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Bellamy does it the Liverpool way

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A FUN sing-song turned into a vicious punch-up as Liverpool ace Craig Bellamy saw red and waded into team-mate John Arne Riise in a drunken rage.

The sensational bust-up erupted in the early hours of Friday at the team's Portuguese hotel after a marathon boozing session.

An eye witness says the feuding Premiership stars:

TRADED INSULTS during a bar's karaoke contest when Riise refused to take the stage,

SCREAMED ABUSE as they faced each other toe to toe,

TOTTERED back to their training camp base at 2am,

FOUGHT in a hotel as Bellamy lashed out at Riise's ?5 million legs with a golf club, until the pair were

SEPARATED by head coach Rafael Benitez.

The outrage has massive implications for both players and the club, who have just been taken over by new American owners.

Tycoon co-chairmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks who invested ?470 million were said to be furious that their name has been dragged through the mud just before a vital Champions League clash with Barcelona on Wednesday?their most important match this year.

Insiders have predicted it could spell the end of 27-year-old bad boy Bellamy's career at Anfield.

The astonishing incident kicked off at Monty's Restaurant and Bar in the upmarket Algarve Vale do Lobo resort where Welsh international Bellamy and Norwegian World Cup hero Riise, 25, were winding down with colleagues after five days' training in preparation for Wednesday.

An inside source revealed: "There had been a lot of drinking and everyone was enjoying themselves.

"But it all went wrong when Craig tried to drag John up for a song.

"There was a karaoke competition going on, but John's a quiet one off the pitch and wasn't having it at all.

"It started off as a bit of a lark with some of the other lads having a go but then it got completely out of hand. John went ballistic because Craig wouldn't take no for an answer. He was screaming at Craig to leave him alone, saying he wouldn't do it and yelling insults.

"Everyone was completely stunned by it because they were really having a go, standing there toe to toe swearing at each other. There were about 20 players in the bar including all the senior guys, like Steven Gerrard, Peter Crouch and Dirk Kuyt.

"They were warned to keep a lid on it and it appeared to calm down.

"It was really late, about 2am, and the players eventually started drifting off to bed. But Craig, who was sharing with Steve Finnan, was so wound up he couldn't sleep.

"He suddenly grabbed a golf club and went looking for John. And when he found him he waded in, hacking at his legs with the club.

"All hell was let loose and John suffered a lot of bruising. Craig was out of control and shouting that John had belittled him in front of the lads."

Eventually coach Benitez was called to separate the two stars. The boss was said to be horrified and called both players to an emergency summit after they sobered up.

Benitez had plenty to worry about. Unconfirmed reports in a local newspaper said one footballer had also been handcuffed after allegedly trying to headbutt a policeman.

And it was claimed other players smashed electrical equipment in the resort with their golf clubs.

Staff at the four-star Barringtons Centro Deportivo hotel were ordered to keep quiet about the disturbance.

"The players flew back to Britain on Friday and were trying to keep a lid on the shameful incident.

But our source said: "With Liverpool just about to play one of the most important matches in their history this is the last thing they need.

"The break was meant to be a bit of rest and recreation with light training to get the team acclimatised for the Nou Camp on Wednesday, but this fight has ruined everything.

"It has heaped disgrace on the club when all the attention should be focused on what happens on the pitch. The new owners can't understand how grown men can behave like this. They believe the club's reputation is in the gutter and find it incredible that this should happen just before the Barcelona game.

"If Liverpool lose the match because of this there'll be hell to pay."

Riise's teammates are shocked at Bellamy's attack on a fellow professional and friend. A source said: "To smash a golf club into a fellow player's legs is unforgivable.

"It's the worst place ever to attack a footballer. Damaged legs are no good to anyone in this business and Riise is known for his trademark blockbusting shots.

"It's like deliberately trying to break someone's leg on the pitch ? however cross or angry you are, it's a no-brainer. You just can't do it.

"John was mortified when Craig came bursting into his room like that. Anything could have happened."

It is not clear what punishments the players face. But hard-line Spaniard Benitez is unlikely to tolerate such loutish behaviour ever again and at the very least is expected to fine both men heavily.

One insider said: "Some people feel it's time to ship Bellamy out so he can be someone else's problem."

A Liverpool spokesman said: "We're not prepared to make any comment."


icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Glad to see their team spirit is alive and well.

Who was it that said Bellamy's class was never in doubt? Attacking your team mate with a goal club... mmmm.... classy indeed! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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In fairness to Liverpool (a tough thing to type!) this hasn't actually been reported anywhere credible.

My guess is there has been a fairly minor incident (albeit unsavoury) and this article (and the other ones translated from the local papers) is a ridiculous exagerration of what happened.

However I will grin broadly if I am proved to be wrong!

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Well, its in the Daily Mail (who aren't in the same league as the NOTW when it comes to their exclusives icon_rolleyes.gif ) and on several websites... I know it doesn't make it any more believable... But where does it have to be reported for it to be thought of as credible?

Liverpool didn't comment, they could have brushed it off and say 'a minor incident blah blah blah..' but they didn't.

Barca to beat them 10-0 please.

Oh, and I will enjoy this moment, we're usuall the ones on the end of a NOTW bashing.

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icon_redface.gif Sorry, I don't know how to do the wordy link instead of address, loz or Mod can edit it if they want.

Why would Tubby even comment on something like this if it wasn't serious? If it was a case that Bellamy merely tapped Riise's legs with a club then he wouldn't bother to add his $2 and would have rather brushed it under the carpet.

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And a comment from the Norway manager

http://home.skysports.com/list.aspx?hli ... ball_home&

How do you play something like this as a club? Would you stay silent and then you allow the media to blow the story into something 10 times worse than it probably was or do you come out and make a statement admitting what actually happened (although this would still probably be a diluted version and hence people would realise the truth was more than was admitted).

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Well, here is the official statement from Liverpool. It doesn't say much, but doesn't deny anything: link

No doubt now that something happened. But the details will probably take a while to surface.

The funny thing is that even with the fight between a couple of teammates, the Barcelona squad is looking even more at war with itself than Liverpool.

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the word 'dignity' springs to mind icon_rolleyes.gif

I was thinking the same thing.

Be great to get another quote from "Dignity" Carragher. Something familiar about Liverplod being bigger than that and having more class etc. etc.

Trouble is they actually really do believe they're so different from every other club icon_rolleyes.gif And yet they shoot themselves in the foot so often you gotta laugh haven't you ? Gerrard and the diving thing, Dignity Carragher, Pilsbury and his small club comments, ASBO Pennant, Bellamy.

They've got as much class as Jade Goody's mum.

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Have Liverpool ironed out their problems yet? I really hope not. They have really dug a hole for themselves, chipping away at their own confidence like this.

They've a fair way to go before I'll ever support them even though they have had a lot of green connections over the years. I wouldn't drive around the corner to watch them. In fact I hope they all fade away.

....etc, etc, etc

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