Fights in the workplace: Friends, fall-outs, and fearsome feuds

The most controversial spat of the World Cup has derailed England's bid for glory. Can Rooney and Ronaldo make-up? Or do disputes amongst workmates always end in tears?
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Wayne Rooney vs Cristiano Ronaldo

Oh to be a fly on the wall when - if - they meet up again at Manchester United's training ground following Wayne Rooney's dismissal after his clubmate's appeal to the referee during England's quarter-final clash with Portugal in the World Cup. As former England forward Alan Shearer put it: "I think there is every chance that Wayne Rooney could go back to the Manchester United training ground and stick one on Ronaldo." His tone was not exactly disapproving.

The footballing world will have to wait several weeks to see if Rooney can resist confronting the winger or at least running a key along the paintwork of Ronaldo's silver Porsche outside United's Carrington training complex.

For his part, Ronaldo, 21, who has denied he wants to move to Real Madrid, yesterday insisted that his gesticulations to the referee after Rooney's tackle had not been a demand for that Rooney receive a red card.

The winger, who clashed with Rooney immediately after the tackle, said: "I said 'ref, this is foul' but I did not say 'red card' because Wayne is my friend."

Manchester United's website yesterday carried a headline reading "No Rift With Rooney".

Quite whether the hugely-talented footballer who likes to be known as Wazza will see it that way, is yet to be seen.

Cahal Milmo

Gordon Ramsay vs Marco Pierre White

Perhaps it was some harsh words from Marco Pierre White across his mise en place in the late 1980s towards a new 19-year-old trainee chef called Gordon Ramsay. Or may be the reason for the decade-long feud between two of Britain's most pugnacious celebrity chefs was Ramsay's perceived snub of Pierre White when he asked another chef to write the foreword of his first cookery book in 1996. Whatever the reason, the two men have rarely spurned an opportunity to exchange barbed remarks about their relative talents - or lack of them - in a professional kitchen. Cynics point out that the two men are professional controversialists, while one restaurant critic claims to have seen the two millionaires laughing and joking together into the small hours at a Soho bar.

Philip Green vs Stuart Rose

Sir Philip Green, the recently knighted retail tycoon, and Stuart Rose, the chief executive of Marks and Spencer, had been firm friends for 20 years before falling out spectacularly over a mega business deal. Three years previously, Sir Philip had even invited Mr Rose to his 50th birthday party.

The two men had become close after Sir Philip's £850m purchase of Arcadia, the retail group that includes Burton and TopShop. Mr Rose had been widely credited with turning the group's fortunes around before Sir Philip arrived - and walked away from Arcadia with a £23m pay-out. When Sir Philip decided in 2004 that M&S would be the ideal addition to his retail empire, it was natural he should ask Mr Rose to get involved. There was just one problem. Mr Rose had his eye on the top job at M&S. The retailer's chairman, Paul Myners, subsequently decided Mr Rose was the perfect man to see off the bid from Sir Philip. The tycoon did not take kindly to the perceived betrayal. Four days into Mr Rose's reign, he arrived at work at M&S's Baker Street HQ to be accosted by a furious Sir Philip. A 20-minute shouting match ensued. Sir Philip's bid for M&S was defeated but Mr Rose became convinced he was the victim of a dirty tricks campaign. The two remain fierce rivals on the High Street.

David Prosser

The Desperate Housewives vs The Desperate Housewives

The lack of moral rectitude among the main characters in Wisteria Lane rapidly became a hobbyhorse for the American religious right soon after Desperate Housewives began airing in 2004. But ultimately it proved to be the sartorial bickering between the actresses playing the goddesses of suburbia that attracted the most headlines and collective tut-tutting. When the five stars - Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman and Nicolette Sheridan - posed for a swimwear photoshoot last year in Vanity Fair magazine, the result was allegedly a power struggle over who got to wear a red bikini. Hatcher, who plays ditzy single mother Susan and is regarded as the show's first among equals, earned the ire of her colleagues when she turned up first and bagged the best of the available swimwear - a cherry-red bikini. Tensions increased when two of the stars - Cross, who plays the uptight Bree, and Sheridan, the vampish Edie Britt - failed to attend a party to celebrate Hatcher's appearance on the front cover of InStyle magazine. An American magazine also quoted British-born Sheridan saying: "I'm not sure why [Hatcher] gets so much attention. She's not the prettiest one, not by a nose - literally." Publicists take pains to underline the sisterly on-set spirit and when Huffman beat Hatcher to receive the Emmy for best comedy actress last year she dedicated it to " all the women of Wisteria Lane" to a backdrop of grinning co-stars. Doubtless the reported £125,000 each receives per episode have helped soothe any remaining tensions.

John Lennon vs Paul McCartney

The acrimony between John Lennon and Paul McCartney was the main reason for the break-up of the Beatles. The feud continued after Lennon's death with Yoko Ono taking up the cudgels on behalf of her late husband. McCartney said that Ono was "dedicated to putting me down".

The depth of Lennon's animosity towards McCartney was revealed in an interview given in 1970 and broadcast on Radio 4 last year. Lennon accused McCartney of being "all form and no substance" and treating the Beatles as no more than his backing band.

"One of the main reasons the Beatles ended is because we got fed up with being sidemen for Paul," said Lennon. "After Brian [Epstein] died Paul took over and supposedly led us. But what is leading us when we went around in circles? Paul had the impression that we should be thankful for what he did, for keeping the Beatles going. But he kept it going for his own sake."

Kim Sengupta

Tony Blair vs Gordon Brown

Never in the history of British politics has anyone brooded for so long in 11 Downing Street, wondering when his neighbour in No 10 is going to make way, as the Chancellor, Gordon Brown. But what is easily forgotten about his long feud with Tony Blair is that they have not always been rivals. As young MPs, they shared a room in the Commons and planned their careers together. They were so inseparable that Labour Party nicknamed them "Push Me, Pull You" after Dr Doolittle's two-headed llama. But when the leadership of Labour became vacant in 1994, there was only room for one. Gordon Brown believes that it was his political brain that created the New Labour project and is in no doubt that the place Tony Blair occupies is rightfully his. Tony Blair, on the other hand, thinks his skills as a communicator brought electoral rewards that Labour could never have achieved otherwise. Their rivalry has lasted 12 years, but they do talk to one another frequently, and even go through phases when the friendship reasserts itself. But the Blairites and the Brownies still glare resentfully at one another, even when their leaders have struck up a temporary accord.

Andy McSmith

Niccolo Tartaglia vs Girolamo Cardono

Hell hath no fury like a Renaissance mathematician duped into revealing his algebraic formulae for cubic and quartic equations.

At least that it is what Girolamo Cardano, a gambler who was a friend of Da Vinci, found when he published a solution discovered by Niccolo Tartaglia. The mathematicians collaborated together in 16th-century Italy. Cardano persuaded Tartaglia to give him the solution to an equation on the condition that he would not publish it until Tartaglia had gained credit. But the formula was discovered by someone else, so Cardano considered the deal null and published. When Cardano fell foul of the Spanish Inquisition, his clan claimed that the clerics had been tipped off by his old rival Tartaglia.

Cahal Milmo

Julian Barnes vs Martin Amis

Martin Amis's decision to switch from his agent of 23 years, Pat Kavanagh, to Andrew "the Jackal" Wylie was followed by Julian Barnes announcing that he intended to sever all links with his old friend and fellow novelist. Barnes, Kavanagh's husband, sent a letter which contained a phrase Amis described as "a well-known colloquialism. The words consist of seven letters, three of them are fs". Amis insisted that he switched agents because negotiations for the rights to his book The Information had "got out of control".

In his memoirs, Amis referred to Barnes as "uxurious", seen as a suggestion that he was henpecked. Barnes has refused to comment publicly about his tiff with Amis.

Kim Sengupta