Biggest player-manager bust-ups after Nasri lifted lid on Mancini feud

Ferguson kicking a boot into Beckham’s face, Mick McCarthy sending Roy Keane home from Japan, and Anelka’s World Cup fallout with Domenech: The biggest player-manager bust-ups after Nasri lifted the lid on his feud with Mancini

  • Samir Nasri detailed a furious dispute he had with Roberto Mancini at Man City
  • The Frenchman admitted he almost threw his boots at his Italian manager 
  • It is not the first time details of player-manager bust-ups have been made public
  • Roy Keane’s bust-up with Mick McCarthy at the 2002 World Cup made headlines
  • Sir Alex Ferguson also launched a boot at David Beckham’s face at Man Utd  

It’s an inevitability in the high-stakes, results-based industry of professional football. With so much on the line, tempers can fray and disagreements – sometimes irreversible – are bound to happen. 

A title winner with Manchester City in 2012, Samir Nasri this week detailed how he fell out with manager Roberto Mancini as they closed in on the crown, admitting he almost threw his boots at the Italian. 

They patched things up though and eventually won the title. Yet with some footballing feuds, there’s no turning back. Sportsmail now takes a look at the most high-profile biggest player-manager bust-ups. 

Samir Nasri recalls insulting manager Roberto Mancini during a fiery dispute at Man City

Nasri (right) patched things up with Mancini (left) as they delivered City’s first PL title in 2012


We start with the Italian again, who certainly had some issues managing some big egos in his City side. 

Earlier in the 2011-12 title-winning season, Carlos Tevez went AWOL after refusing to come on as a sub in a Champions League game at Bayern Munich. 

But an even more public falling-out came in the 2012 pre-season tour of the United States, when the enigma that is Mario Balotelli attempted to score a one-on-one with an audacious back-heel, which didn’t come off. 

Mancini was furious with the disrespect shown towards opponents LA Galaxy and immediately hauled Balotelli off, where the pair argued on the side of the pitch in front of the cameras.


The Saipan incident in the build-up to the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan will go down as one of the most famous and high-profile fallouts in modern-day football. 

Roy Keane was the Republic of Ireland’s titanic captain, while Mick McCarthy was the manager. Preparing on the island of Saipan in the Pacific Island, Keane was unimpressed with the facilities and the camp did not match his expectations. 

The Man Utd midfielder than gave an interview where he questioned the preparation and, as news of Keane’s unhappiness became public, McCarthy challenged his skipper and then accused him of faking an injury in a previous play-off for the World Cup.  

Roy Keane was the Republic of Ireland’s titanic captain, while Mick McCarthy was the manager

Keane’s tirade then went as follows: ‘Mick, you’re a liar… you’re a f****** w*****. I didn’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager, and I don’t rate you as a person. 

‘You’re a f****** w***** and you can stick your World Cup up your a***. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country!’ 

McCarthy then abruptly held a press conference announcing that he had sent Keane home. Ireland went on to reach the last-16, where they lost to Spain on penalties. 

The pair infamously fell out in Saipan in 2002, with Keane sent home ahead of the World Cup 


A relationship which was so tight-knit when Beckham emerged through the academy into the first-team as part of the ‘Class of ’92’ fell to pieces in 2003. 

Following an FA Cup defeat at home to fierce rivals Arsenal, Beckham was in the Ferguson firing line, amid an accused drop in work-rate as links with Real Madrid continued to surface. 

With a row of boots between the pair in the changing-room, Ferguson kicked a boot after Beckham swore and it struck the England captain in the face, leaving him with a cut above his eye. 

Beckham stood up to have another pop before Ferguson said: ‘Sit down. You’ve let your team down. You can argue as much as you like.’

The story was in the papers the next day, with Beckham’s cut visible on his face and covered with a plaster. That summer, he moved to Real Madrid. 

Sir Alex Ferguson kicked a boot at David Beckham in 2003, resulting in a scar above his eye  


France’s 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa was calamitous from start to finish. 

Nicolas Anelka – at Chelsea at the time – was known for being difficult to manage, as France boss Raymond Domenech found out here.   

After losing to Mexico in the group-stage, Anelka launched a rant at Domenech. The striker was sent home, and the relationship between the playing squad and staff blew up. 

France lost to hosts South Africa in their last game, finishing bottom of their group. 

Nicolas Anelka launched a rant at France boss Raymond Domenech during the 2010 World Cup


Two very big footballing personalities clashed at Newcastle in 2004. 

After being subbed at Charlton, Wales international Bellamy swore at Souness, before the pair engaged in a heated row later in the week. 

Souness physically got hold of Bellamy and asked him to come into the gym with him, before the argument mellowed. 

Yet a few months later, Bellamy feigned injury according to Souness to avoid playing on the wing, and he was shipped out on loan to Celtic for the rest of the season. 

Craig Bellamy and Graeme Souness fell out while at Newcastle United back in 2004 


In 2012, Fiorentina head coach lost his job after becoming enraged at Serbian player Adem Ljajic. 

After Ljajic had sarcastically applauded his manager following being substituted, the manager flung himself at his player in the dug-out, with stunned staff having to separate the pair.

Fiorentina immediately removed the coach and Rossi was also handed a three-month ban from Italian football.

Fiorentina coach Delio Rossi (left) after he flung himself towards Serbian forward Adem Ljajic

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