Let’s be honest, football is a game played as much off the pitch as it is on. There have been legendary wars of words between managers and players as well as moments of such sheer jubilation that even commentators have forgotten they’re live on TV. So, to celebrate the greatest football moments that involved more skill with wordplay rather than the ball, we’ve put together the ultimate list of the greatest football quotes for you to enjoy.
1. ‘I couldn’t be more chuffed if I were a badger at the start of mating season.’
Ian ‘Happy’ Holloway after reaching the championship play-off final.
2. ‘Mind you, I’ve been here during the bad times too, one year we came second.’
Liverpool’s Bob Paisley during more successful times.
3. ‘My greatest challenge is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f*****g perch. And you can print that!’
Sir Alex Ferguson was happy after winning the 2008 Champion’s League!
4. ‘I’m out at the moment, but should you be the chairman of Barcelona, AC Milan or Real Madrid, I’ll get straight back to you. The rest can wait.’
Wimbledon’s Joe Kinnear was optimistic on his answer phone message.
5. ‘Am I afraid of failure? He [Arsene Wenger] is a specialist in failure. I’m not.’
Jose Mourinho doesn’t take criticism lightly…
6. ‘I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.’
Luis Suarez trying to explain how he nearly made Italian defender Georgio Chiellini his dinner during the 2014 World Cup.
7. ‘Arsenal could have happened, as everybody knows, but I would not do a trial. Who do you think regrets that more – Arsene Wenger or Zlatan?’
Ibrahimovic explains that he could have been a gunner… had Wenger ‘dared to Zlatan’
8. ‘Maybe Louis does have a golden willy.’
Arjen Robben questions the source of Louis van Gaal’s luck after defeating Mexico in the World Cup.
9. ‘It’s not glasses he needs – It’s a Labrador!’
Lyon Midfielder Clement Grenier to referee Ruddy Buquet after losing 2-1 to Saint-Etienne, yikes.
10. ‘There is no wrong foot.’
Zlatan Imbrahimovic at it again after being asked how it felt to score with his left foot.
11. ‘I’m not a saint, I’m not very cultured, and I know that, but I’m not an idiot. When I was a child, the others called me ‘Quasimodo’. It caused me huge pain. Somehow, all that built-up anger, I put it in my game.’
Franck Ribery on channelling his rage into his football.
12. ‘If I could go back in time, I’d let him score a thousand times’
Soner Ertek, a player for French amateur side Chasselay, reflects on the challenge that caused Radamel Falcao’s career damaging injury.
13. ‘Tell him he’s Pele and get him back on.’
Partick Thistle manager John Lambie after Colin McGlashan didn’t know who he was after suffering a concussion.
14. ‘I’ve told the players we need to win so that I can have the cash to buy some new ones.’
Peterborough’s Chris Turner didn’t give the greatest motivational speech before one League Cup tie…
15. ‘He is like a PlayStation player. He is the best in the world by some distance.’
Arsene Wenger after witnessing Lionel Messi play against Arsenal.
16. ‘Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.’
Jose Mourinho on his arrival at Chelsea, successfully coining his own nickname in the process.
17. ‘It was a very simple team talk. All I used to say was: “Whenever possible, give the ball to George Best”.
Manchester United legend Matt Busby on his tactics.
18. ‘The only way to stop Thierry Henry? With a gun!’
Chelsea’s Gianluca Vialli on the difficulties of defending against the Frenchman.
19. ‘It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.’
Tottenham’s Bill Nicholson with some truly inspirational words, are you listening Pochettino?
20. ‘Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I’m very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.’
Liverpool’s Bill Shankly.
21. ‘You can tell him now, we’re still fighting for this title and he’s got to go to Middlesbrough and get something. And I’ll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it.’
Keegan’s infamous rant has been voted the most memorable moment in Premier League history and we love it… Love it!
Have your say…
Do you think we’ve missed a football quote? What about Danny Blanchflower’s classic “Boredom” or a Shearer cracker?