Most of the world's focus will be on a series of tremendously expensive stadiums in South Africa in just a few days. And while all of the athletes who will be the subject of that intense scrutiny will surely be focused on winning, some will enjoy wallowing in that attention more than others. This is a compilation of some of those players who thoroughly enjoy their own existence (mostly with good reason) and should provide entertainment with their antics. Whether you love to hate them or just love the way they love themselves, you'll probably be reading headlines about this group over the next few weeks. Like it or not.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
He's good, he knows it, and everyone knows that he knows it. Anyone who has said things like "maybe [people] hate me because I am too good" and "I don't like to look like this ... in four or five days I will be beautiful again" (in reference to taking an elbow to the face) automatically belongs atop this list. He seems to have a different lady friend every hour just to keep the line moving, and has been the subject of some of the most ridiculous underwear ads this side of David Beckham. If his confidence took on a physical form it could have Godzilla as a house pet. But, really, all you need to see is this.
Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast
The world revolves around Didier. Ninety minutes with Drogs is like watching a real-life soap opera on the pitch. He acts, he preens, he shouts expletives at live television cameras. In the last league match of Chelsea’s title-winning season, with the silverware still in the balance as Chelsea needed a win to clinch, Drogba argued and sulked with teammate Frank Lampard. Drogba was upset at Lampard for not giving his regular penalty-taking duties to him in order to help Drogba win the Golden Boot award for scoring the most goals in the Premier League. He went into the match tied with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney with 26 goals. He then utilized that overpowering belief in himself to score a hat-trick in the second half of the game, clinching his coveted (and much deserved) Golden Boot and the title for Chelsea.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Mexico
The 37-year old striker (pictured right) is making his third World Cup appearance, even after missing out in 2006 due to a feud with then national team coach Ricardo Lavolpe, who Blanco accused of “not having the trousers” to add him to the squad. His signature goal celebration is to pose like an Aztec emperor with his arms outstretched in the motion of an archer as an homage to his Mexican heritage. Needless to say, anyone who pretends to be an emperor after scoring a goal thinks pretty highly of himself. Fortunately for Blanco, he's not alone in that opinion.
Supremely talented, yet equally temperamental, Robinho demands transfers the way little kids demand a new toy, which makes his thumb-sucking goal celebration all the more appropriate. A British record transfer fee was shelled out for him by Manchester City two years ago, yet he still had to be loaned out to the Brazilian club, Santos, where he began his career, and now he doesn't want to go back. If things go wrong for Brazil, Robinho's attitude could be at the center of it.
[Photos: View a slideshow of Robinho in action.]
Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon
After an attack on the success of his international career last week by Cameroon legend Roger Milla, Eto’o, Cameroon’s captain, threatened to walk away from the national team as Cameroon prepares in South Africa for the World Cup. In 2007, Sammy refused to enter a league match off the bench when called by manager Frank Rijkaard for then club team FC Barcelona. He later controversially said that he “did not have enough time to properly warm-up.” Upon arriving at Inter Milan last summer in part of an exchange for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the striker defiantly stated in his first press conference that he was Samuel Eto’o, that he didn’t feel the need to compare himself to Ibrahimovic and that his accomplishments should speak for themselves. He was right on all three counts.
William Gallas, France
Gallas' attitude has left a string of enemies in his wake and even in his own dressing room. Former club Chelsea says he threatened to score own goals if they didn't give him the transfer he wanted. His teammates at Arsenal describe him as an outcast and his autobiography cost him his captaincy. To like William Gallas is similar to liking the taste of sulfur. And it seems one person who has acquired the taste for it just so happens to be named "William Gallas."
source: Dirty Tackle