8 notoriously lazy players who were allergic to hard work

Kanu

Brede Hangeland recently suggested that Emmanuel Adebayor used to sit "in the gym with a cup of coffee and a muffin". Tim Ellis selects some more stars who weren't the most active

1. Alvaro Recoba's own time zone

During his time at Venezia, the forward's team-mates gave him a watch in the hope that one day he might actually be on time for training

In 2003, ‘El Chino’ was described by the Guardian as the “world’s number one almost-great player”. Even Recoba's wife labelled him “lazy and romantic", while during his time at Venezia the forward's team-mates gave him a watch in the hope that one day he might actually be on time for training.

Former Inter president Massimo Moratti summed it up perfectly when he paid tribute to the Uruguayan, who won two Serie A titles with the club in 2006 and 2007: "Alvaro Recoba was a bit like Inter - always surprising. He was at times lazy, but could also do things nobody had seen before." Fair play.

Ronaldo, Alvaro Recoba

Ronaldo and Recoba: not a bad attacking pair, even if the latter didn't graft

2. Antonio Cassano doesn't do warm-ups

"It's not worth it for six minutes," was the forward's reply after being instructed to warm up by manager Fabio Capello

Signed by Roma for £19m from Bari in 2001, accruing a handy wage packet of £83,000-per-week in the process, Cassano didn't exactly go the extra mile in the Italian capital.

"It's not worth it for six minutes," was the forward's reply after being instructed to warm up by manager Fabio Capello in the closing stages of a Serie A encounter. Cassano regularly walked out of training sessions, too, leading the future England boss to coin the phrase cassanata – a player who doesn't play for the team. 

3. Hatem Ben Arfa: the static No.10

An incriminating video later emerged of the midfielder pretending to do press-ups during a training session at current club PSG

The Frenchman was the subject of his own team-mates' ire at Newcastle for not pulling his weight, while problems also arose during a loan spell at Hull in 2014. When club statisticians ran the numbers on Ben Arfa's work rate, the results didn't make for particularly positive reading; Ben Arfa defended himself with reference to his role as a No.10, to which manager Steve Bruce replied: "Aren't players who wear 10 supposed to run around then?"

An incriminating video later emerged of the midfielder pretending to do press-ups during a training session at current club PSG. Unai Emery, suitably unimpressed with his player's attitude, dropped him from his squad for four matches.