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Sunday 4 December 2016

The good, the bad and the unforgivable shirt swaps

Published 10/03/2016 | 11:36

Players swapping shirts can be a controversial subject for fans and managers alike
Players swapping shirts can be a controversial subject for fans and managers alike

Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard risked the wrath of the home support when he decided to swap shirts with Angel Di Maria at half-time during Wednesday night's Champions League match against Paris St Germain at Stamford Bridge, which the French side went on to win 2-1.

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Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some other times players literally took the shirt off their own back to give it away.

Pele and Bobby Moore

Captured on camera, what was to become one of the most famous football images followed the 1970 World Cup group game between holders England and tournament favourites Brazil in Guadalajara, Mexico. Pele later said: " The shirt he wore against me in that 1970 match is my prize possession. He was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against."

Paulo Ferreira and Ronaldinho

Hazard was not the first Chelsea player to make negative headlines for seeking a personal memento of a key match. Chelsea tackled Barcelona in the 2004/05 Champions League, and at Stamford Bridge had raced into a 3-0 lead before the Spaniards recovered, with a double from Ronaldinho. Defender Ferreira took it upon himself to ask for the Brazilian's shirt at half-time, which did not go down too well, as Chelsea secured a 4-2 win.

Andre Santos and Robin van Persie

Arsenal defender Santos found himself at the centre of a storm when he was quick to grab the shirt of former Gunners team-mate Robin van Persie at half-time during a match at Manchester United in November 2012, for which the Brazil international later apologised. Arsene Wenger said: " I can understand that an English guy doesn't understand it and I'm French and I don't understand it either. He cares and he understands today what it means and, believe me, he will never do it again."

Mario Balotelli and Pepe

Balotelli was happy to exchange shirts with Pepe after 45 minutes of Liverpool's European game against Real Madrid at Anfield in October 2014, with the home side trailing 3-0. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, however, was less than impressed. Balotelli was substituted for the second half, and Liverpool were reported to have subsequently fined the striker for the incident. "It is not something I stand for," Rodgers said. " If you want to do that, you do it at the end of the game."

Oldham v Everton

Oldham caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk took the unusual step of pinning a notice to the dressing room door reminding his squad not to swap shirts in their FA Cup fifth-round tie against Everton in February 2013 - because they might then not have enough left over for their upcoming league game with Stevenage. However, those directives were given little weight after Matt Smith netted a dramatic equaliser at 2-2 deep into stoppage time, securing a money-spinning replay back at Goodison Park. Oldham forward Jose Baxter said afterwards: "We all got carried away and didn't really think about the notice. I just hope we've got enough kit for Tuesday."

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