a big contract as he would go on to become of the league’s all-time great left-backs during his time at Stamford Bridge.

William Gallas – Chelsea to Arsenal

Involved in the Cole to Chelsea deal, Williams Gallas left Chelsea without much love.

He reportedly refused to play in Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool as he pushed for a move away and is said to have threatened to score an own goal if selected for their fixture against Man City on the opening day of the 2006/07 campaign.

Gallas got his move, with Cole moving in the opposite direction.

Dimitri Payet – West Ham to Marseille

Dimitri Payet’s first season at West Ham was simply majestic. The Frenchman lit up East London with 12 goals and 15 assists and stellar performances week-in, week-out, but it did turn sour.

He even signed a bumper new contract after Euro 2016, but six months later he reportedly told Slaven Bilic he would “never kick a ball again for West Ham” and that turned out true.

Payet was sold back to Marseille, despite the commitment to West Ham he’d signed just months prior.

Cesc Febregas – Arsenal to Barcelona

Despite making his name at Arsenal, many Gunners supporters aren’t the biggest fans of Cesc Fabregas.

The Spanish midfielder joined the club from Barcelona as a youngster and rose to prominence at Arsenal, even captaining the side in his teenage years. He was the club’s best player but soon forced a move back to his boyhood club.

Arsenal had rejected a bid from Barcelona in 2009, but one year later Fabregas was determined to make the transfer happen. He skipped training, exiled himself from the club, and made himself unavailable for the first match of the season.

The Gunners were forced to reluctantly sell the midfielder, but his reputation at the club suffered. It also wasn’t helped by joining London rivals Chelsea and helped them to Premier League glory.

Raheem Sterling – Liverpool to Manchester City

The Englishman came through the QPR academy but joined Liverpool at a very young age before making his senior debut at the Anfield club.

Liverpool fans have entirely predictable reaction to news Raheem Sterling offered to Arsenal in Alexis Sanchez deal - Mirror Online

Sterling Left Liverpool in a manner that still angers fans whenever he is seen at Anfield; Photo/Liverpool echo

The jewel in their young crown, Sterling burst onto the scene and soon formed an epic trio with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. But, when Manchester City came calling, he couldn’t turn down a move.

Sterling told Liverpool he didn’t want to be included in the squad for their pre-season tour of the United States of America and had previously told the BBC he’d turned down an extended deal at the club.

He is still booed whenever he returns to Anfield.


Elias Makokha is a professional Media Practitioner venturing into Corporate Communications, Radio Broadcast and Digital content creation with a keen interest in videography, photography and online Writing. He works well individually and collaboratively with his juniors, peers and seniors. He adheres to the hallmarks of journalism and accurately reports by conducting fact checks from reputable sources before publishing.

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