2021 is drawing to a close and that period between Christmas and New Year is the period where we traditionally look back at the past 12 months.
It’s been wild. The Euros were a rollercoaster, Europe’s biggest players swapped clubs in the summer transfer window like Edwardian aristocrats and there’s been the usual shits and giggles that have kept us entertained on a daily basis.
We’ve taken the liberty of ranking 2021’s biggest footballing shithouses, increasing in devilry as we progress down the list.
21. Erling Haaland
The Kiricocho curse, explained in depth here, spread quickly throughout Spanish-speaking countries, with supporters embracing the superstition and muttering Kiricocho’s name whenever they wanted to jinx an opposition player.
So, when Sevilla keeper Bono saved a penalty from Erling Haaland in March, it was no surprise to learn he’d uttered it. But Haaland took his revenge, shouting the same thing back at Bono after scoring from his second spot-kick.
He didn’t even know what it meant.
Jajajaja Kiricocho le gritó Bono a Haaland, pero en el segundo tiro de penal tuvo que meterse ese Kiricocho ya saben por donde 😜😜😜pic.twitter.com/TGnIqjXei0
— Borussia Dortmund Costa Rica (@docrtmund) March 10, 2021
20. Raheem Sterling
As the people of Denmark will tell you, Sterling is often gravitationally-challenged. And he donned water-wings before flopping to the floor during Manchester City’s Boxing Day victory over Leicester.
Dive of the Season so far: Raheem Sterling 🐬 pic.twitter.com/h1km8uroRI
— LFCTrey ✪ (@LFC__Trey) December 26, 2021
19. Sergio Ramos
Not the finest bit of shithousery of his career, not by a long chalk. But Sergio Ramos wanted to remind us that he’s not lost it since swapping Madrid for Paris.
He remains football’s Severus Snape.
Sergio Ramos has been sent off!
The 27th red card of his professional career 🟥
Some things never change 😅 pic.twitter.com/Vc8zM6Xpf2
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 22, 2021
Three English-based players – Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero and Emi Martinez – flouted local Covid restrictions to represent Argentina in a World Cup qualifier against Brazil.
But Anvisa were having none of it. Rejecting the exemption outright, the group of health officials headed straight to the stadium – only to get stuck in notorious Sao Paulo traffic.
Upon arrival, they interrupted the match and forced it to be abandoned. We advise you plump your cushions and check out the glorious carnage in the clip below.
Brazil vs Argentina
Emi Martinez, Cristian Romero, Emi Buendia & Lo Celso lied about having been in England within the last 2 weeks in order to enter Brazil
Anvisa (an organ from Brazil’s Health Ministry) was alerted about this breach earlier today.
— Sid Razali ฏ๎๎๎๎๎๎๎ (@sidchan) September 6, 2021
17. Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta
Arteta is normally so poised and controlled. Which made his Scrappy-Doo impression on the Anfield touchline even more amusing.
Klopp gives it back with both barrels and the whole scene was reminiscent of closing time at your local – a sign that both managers had fully embraced English culture.
It’s all kicking off… 😡
Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp come face to face on the touchline!
📺 Watch Liverpool v Arsenal on Saturday Night Football on Sky Sports pic.twitter.com/dZJgnSefqc
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 20, 2021
16. Atilla Fiola
We can’t imagine how it’d feel to score for your country at a major tournament. Losing your collective shit seems like one of the more rational reactions.
Smashing up a journalist’s desk, causing her skin to leap 100ft into the air, is probably taking it too far.
At least Fiola, scorer for Hungary against France at Euro 2020, apologised.
— Matthew C. Wallace (@OverTheMic) June 21, 2021
15. Leonardo Bonucci
“It’s coming to Rome.”
Fair play, Mr Bonucci, fair play.
14. Erik Lamela
The delay between Anthony Martial’s (very light) slap and Lamela’s reaction is the icing on this shithouse cake. A masterclass from one of the best. We miss you, Erik.
Farewell Erik Lamela. Thanks for the rabonas, the nutmegs, Anthony Martial’s red card, the goal against Man Utd and winning that penalty at Liverpool. Eight years! It’s been entertaining and incredibly frustrating pic.twitter.com/aLuA8oavdE
— Jude Summerfield (@judesummerfield) July 20, 2021
13. Neil Warnock
Gifting fans signed photographs of himself, that he carried around in a bum bag, Warnock reached peak Colin over the summer.
Give the man a statue.
Neil Warnock and his signed photos are the single greatest thing about this summer’s pre-season.
The man is a national treasure.
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) August 4, 2021
12. Nicolas Otamendi
Rumours that Otamendi has enrolled in the Lisbon School of Amateur Dramatics are clearly untrue. This man is already a professional.
O OTAMENDI A AGARRAR A CARA AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH pic.twitter.com/i2utTcT9sQ
— Taremito (@rricardo__) December 24, 2021
Despite a strong challenge from neighbours Arsenal over recent years, Tottenham remain the Premier League’s banter club.
Having been announced as a club sponsor in April, Dulux couldn’t resist posting a picture of an empty trophy cabinet on social media, claiming it would be too dusty to paint and suggesting that the Dulux dog “might do a better job” at centre-half than Eric Dier.
In fairness, they’re probably right on that last point.
Spurs getting flamed by Dulux literally minutes after announcing a new sponsorship deal with them is a mood. pic.twitter.com/mA3wHbXLBc
— Will Magee (@W_F_Magee) April 15, 2021
10. Kaio Jorge
“You’ve got to be street smart in football,” Kaio Jorge said after this magnificent, Oscar-worthy performance.
“I saw that I was being marked and the way of trying to trick my opponent was tying my laces. I did what I could to score the goal, to be as free as possible. Pirani put the ball in and I managed to score.”
The force is strong with this one.
9. Hungarian ballboy
Where’s Eden Hazard when you need him?
8. Emiliano Martinez
He may have taken out a long-term lease in the subconscious of Bruno Fernandes but Martinez’s antics in the Copa America represent the unbeatable debut album in his catalogue of shithousery.
During the penalty shootout between Argentina and Colombia, the Aston Villa goalkeeper reminded Yerry Mina of his nerves, insisted he knew where the penalty was going and shouted “I’m eating you up” right at the last second before guessing correctly and saving the spot-kick.
No wonder the Everton defender crumbled.
Great mind games from Emi Martinez 🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/pACn2Bto30
— Photos of Football (@photosofootball) July 7, 2021
7. Eden Hazard
Catching up with your former team-mates isn’t necessarily a bad thing (unless you’re Roy Keane).
Laughing your head off after losing a Champions League semi-final having made no impact since joining your current club takes the piss.
At least Hazard’s lack of self-awareness inspired the hilariously po-faced reaction from Spanish TV outlet El Chiringutio.
“Hazard can’t continue at Real Madrid one second longer!”
How Spanish media outlet, El Chiringuito TV, reacted to images of Eden Hazard congratulating his former Chelsea teammates 😳
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 6, 2021
6. Daniel Levy
For sacking Jose Mourinho the week before facing Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final.
For reneging on his gentleman’s agreement with Harry Kane, chaining him to the radiator and denying him a move away from Spurs.
And for saying the following with a straight face: “I’ve spoken already about the need to revert back to our core DNA of playing attacking, entertaining football and Fabio and I believe Nuno is the man who can take our talented group of players, embrace our young players coming through and build something special.”
Take a bow, Daniel Levy.
5. Ciro Immobile
The greatest resurrection since Jesus Christ.
Immobile vs Belgium best skill & goals pic.twitter.com/W9qt3ezqQj
— Marco Arcaleni (@marcaleni) July 2, 2021
4. Florentino Perez
The whole Super League saga was the final nail in the coffin for the idea that football regulators and club owners gave a solitary eff about supporters.
But, even in this collection of rogues, Florentino Perez took the breath away with his insistent ignorance.
Highlights included this wild claim: “Young people are no longer interested in football. They have other platforms on which to distract themselves.”
Essentially, he was arguing that football needed to shorten games because of reduced attention spans and the project would benefit the whole football pyramid and definitely wasn’t about rescuing the finances of infamously poor church mice Real Madrid.
In short, a pillock. But the threat of a European Super League still lurks in the background.
Florentino Perez has hit back at threats from UEFA and FIFA, claiming the European Super League will save football.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 20, 2021
3. Antonio Rudiger
Bodychecking Kevin de Bruyne into the Atlantic Ocean was one thing. Acting as a self-appointed peacemaker during the scrap between Chelsea and Leeds while doing everything possible to inflame the situation was another.
But biting Paul Pogba was some elite-level shithousery. The Chelsea defender, perhaps mistaking Pogba for a BBQ chicken wing, nibbled his opponent during the Euro 2020 match between France and Germany.
On ITV, Mark Pougatch missed a golden opportunity to ask Keane about the difference between a bite and a nibble. He has form in that area.
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 15, 2021
2. Giorgio Chiellini
Part of the Italy backline that broke English hearts over the summer, the image of Chiellini tugging Bukayo Saka by his collar was the visual embodiment of middle-aged cynicism.
But that wasn’t the highlight of the 37-year-old’s summer. After Italy and Spain had slugged it out during an epic semi-final, captain Chiellini won the game for his country with a performative spooking of his Spanish counterpart, Jordi Alba.
Spying an opportunity to gain the psychological upper hand, he started to laugh and joke before playfully punching Alba in the face and giving him a bear hug.
Shithousery of the highest standard. We’re in awe.
— OGCOM (@OGambling) July 6, 2021
Ladies and gentlemen, a true hero of our time and our Shithouse of the Year 2021. Sensational stuff.
Deyverson é aquele cara que não acredita em tapinha nas costas. pic.twitter.com/bENnB0kd86
— Márvio dos Anjos (@marvio) November 27, 2021