Most controversial shirt-swapping moments after Eden Hazard and Di Maria’s half-time switch

11 Mar

There was no love lost between Eden Hazard and the Stamford Bridge faithful on Wednesday night.

Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League, losing 2-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, in what was yet another disappointing performance from the reigning Premier League champions.

One incident that really angered the club’s supporters had little to do with the final result, however.

Hazard, who has been a shadow of the player who lifted various indivdual honours in a stunning campaign last season, committed the ultimate cardinal sin.

The Belgium international swapped shirts with PSG winger Angel Di Maria at half-time, described by furious supporters as ‘an act of betrayal’.

The Blues forward, though, isn’t the first – nor likely to to be the last – that has bagged himself a controversial souvenir….

Eden Hazard and Angel Di Maria – Chelsea v Paris Saint-Germain, March 2016

Here’s that moment from last night’s clash at Stamford Bridge. He’ll have to rediscover his form fast to get fans back on his side.

Robin van Persie and Andre Santos: Manchester United v Arsenal, November 2012

Arsenal supporters were left seething when Brazilian defender Santos grabbed the shirt of Van Persie, who only that summer had swapped the Emirates for Old Trafford, as the players headed for the tunnel at the break.

Santos was later quoted by The Sun as saying: “I’d like to apologise to supporters who felt aggrieved by it. Did I think it would cause such a commotion? Of course I didn’t, otherwise I would have told Robin to exchange the shirts away from public view.”

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger said, “believe me, he will never do it again.”

Mesut Ozil and Geoffrey Kondogbia – Arsenal v AS Monaco, March 2015

Mid-way through their Champions League exit to Monaco in the last 16 of the Champions League, Kondogbia asked for Ozil’s shirt and the German obliged, much to the fury of those watching. 

Speaking after the incident, the playmaker told Sky Sports Germany, “Geoffrey Kondogbia asked me for my shirt and I wanted to do him a favour.

“Maybe I should have given him the shirt in the tunnel. But seriously guys, is there nothing more important to discuss for a knockout game than a shirt swap?”

Mamadou Sakho and Samuel Eto’o/Philippe Coutinho and Oscar – Chelsea v Liverpool, December 2013

With the Reds 2-1 down at half-time, two of Rodgers’ players decided there was no better time to swap shirts, with Sakho grabbing Eto’o’s and Coutinho getting his hands on international team-mate Oscar’s. 

Here was Rodgers’ reaction…

Mario Balotelli and Pepe – Liverpool v Real Madrid, October 2014

More from Rodgers’ men…

Balotelli, who had delivered very little on the pitch and was struggling for support on Merseyside, was caught swapping shirts with Real centre back Pepe at the break of their Champions League clash, in which the Reds were trailing by three goals to none. 

The striker was replaced by Adam Lallana at the interval, but Rodgers insisted the decision was purely tactical and had nothing to do with the above incident.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Neymar – England v Brazil, June 2013

Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the equaliser in the Three Lions’ friendly 2-2 draw with Brazil three summers’ ago, but this was perhaps overlooked by his decision to ask Neymar for his shirt before the game had ended. 

Roy Keane, working as a pundit for ITV, slammed the Arsenal man, and the player later apologised.

“I agree with Roy. It’s not the way to go about things. I have to hold my hands up,” said the Ox.

George Cohen – England v Argentina, 1966 World Cup

England beat Argentina 1-0 in the quarter finals of the 1966 World Cup, courtesy of a goal from Geoff Hurst and as full back George Cohen went to swap shirts with Alberto Gonzalez after the final whistle had been blown, manager Alf Ramsey was having none of it.

Ramsey was infuritated by the behaviour of the Three Lions’ opponents in a hugely bad tempered game, labelling the Argentine players ‘animals’, and so refused to allow his players such a match souvenir. 


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