Footballers and Twitter... two powerful forces that should never have collided.
But collided they have, leading some of most brilliantly hilarious and cringe worthy banter in sporting history. Particularly when the footballers take it upon themselves to have a right pop at each other – the hashtaggable equivalent of shouting "Oi, come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!" from across the park.
And thanks to Jamie Carragher and Mario Balotelli, it's been kicking off again the last few days. To celebrate, here are 13 of Twitter's most epic footballer spats.
Carragher v Balotelli
The always amusing Carragher took a swipe a Balotelli's free transfer to Nice last week after the Italian's absolute mare of a time at Liverpool...
Balotelli on a free is still paying over the odds by Nice.— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) 31 August 2016
... to which Balotelli replied with this nice bit of clip art sass...
...prompting Carragher to wish Balotelli well in his future endeavours. Sort of.
I wish him well in getting the Ballon D'Or at Nice. https://t.co/qnlwCDInTi— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) 4 September 2016
Gary Lineker puts the boots to Roberto Soldado
Back in March 2014 Messi's fancy footwork gave Lineker a professional crisis...
Messi makes me realise how shit I was!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) 12 March 2014
... until yet another disappointing Soldado performance at Tottenham reminded of what we all knew all along.
Soldado makes me realise I wasn't that shit.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) 20 March 2014
Joey Barton hates Neymar
Self-styled "no nonsense" player Barton is a bit of a ledge when it comes to Twitter attacks and meltdowns. Not least of all this beauty aimed at Neymar.
Neymar is the Justin Bieber of football. Brilliant on the old You Tube. Cat piss in reality...— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) March 25, 2013
And we always thought you were a true Belieber, Barts.
And he hates Shearer's hair too
Way before Barton's attack on Neymar, Barton launched a spectacular rant against Shearer's personality and... erm, baldy head after the pundit criticized Barton for elbowing Carlos Tevez.
Barton vs Dieter Hamman
Barton also got into a brutal and drawn out Twitter war with his former Man City teammate in January 2013. It started as a disagreement over club politics and respect...
But soon turned personal as Barton took digs at Hamann’s gambling problem, which Hamann answered with a few home truths.
Barton later apologised for the rant. Not sure about all the others, mind you.
Wojciech Szczesny says Aaron Ramsey looks like a sex offender
Arsenal goalkeeper and Polish international Szczesny tweeted the dictionary definition of "that's a bit strong, mate" when he gave his two cents' worth on teammate Ramsey's golfing wardrobe.
Alright, nobody likes a tank top, but let's keep it friendly.
Stan Collymore and Rio Ferdinand get political
Ferdinand joined a Twitter spat between then QPR teammate Karl Henry and Collymore, who clashed over - of all things - politics. Collymore appeared to then offer the pair out for an old school rumble.
@karlhenry08 went in hard! Ooooofff! What's all this???— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) March 27, 2015
Collymore later clarified he wasn't looking for an actual fight - and prefers players to do their talking on the pitch. Bosh.
No threats of violence towards anyone,i’ve asked several people to qualify their bile in person rather than playing to the crowd.That’s fair— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) March 27, 2015
Not sledging #QPR fans. I’d be deeply worried that some of your playing staff have more to say on Twitter than on the pitch. Embarrassing— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) March 28, 2015
Shearer vs David Ginola
When Shearer suggested that Newcastle signing Florian Thauvian "might get away" with slacking off in French Ligue 1 - but not the proper English Premiership - Ginola accused Shearer of showing a "lack of respect" to French players. To which Shearer replied...
... you really can't argue with that.
Carragher tells Lineker straight
Twitter hero Jamie Carragher took a shot at Gary Lineker when the Match of the Day host weighed in on Pep Guardiola's transfer to Man City.
@GaryLineker Totally agree......hope you informed Everton in 1986 when Barcelona made first contact!!— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 1, 2016
Good to see that lifelong Everton fan Carragher hasn't been holding onto that particular grudge for 30 years. They made their peace though.
Totally different thing but Everton informed me that they'd accepted their offer. https://t.co/JSWbfj3aKs— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 1, 2016
@Carra23 that's a relief.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 1, 2016
Chopra threatens Ashley Williams
In one of the most bizarre footballer Twitter exchanges ever, Michael Chopra tweeted Welsh international Williams in May 2014, threatening him with texts and pictures (sounds ominous). Williams closed down his account, prompting Chopra to then target Williams' pal and Swansea winger Wayne Routledge.
In other words, "Tell your mate I'm gonna duff him up".
Collymore vs Lescott goes public
Stan Collymore had himself another very public spat with Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott after Lescot said Villa's relegation was "weight off the shoulders" of the players.
Lescott: "Now confirmed maybe it's a weight off the shoulders and we can give these fans what they deserve, some performances." #avfc— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) April 16, 2016
Collymore then posted a private conversation between the pair...
... but hastily deleted it.
Sorry, didn't mean to send that.— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) April 16, 2016
Phone was in my pocket.
James McLean shuts down Lamine Kone
After a nil-nil draw between Sunderland and West Brom last April, the Mackems' winger seemed to have no clue who McClean was...
We deserved better (again) yesterday. But we finally did a clean sheet. 🔴⚪️— Lamine Koné (@LamineKone_23) April 3, 2016
By the way, who is James McClean? 🤔👻 pic.twitter.com/rAbjC8Yg5G
... but McClean had the perfect response...
A photo posted by Jimmymac_11 (@jimmymac_11) on
... after some further exchanges McClean had the last word with this epic shut down.
A photo posted by Jimmymac_11 (@jimmymac_11) on
Make that 1-0.
Teale takes on N'Zogbia
There was more Twitter action over Villa's relegation between the club's former defender Shaun Teale and current winger Charles N'Zogbia, who'd spent more time on on the sidelines last season than most ball boys do their whole career.