Who's the most hated top-flight footballer?

Gong-magnet Cristiano Ronaldo has attracted another accolade: the Premier League’s most hated player.

The current FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year, FIFPro World Player of the Year, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, UEFA Club Forward of the Year, Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year, PFA Players’ Player of the Year – and FourFourTwo Best Player in the World – attracted the opprobrium in a website poll of 2,614 fans.

The Portuguese winger jinked home with 48% of the votes in the survey, conducted by really-rather-useful TV-listings site Where’sTheMatch.com, which simply asked “Who do you dislike the most in the Barclays Premiership?” Furthermore, 69% of respondents described the Manchester United forward as “full of himself”.

Sunderland striker El-Hadji Diouf came second in the poll with 34% of the vote – with 31% of Mackem fans declaring a dislike for their own player, easily the most disliked “home” player. Controversial Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton was third with 29%, followed by Ashley Cole (24%) and Craig Bellamy (22%).

The respondents – who included fans of every top-flight team – were asked to justify their decisions by answering the question “What makes a bad player?” Foul play was the top response, with 31%, followed by arrogance (28%) and diving (19%). Off-field behaviour (7%) was down in seventh place.

The 10 Most Disliked Top-Flight Footballers
1 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 48%
2 El-Hadji Diouf
Sunderland 34%
3 Joey Barton
Newcastle United 29%
4 Ashley Cole
Chelsea 24%
5 Craig Bellamy
Manchester City 22%
6 Didier Drogba
Chelsea 19%
7 Gary Neville
Manchester United 17%
8 Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United 12%
9 Emmanuel Adebayor
Arsenal 12%
10 Kevin Davies
Bolton Wanderers 11%

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