Rio Ferdinand recalls Hartson’s infamous kick to Berkovic: “The noise was incredible”

A few days ago, the fight between Rudiger and Kepa in Chelsea training transcended after the team’s defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion and in which Tuchel ended up putting order and sending Rudiger to the locker room. But fighting is nothing new for Premier League teams and has been corroborated by two former players, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole. The most embarrassing and surreal episode was recounted by Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport. It happened in 1998, in a West Ham training session, when the bite between John Hartson and Eyal Berkovic got out of hand and ended with blows.

“Jonh Hartson kicked Berkovic in the face. The sound of the boot in the face was incredible,” relates Rio Ferdinand, who assures that the fight was the closest thing to a boxing match “between a heavyweight and a featherweight.” For his part, Joe Cole revealed that in his time at West Ham “There were fights every week; there was a lot of tension.”

Rio Ferdinand said Berkovic was lucky that Hartson hit him with his left leg and not his right. His story looked like something out of a Bruce Lee movie. It all started with a simple chop: “They were playing a game where Berkovic’s team was winning 5-0. Berkovic took the ball and started laughing at Hartson. John chased him and tripped him. Berkovic went to the ground and berated him: ‘¿ What are you doing? “Hartson’s reaction was to kick him in the face with the boot. The sound of the boot on his face and Berkovic’s howls were incredible. And thank goodness he hit him with his left leg … One of Julian Dicks’ daughters, who were watching the training, yelled, ‘Dad, she’s crying.’ It was incredible“.

Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand’s former teammate at West Ham, remembers he was on the pitch next door when this happened. “I was in the field next door and I heard the noise. The West Ham players weren’t a rabble, but a lot was happening,” it was justified.

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