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Mark Clattenburg Names The Five Worst Players He Had To Deal With As A Referee

Adnan Riaz

| Last updated 

Mark Clattenburg Names The Five Worst Players He Had To Deal With As A Referee

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has opened up about the most difficult players that he had to officiate during his long-standing career.

The 46-year-old started his career as an assistant referee in the Northern League and continued to climb up the ranks.


Clattenburg began applying his skills in the Premier League in 2004 and was a referee in England's top-flight league until 2017.

The former FIFA referee's honours also included being the match official for the final of the 2016 Euros and final of the 2016 Champions League.

Clattenburg has since opened up about his tough time with five players, which included Manchester United legends Rio Ferdinand and Roy Keane.

Here is what the former top referee told The Daily Mail about the five worst players he had to deal with in his career.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Craig Bellamy

"The worst one -- and I've thought it for years -- was Bellamy. He was just the most irritating player on the pitch -- and he was irritating off it.

"He was downright rude and it didn't matter what you said to him. I made mistakes against him but what he used to say to you, it was not acceptable.

"People say you should have sent him off and I did -- incorrectly for diving.

"I cautioned him at Bolton for diving and it was a blatant penalty. He was a guy I just didn't really get on well with."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Roy Keane

"Roy was physical, hard and you couldn't trust him. Look at the tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland for example.

"You never knew what he was going to do next."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA


"I had a run-in with Pepe in the Champions League final.

"He was a guy who was always difficult because he'd try to frame stuff and wind attackers up to get them sent off, which is not always a great thing when you're trying to referee a football match."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Jens Lehmann

"I used to find Jens Lehmann such hard work.

"He was always difficult because he'd always whinge about people stepping on his toes in the penalty area.

"Centre-forwards would always try and wind him up. A corner would come in and they would give him a little nudge and he'd go ballistic and push players and have arguments with referees.

"He was always a difficult one."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Rio Ferdinand

"I found him difficult to referee during that Fergie era because he was always trying to play mind games.

"He tried to get under your skin, probably to get that next decision.

"He was such a difficult player to referee as he was always in your face. When I got older and a bit more wiser, he probably left us alone more."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, Craig Bellamy, Mark Clattenburg, Rio Ferdinand, Pepe, Roy Keane

Adnan Riaz
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