Sunday’s Carabao Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester City saw Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be substituted in extra-time after suffering a knock, leading to some insane reactions by coach Maurizio Sarri. This was not the first time a player disobeyed his manager’s decisions. Here are such players who refused to be substituted during a a match.
During his time at AC Milan, Swedish football legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic blatantly refused to come off after suffering a knock. Ibrahimovic scored a spectacular semi-overhead kick against Fiorentina in 2010. He then injured himself while celebrating the goal with his traditional fist-pump. Milan’s coach at that time, Max Allegri thought of substituting the Swede but Zlatan turned down the decision.
Roberto Mancini,Carlos Tevez,James Milner
While playing for Manchester City, Carlos Tevez saw his number being pulled up on the sidelines as part of a substitution planned by Roberto Mancini before the final whistle against Bolton Wanderers in 2010. He signalled to the manager that he did not want to come off but eventually gave in to the reaction from the bench. Rather than simply soaking up the applause from the Eastlands faithful, Tevez then opted to publicly contest his manager’s decision to remove him from the action.
Lukasz Fabianski got injured when he suffered a collision with a striker in a match against Tottenham Hotspur. The board went up for Fabianski to be replaced by reserve goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt, but the Poland international made it clear he was staying put. Mauricio Pochettino’s side trailed 1-0 until Alli struck in the 88th minute to equalise and Spurs sealed a stunning comeback against Swansea, with three late goals from Dele Alli, Heung Min Son and Christian Eriksen. Fabianski collided with Vincent Janssen in the 81st minute and a stretcher was sent on for the former Arsenal player, but he got to his feet, waved the stretcher away and decided to continue playing.
In 2014, the then Barcelona coach Luis Enrique attempted to withdraw Lionel Messi from a Liga clash against Eibar with his side three goals ahead including the Argentine being on the scoresheet. Enrique made it clear that Messi would be rested for the final 15 minutes of the match, only for the forward to gesture back that he wanted to stay on the field. The two engaged in a war of hand-waving before Messi turned away his head, walking further up the field and ignoring his boss’ pleas. Neymar was eventually replaced as Munir El Haddadi took the field.
Cristiano Ronaldo,Xabi Alonso
Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo refused to get subbed off while playing for Real Madrid in a crucial UEFA Champions League quarter-final encounter against Bayern Munich in April 2017. Zidane thought it would be right to replace Ronaldo with Asensio as Bayern were leading 2-1 in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, thus keeping both sides on equal aggregate scores over two legs. The Portuguese hitman had already scored the solitary goal for Madrid in the 76th minute of normal time. The match went into extra-time and Ronaldo eventually scored again in the 105th and 110th minute and led Los Blancos to victory.
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