CRAIG BELLAMY was the most difficult Premier League star to referee, according to current whistler Michael Oliver.
The Welshman, 42, represented the likes of Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City during his top-flight career in England.
Michael Oliver has lifted the lid on the most difficult player to officiate[/caption]
Craig Bellamy was notoriously tricky to referee[/caption]
And Magpies fan Oliver, 36, has lifted the lid on what refereeing him was like.
He told The Athletic: “Craig Bellamy was incredibly difficult.
“What you find is that some teams are difficult.
“Teams that aren’t winning for a starter — that’s the same at every level — and teams who aren’t used to losing, the frustration level is higher for them.
“But one player, it would be Bellamy.
“I watched him for two or three years — I’m a Newcastle fan and you wanted him in your team because he was a winner.
Most read in Football
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS
“But he was a nightmare to referee because he would argue about everything. If you told him it was black, he’d tell you it was white.”
Bellamy was also named as one of the worst players to referee by former top flight official Mark Clattenberg.
He told the Mail: “I knew my relationship with him was on sticky ground when he squeezed my balls in the tunnel at the Etihad, and I don’t mean my match balls.
“He would snarl at you and throw his arms around, constantly challenging you. His language was awful, just plain rude.
“As a referee, it is difficult when you have a problem player like that because you are drawn to him and it’s a distraction.
“Because I’m a Newcastle fan, I had the luxury of never refereeing him when I started. I just wish he had stayed at Newcastle for a bit longer!”
Bellamy retired from playing in 2014, before entering the world of coaching alongside former Man City team-mate Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht.
Read our Football news live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals