Many footballers have performed well against their former clubs on football’s biggest stages, but the sting is worse when it was a player who was loved by his old employers’ fans. Here are eight stars who caused their ex-team anguish, including a certain Angel di Maria!
Click through the gallery above to see eight players who hurt their former clubs.
Upon his return to Old Trafford on Tuesday night in the UEFA Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain winger Di Maria was met with hostility. The Argentine spent just a season at the Red Devils before leaving to the French giants in 2015.
Many had high hopes when he joined United from Real Madrid for a mammoth transfer fee of €75 million (R1.1billion), but things did not quite work out. It was reported that Di Maria felt uneasy in England after his Manchester home was broken into, leading to his eventual exit.
The winger was in sublime form in PSG’s 2-0 win over United on Tuesday night, where he assisted both goals to give his team a great chance of qualifying for the quarter-final stage. Di Maria was spotted gesturing to the home crowd on a few occasions and did not hold back while celebrating Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe’s strikes.
Ex-United forward Robin van Persie features in the list for leaving his mark on Arsenal twice in his debut campaign at the Red Devils. The Dutchman joined Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in 2012 and was a Premier League winner less than a year later.
That season, Van Persie scored in both EPL fixtures against the Gunners and famously walked through a guard of honour given to league winners United by his former colleagues.
Emmanuel Adebayor returned to haunt Arsenal in 2009 in a game with Manchester City, after he scored an ran the length of the field to celebrate in front of the London club’s fans, who had been jeering him all game. The Togo legend picked up a fine of €25 000 (R436 000), but has insisted many times that he has no regrets over his actions.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored several times against Manchester United in his career, most famously in the 2012/13 campaign when he struck in both round of 16 legs to help Real Madrid send his ex-club packing.
Although he did not score in either of Inter Milan’s semi-final clashes against FC Barcelona in the 2009/10 season, it was Samuel Eto’o who had the last laugh after being sold by Pep Guardiola in the campaign before. Inter Milan, under the management of Jose Mourinho, won the Champions League that season with the Cameroonian starting every game in Europe.
Having been left go by both Inter Milan and AC Milan, Andrea Pirlo’s success with Juventus from 2011-2015 certainly would not have put a smile on his former employers’ faces. Alvaro Morata is also included in the gallery for helping Juve knock Real out of the UCL at the semi-final stage in the 2014/15 campaign.
Mohamed Salah had a similar impact against Roma last season in Europe, when he struck twice for Liverpool in their semi-final first leg over the Giallorossi. Salah avoided celebrating on both occasions out of respect for his former club.
Can you name any other players who haunted their former teams? Let us know in the comments section below.