Say What?…Soccer Quotes

Sadly, Dr. Evil did not make the list.

Sadly, Dr. Evil did not make the list.

I have a fondness for words and quotes.

In the USMNT nickname discussion, commentor Baquito Alyeska jokingly suggested the name “The Wynaldas” and remarked that there is a “limitless supply of Wynalda quotes to put on the t-shirts” and provided a couple including this gem:

On Mexico: “Once I step on the field, I hate ‘em. Nowhere is it written that I have to say I like them. That’s just the way it is.”

While I won’t get on-board with calling the USMNT the Wynaldas, it did inspire me to search for interesting quotes about / on soccer. So, below are 10 plus a “bonus”.

Add your favorites in the comments.

“Soccer is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening–it is without doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”
~ Unknown

“To say that these men paid their shillings to watch twenty-two hirelings kick a ball is merely to say that a violin is wood and catgut, that Hamlet is so much paper and ink.”
~ Author, J.B. Priestley, in the book The Good Companions

“Football (soccer) is a matter of life and death, except more important.”
~ Famed Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly, uttering soccer’s version of an oft-used saying

“The goal was scored a little bit by the hand of God, another bit by the head of Maradona.”
~ Former Argentinean soccer star (and current struggling coach), Maradona, on his goal against England in 1986 World Cup

“If God had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn’t have given us arms.”
~ Former Chicago Bears coach, Mike Ditka, sounding like, well, an American football player

“I’m not going to apologize for setting a high standard, … The results were not satisfactory.”
~ Then MetroStars President and GM, Alexi Lalas, after dismissing Bob Bradley as coach

“What kind of a goalkeeper is the one who is not tormented by the goal he has allowed? He must be tormented! And if he is calm, that means the end. No matter what he had in the past, he has no future.”
~ One of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Lev Yashin

“I think we have a good team, but soccer fans will know that we’re in a really tough group. The three teams in our group are really strong. The Czech Republic is a very good team, Italy is traditionally a powerhouse, and Ghana is one of the best teams in Africa.”
~  Former USMNT star, Claudio Reyna, speaking ominously prior to the 2006 World Cup

“I’m sure sex wouldn’t be so rewarding as this World Cup. It’s not that sex isn’t good but the World Cup is every four years and sex is not.”
~Brazilian star, Ronaldo, after winning 2002 World Cup

“Some people tell me that we professional players are soccer slaves. Well, if this is slavery, give me a life sentence.”
~ Former English and Manchester United Star, Bobby Charlton

Bonus…okay…not really

“That’ll put a bulge in the ‘ol onion bag.”
~ Announcer, Tommy Smyth, after every single goal scored in a game he was commentating

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/09/18 at 12:06 PM

    These are great — didn’t know the Lalas Bradley history. Now Lalas’s commentary makes even more sense.


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/09/18 at 12:11 PM

    One of my favorite Cantona quotes:
    “I prefer to play and lose rather than win, because I know in advance I’m going to win. “


  3. Posted by Andrew in SJ on 2009/09/18 at 1:38 PM

    “It turned you into a member of a new community, all brothers together for an hour and half, for not only had you escaped from the clanking machinery of this lesser life, from work, from wages, rent, doles, sick pay, insurance cards, nagging wives, ailing children, bad bosses, idle workmen, but you had escaped with most of your mates and your neighbours, with half the town, cheering together, thumping one another on the shoulders, swapping judgements like Lords of the Earth, having pushed your way through a turnstile into another and altogether more splendid life.” – J.B. Priestley


  4. Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/09/18 at 9:04 PM

    “I am not a man. I am Cantona.” best quote of all time hands down


  5. Posted by kaya on 2009/09/18 at 10:23 PM

    Yeah, idk how you can have a top 10 soccer quotes list without a single Cantona entry.
    The first time I ever heard of him was the famous “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.”
    I’ll nominate “Football is like making love, if you can’t last 90 minutes like me, you wont win.”


  6. Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/09/18 at 10:59 PM

    totally agree with kaya. the Cantona is a beast. He also owns the single greatest goal celebration in the history of soccer.

    Mark my man you are slipping! haha. kidding


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