The history of football is rich and diverse, traversing hundreds of countries and more than a century of evolving game-play.
The players have always remained at the heart of the sports’ global appeal, especially those unique and bold characters that have had the fortitude to change the course of the game.
These players also tend to be outspoken, and as such, they are responsible for a number of famous and insightful quotes that have provided everything from light relief to show-stopping drama.
From the witty and insightful to the downright ridiculous, these quotes have illuminated the history from football throughout the ages. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the most memorable quotes from modern times...
While it can hardly be described as witty or humorous, Ashley Cole’s published reaction to a potential contract deal at boyhood club Arsenal offers a fascinating insight into the mind-set of some players.
After submitting a demand for a minimum wage of £60,000-per-week, Cole received a an offer from Arsenal while driving and recorded his response as follows:
“When I heard the figure of £55,000 I nearly swerved off the road. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard.”
It turned out that Arsenal's fans were even more incensed with their player's greed, and his inability to appreciate his good fortune.
Bob Paisley is one of the most successful managers of the modern era, having led Liverpool to unprecedented levels of success between 1974 and 1983.
During this time he won 20 honours, including six League titles, three European Cups, three League Cups and one UEFA Cup. He was also renowned for his sheer love of football and penchant for the occasional witty quotation.
The most famous example of this occurred when addressing his players at the end of an English league game. Referring to one player who had shown hesitation when through on goal, he said: “If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.”
This summed up Paisley's simple and effective approach, and it is refreshing in an age of technology and data analysis.
If footballers were defined by the quality or volume of their quotes, Zlatan Ibrahimovic would undoubtedly be the best player of all time.
An extravagantly talented player, Ibrahimovic is also an opinionated individual who often uses media and print to settle scores with fellow professionals.
His recent book ‘I am Zlatan’ was particularly explosive, with former Aston Villa and Norway striker John Carew on the receiving end of Zlatan’s most cutting and memorable words.
In his book he wrote, “What Carew does with a football, I can do with an orange."
As brutal as it is funny, this is a common feature of most top quotation lists around the world.