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Remember me?

When footballers face their old clubs…

Remember me?
Danielle de Wolfe
04 February 2011

This Sunday could see Fernando Torres face Liverpool just six days after his £50million move to Chelsea. That’s too soon. Surely that’s too soon?

Torres said it is "destiny" that his debut for the Blues will come against Liverpool. "If I have the chance to play, I will do my best for Chelsea and hopefully I can score," he said. "It is not perfect for me but we will see what happens." What with Liverpool fans burning Torres emblazoned shirts after his departure, it’s sure to be a stormy atmosphere. But then fiery football returns are a common thing in the beautiful game. Here’s the top 5 most controversial:

Images: Getty

Luis Figo

The biggest betrayal of all. Barcelona’s hero Figo made a hugely controversial move to their bitter rivals Real Madrid in 2000 after 5 years at the Nou Camp. Too put it lightly, Barca fans felt a bit miffed. When he returned three seasons later in a league match, he had to be escorted by police to take corners due to the barrage of missiles lobbed in the Portuguese genius’s direction. Barcelona fans took things far too far, though, when they threw pig’s head at him. Poor pig.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Oh dear. Major errors on Adebayor’s part here. After a £25million move from Arsenal to Man City the Ivory Coast forward faced his old club after just 4 games at Eastlands. In a 4–2 victory Arsenal’s Van Persie accused him of deliberately booting him in the chops (three match ban) before scoring and running the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans. Cue utter chaos and obvious apologies on Emmanuel’s part. Naughty Emmanuel.

Ashley Cole

One time Arsenal star Cole is loathed by Arsenal fans after a transfer saga that stretched way back. In 2005 he was found guilty of making contact with league rivals Chelsea over a possible move, without informing the Gunners. He was fined £100,000 by the Premier League for a tapping-up meeting and even launched a verbal attack on Arsenal in his autobiography. He claimed that the Arsenal board had treated him as a "scapegoat" and that they had "fed him to the sharks" over the tapping-up. Sure enough Cole soon packed his bags and went across London. Weeks later he issued a public statement concerning his transfer saying he "forgave" Arsenal for how he felt he was treated during his time there. Arsenal fans responded by waving fake £20 notes with the player's face on them when Chelsea next met Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, a tip of the hat to the rumours that ‘Cashley’ had left Arsenal after they ‘only’ offered him £55k a week to stay.

Roberto Baggio

Aficionado of suspect haircuts, Roberto Baggio was sold to Juventus, amid outcry from Fiorentina fans, in 1990 for a then world record transfer fee. It caused full scale riots on the streets of Florence where fifty people were injured. In his return match against Fiorentina in the same year, he refused to take a penalty; and when substituted he warmed himself to the Juve faithful by picking up a Fiorentina Scarf thrown onto the pitch by fans and kissing it. How to be hated by everyone, by Roberto Baggio.

Paul Ince

Hammers fans aren’t ones to let bygones be bygones. Just ask Messrs Lampard and Defoe. But top of the East End hit list (throughout history, not right now) is Paul Ince. The Guv’nor upset West Ham supporters when he left the club for Manchester United and was pictured wearing a United shirt before the deal had been completed. He got the burning effigy treatment before his first return to Upton Park where his every touch was greeted with what can only be described as hatred and bile.