Mark Clattenburg reveals five most annoying footballers he's refereed

By Amreen
Mark Clattenburg has revealed the five most annoying footballers he's refereed
Mark Clattenburg has revealed the five most annoying footballers he's refereed / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Mark Clattenburg has revealed the five most annoying footballers he has officiated during his tenure as a matchday official, including Roy Keane and Pepe.

Clattenburg was one of the most famous referees, who officiated in the Premier League from 2004-2017. During that time, the Englishman took charge of the Champions League and Euro 2016 final, and was the ref for 576 games in all.

He has seen his share of the "bad boys", and revealed to the Daily Mail, who make the top five. "Bellamy was a nightmare to referee and most of us felt the same," he said. "He would snarl at you and throw his arms around, constantly challenging you. His language was awful, just plain rude.

"As a referee, it is difficult when you have a problem player like that because you are drawn to him and it's a distraction. Because I'm a Newcastle fan, I had the luxury of never refereeing him when I started. I just wish he had stayed at Newcastle for a bit longer!"

Clattenburg also worked alongside Roy Keane as a pundit during the 2018 World Cup, and admitted that the former Manchester United man also features on his list. "When he played he was hard to manage," the former official explained.

"...Remember the incident with Andy D'Urso when he screamed in his face, that attempt to bully the referee is what he was like. You just couldn't trust Roy either. You never knew if he was going to blow up or do something nasty, like the tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland. That was a disgrace, it was pre-meditated.

"He always came across as stone-cold and wanted to be the hard man. That causes problems for referees because the ego kicks in and it becomes a fight, like it did between him and Patrick Vieira."

Clattenburg added that former Real Madrid defender, Pepe, also made his list. "He was another player you just couldn't trust. A game could be easy and straightforward then he would do something sly. He was a wind-up merchant and not fun to referee one bit, you had to be on your guard constantly."

Jon Obi Mikel and Jens Lehmann were the final two names on the list, with Clattenburg adding, "He [Lehmann] was just so irritable and never stopped, one of those miserable blokes who would whinge about everything and everyone.

"If the ball was round, he would whinge. If the ball was white, he would whinge. You would think, 'Just give it a rest'.

"He was a great goalkeeper but I honestly think this was a weakness in him and other teams identified that. They would stand on his toes at corners and he would react by pushing them.

"I knew players were provoking him but he was probably lucky to avoid being sent off and giving away penalties, as would happen now. But he would do snidey, little things himself that made it difficult and I didn't enjoy refereeing him at all. He was erratic and his antics were not easy to deal with."