Let’s face it. Most men in football aren’t highly regarded for their intelligence or command of the English language, but, despite their frequent tendencies to make a fool of themselves, players and managers alike have been known to brilliantly summarise aspects of the game using inappropriate analogies and very occasionally impart pearls of wisdom amongst unsuspecting fans.
They have left us laughing, cringing or just down right bemused so I have selected 10 choice quotes that encapsulate this curious state of affairs perfectly.
“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”
George Best on the vacuous world inhabited by top-flight footballers
“When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be dropped into the sea.”
Eric Cantona ponders his fate after being sentenced to 100 hours community service for an attack on a Crystal Palace fan in 1995
“I couldn’t settle in Italy – it was like living in a foreign country.”
Ian Rush reveals the reasons behind his failure at Juventus
“We didn’t underestimate them. They were a lot better than we thought.”
Bobby Robson after England narrowly beat Cameroon in the 1990 World Cup Quarter Final
“What I said to them at half-time would be unprintable on the radio.”
Former Spurs boss Gerry Francis never minced his words
“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.”
Bill Shankly gets his priorities right
“Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.”
Mourinho introduces himself to the English press in typically modest fashion after arriving at Chelsea in 2004
“Winning isn’t everything. There should be no conceit in victory and no despair in defeat.”
Always the gentleman, Matt Busby being magnanimous in defeat
“I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.”
Brian Clough on his own success
“It took a lot of bottle for Tony to own up.”
Ian Wright shows his admiration after Tony Adams revealed his drinking problem in 1996
What are yours?