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Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in the face on stage at the Oscars after the comic made a joke about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Chris Rock said, in an apparent reference to Jada Pinkett Smith shaved hairdo – a result of the hair loss condition alopecia.

Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2.

Smith walked on stage and struck Rock before returning to his seat and shouting:

Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.

He later apologised to the Academy.

In a tearful acceptance speech for best actor, he also said he wanted to apologise to all his fellow nominees. There was no specific apology for Rock.

In honour of that shocking moment, here are five football players who have been slapped by their colleagues in the middle of a match in front of the world.

1. Paolo Di Canio showed Inzaghi who’s boss

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Paolo Di Canio (L) and Simone Inzaghi’s (R) relationship at Lazio started off on the wrong foot.

Ex-West Ham and Italian striker Paolo Di Canio is known for being a fierce character but his actions on September 4 2004 might have gone a little too far.

Di Canio had just rejoined Lazio and in his first game back in Italy after eight years in the UK and on his long-awaited second debut, Lazio were awarded a penalty which Simone Inzaghi (brother of the legendary Filipo Inzaghi and current coach of Inter Milan) wanted to take as was his right as the designated penalty taker before Di Canio’s arrival.

A scuffle ensued between both strikers which ended with Di Canio slapping Inzaghi, scoring the penalty which turned out to be the only goal of that game and then calling him ‘selfish’ and ‘gutless’ after the game.

And in an interview two years later, Di Canio made comments which suggested he was not over the incident. He said:

With Inzaghi, it was my first game after 16 years away from Lazio, my Lazio, with the score 0-0 and a penalty awarded – you need a brain the size of a peanut to think that I wouldn’t take it.

2. Gervinho gets the full Joey Barton experience

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Of course, Joey Barton is involved in an article about violent footballers although this time he was on the receiving end of the slap.

But don’t be fooled, Barton is never blameless as he reacted angrily to Gervinho going down easily in search of a penalty by pulling up the Ivorian winger in a fierce encounter between Newcastle and Arsenal in August 2011.

Barton’s action led to a 22-man melee which ended with Gervinho slapping him and then getting sent off in what was his Premier League debut for Arsenal while Barton stayed on the pitch.

3. Pep Guardiola takes out his frustration on Thiago Alcantara

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An angry Pep Guardiola slaps Thiago in the face

Having just conceded twice in two minutes to go down 3-2 late in the second half, the pressure of losing his first official game as Bayern Munich head coach overwhelmed Pep Guardiola.

The coach angrily slapped fellow Spaniard and Bayern debutant, Thiago Alcantara, on the face in the 76th minute of the 2013 German Super Cup which he lost 4-2 to Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund.

4. Raheem Sterling gets physical with Fernandez

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Liverpool thrashed Swansea 4-1 at Anfield in a league game back in December 2014 but the most memorable part of the game was Raheem Sterling slapping Argentine defender Federico Fernandez on the cheek.

The then 25-year old Fernandez tapped Sterling at the back of the head harmlessly to which the 19-year old Englishman responded with a slap right in front of the linesman.

The most mind-boggling part of the ordeal was that Sterling managed to avoid even a yellow card or any form of retrospective punishment for what was clearly violent conduct.

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic slaps MLS defender

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In an MLS game in 2018 between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Montreal Impact, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off after 41 minutes for slapping opponent Michael Petrasso.

Petrasso was walking backwards and seemingly stepped on Zlatan by mistake to which the Swedish legend overreacted with a hot slap on the back of his head and neck.

Ibrahimovic then went down in rather embarrassing fashion trying to fool the referee but the right call was eventually made upon VAR review and Zlatan was sent off.

By Debbie

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