6 famous footballers who were involved in slapping incidents like Will Smith did to Chris Rock

Here are six famous footballers who slapped or got slapped in the middle of a match.

Football players getting slapped just like Will Smith did Chris Rock

Multi-award winning actor, Will Smith slapped Multi-award winning comedian and actor, Chris Rock across the face at the live broadcast of the Oscars over a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.

In honour of that shocking moment, here are six football players who have been slapped by their colleagues in the middle of a match on live television in ascending order of recency.

Ex-West Ham and Italian striker Paolo Di Canio is known for being a fierce character but his actions on September 4 2004 might have gone a little too far.

Di Canio had just rejoined Lazio and in his first game back in Italy after eight years in the UK and on his long-awaited second debut, Lazio were awarded a penalty which Simone Inzaghi (brother of the legendary Filipo Inzaghi and current coach of Inter Milan) wanted to take as was his right as the designated penalty taker before Di Canio's arrival.

A scuffle ensued between both strikers which ended with Di Canio slapping Inzaghi, scoring the penalty which turned out to be the only goal of that game and then calling him ‘selfish’ and ‘gutless’ after the game.

And in an interview two years later, Di Canio made comments which suggested he was not over the incident, “With Inzaghi, it was my first game after 16 years away from Lazio, my Lazio, with the score 0-0 and a penalty awarded – you need a brain the size of a peanut to think that I wouldn’t take it”.

Didier Drogba's slap on Nemanja Vidic is viewed retrospectively as the moment that cost Chelsea the Champions League final in 2008.

Manchester United and Chelsea players had been involved in an altercation which led to a confrontation between the pair after which Drogba slapped Vidic five minutes to the end of extra time.

Drogba's slap was more like a tap on the cheek but Vidic went down like he was hit by a grenade.

Of course, Joey Barton is involved in an article about violent footballers although this time he was on the receiving end of the slap.

But don’t be fooled, Barton is never blameless as he reacted angrily to Gervinho going down easily in search of a penalty by pulling up the Ivorian winger in a fierce encounter between Newcastle and Arsenal in August 2011.

Barton’s action led to a 22-man melee which ended with Gervinho slapping him and then getting sent off in what was his Premier League debut for Arsenal while Barton stayed on the pitch.

Having just conceded twice in two minutes to go down 3-2 late in the second half, the pressure of losing his first official game as Bayern Munich head coach overwhelmed Pep Guardiola.

The coach angrily slapped fellow Spaniard and Bayern debutant, Thiago Alcantara, on the face in the 76th minute of the 2013 German Super Cup which he lost 4-2 to Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund.

Liverpool thrashed Swansea 4-1 at Anfield in a league game back in December 2014 but the most memorable part of the game was Raheem Sterling slapping Argentine defender Federico Fernandez on the cheek.

The then 25-year old Fernandez tapped Sterling at the back of the head harmlessly to which the 19-year old Englishman responded with a slap right in front of the linesman.

The most mind-boggling part of the ordeal was that Sterling managed to avoid even a yellow card or any form of retrospective punishment for what was clearly violent conduct.

In an MLS game in 2018 between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Montreal Impact, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off after 41 minutes for slapping opponent Michael Petrasso.

Petrasso was walking backwards and seemingly stepped on Zlatan by mistake to which the Swedish legend overreacted with a hot slap on the back of his head and neck.

Ibrahimovic then went down in rather embarrassing fashion trying to fool the referee but the right call was eventually made upon VAR review and Zlatan was sent off.

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