During a Tottenham match, a heated argument erupted in the locker room between two players over who should take set-piece duties. Former Tottenham Hotspur player Sandro recently shared his recollection of a locker room brawl he had to break up during halftime.
Sandro, the Brazilian midfielder who played for Tottenham from 2010 to 2014, intervened when two of his Spurs teammates clashed during a game, sparked by a dispute over free-kick responsibilities. Normally, left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto was responsible for set-pieces, but the creative midfielder Rafael van der Vaart wanted to take a promising free-kick opportunity without seeking permission.
According to Sandro, Assou-Ekotto took this personally, saying, “He was upset because that was his ball, and he was going to take the shot.” Sandro explained that they usually let Assou-Ekotto take charge, but this time, he was visibly angry. During halftime in the dressing room, tempers flared, and Assou-Ekotto confronted Rafael, leading to a physical altercation.
Sandro had to step in and restrain Assou-Ekotto, who was determined to attack Rafael, and the two exchanged heated words. Sandro recalled Assou-Ekotto’s frustration, saying, “Why did you take the shot? What made you do it? It’s my ball, my friend, and you’re not going to steal it! I’ll harm you next time!” The next day, Rafael Van der Vaart expressed his gratitude to Sandro for diffusing the situation, acknowledging that Sandro had saved him.
Assou-Ekotto later commented on the incident, stating that it actually brought them closer as teammates. He shared that after the altercation, they reconciled, and he even assisted Assou-Ekotto in scoring a goal in a subsequent match against Everton.
Additionally, former player Jermaine Jenas mentioned on talkSPORT that the dispute escalated to the point where the two players were “going at it naked” in the locker room showers. However, the incident was swiftly resolved without further escalation.
In summary, a disagreement over set-piece duties led to a halftime locker room brawl among Tottenham players, with Sandro stepping in to prevent further escalation. Despite the initial conflict, the incident ultimately brought the players closer together as teammates.