We’re all prone to bouts of anger from time to time and sportsmen are no exception to this.

It doesn’t matter what sport you play, tensions are always bound to rise when you play at a high level.

Where some players can leave the field of play with a smile on their face, regardless of the outcome, others struggle to contain their…passion.

Whether they’re winning or losing, there have been a few moments throughout sporting history when certain players have revealed their inner demons. Although these players might prefer to forget these little storm-in-a-teacup moments, the internet has immortalised them forever – let’s hope they can look back and laugh at them now…

McBrat Strops in Stockholm

There was a time when American pro tennis player John McEnroe was known as ‘SuperBrat’. First bursting on to the scene in 1977, McEnroe won the mixed doubles with Mary Carillo at the French Open at the tender age of 18. That same year he qualified at Wimbledon and made it through to the Semi-Finals, eventually losing to Jimmy Connors. It was only after turning pro, a couple of years later, that McEnroe started to gain his reputation for being somewhat outspoken on the tennis court.

In 1984 ‘McBrat’ was captured at the very peak of his playing (and yelling) abilities, as the umpire got the rough end of a tirade that lasted for longer than anyone would have expected. Video replays later proved him to be correct in his assertion, but not so righteous in his reaction:


Messi’s Boot Throwing Tantrum

Even the best players in the world suffer from the odd case of bad luck. Messi has earned himself the title of one of the best footballer’s to have graced the pitch but he’s also known to be a little dramatic when it comes to the treatment of referees. The five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or has been a prolific goal scorer for his club since he started playing professionally in 2005. However, despite scoring over 500 goals for his club, he’s still prone to the occasional lapse in judgement.

Last year, whilst battling against Spanish competitors Sevilla, Messi was penalised for time-wasting after his boot was ripped apart by a passing opponent. Instead of taking the referee’s decision on the chin, the Argentinian international lost his temper and threw the offending shoe off the pitch. This outburst led to him being given a yellow-card which, no doubt, did little to improve his mood. Thankfully, Messi buys his footwear in wholesale, so there was a fresh pair on hand for him to continue the match.


Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce’s Penalty Passion

Affectionately known as ‘Psycho’ by Nottingham Forest supporters, and eventually the rest of the country; Pierce’s reputation as an unrelenting football player followed him throughout his playing career and well into his later life as a manager. Pearce’s position as a defender ensured that he was constantly challenging the opposition and his aggressive style of play was always noted by his fellow players. Fellow England team mate, Matthew Le Tissier, described Pearce as his ‘scariest opponent’.

Pearce may well have had the reputation of being an aggressive player, but his fouling record wasn’t necessarily worse than any other player of the time. Despite not having played professionally since 2002, he is still revered as one of the fiercest players of the sport; this celebration after his successful penalty at Euro ’96 is a good example of why he was loved so much by fans: