Here are some notable quotes made during the past year. Each was stated by the named individual; however, my responses were created, and are not meant to represent the views of the individuals. Nor libel them in any way. This is both a factual and (hopefully) a light-hearted article.
1. “Over the years, Dida has shown himself to be a very professional and sporting athlete, who even got back up after he was hit by a firework.”
Carlo Ancelotti, manager of AC Milan. No wonder why Dida was so dazed in Glasgow not to see anything more threatening than a crazed but very unprofessional and unsporting Celtic fan. Without fireworks.
2. “Now I will give up smoking. After a very difficult year we have won something extraordinary so there is plenty of happiness and satisfaction. We did great things because there was little hope.”
Carlo Ancelotti, who had promised his children he would stop smoking if Milan won the Champions League. The Italians beat Liverpool in May’s final. Athens and Milan did not burn. 🙂
3. “Tenho orgasmo quando faço gol bonito!” (I have an orgasm when I score a beautiful goal).
Afonso Alves of Heerenveen and the Brazilian National Team. In October, he scored 7 goals in one day for Heerenveen. Has anyone from Viagra approached him as a spokesman?
“Call your doctor, or Afonso Alves, if you have a goal that lasts for more than 4 hours.”
4. “He has apologized, they have been fined, and I consider the matter closed.”
Rafael Benitez, manager of Liverpool, commenting after Craig Bellamy thought that John Arne Riise’s leg was the 18th tee at St. Andrews.
5. “We should take Ronaldo to Lourdes.”
Silvio Berlusconi, patron of AC Milan, suggesting an alternative treatment for Ronaldo’s recurring injury woes. “O Fenomeno” has gone to Adriana, Barbara, Clara, Dacirene, Eliana, Fernanda, Gisela, Hadela, Iara, Jacilda, and Kaliana. Hopefully, “Lourdes” will provide the cure. But then there are always Milene, Nadjane, Olga, Paolina, Quilia, Rosa, Susanna, Teresa, Ursala, Vera, Walqueria, Ximena, Yasmine, and Zaira. Then we have the cures in Italy, Spain, and the USA. What we would give to be Ronaldo and get “cured”… 🙂
6. “Workers in Europe can circulate freely, but footballers are not workers.”
FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter. So, if they are not workers, they shouldn’t circulate? What about transfer fees? Should they stop circulating into club coffers as well? What about ticket prices? Why do they always circulate higher, Mr. Blatter? If I write for Soccerlens outside of Europe, how do I circulate to obtain worker status?
7. “No, it is me.”
Eric Cantona, former French international, Manchester United legend, and current coach of the French Beach World Cup team, when asked if Michel Platini or Zinedine Zidane was the best French player of all times. Should we have expected any other response from the poet laureate of world football?
8. “The England team needs more of a psychologist than a tactician.”
Fabio Capello, before he was named the new manager of England. How many psychologists in England earn more than the FA paid Mr. Capello?
“Michael, it is better not to incite envy and anger when you discuss the Croatians.”
“But Mr. Capello, they can’t get into our team.”
“Michael, you may not get into this team, but I’ll base that decision on further analysis. Please ask Lampard to come in next.” 🙂
9. “I would walk all the way back to Rome to play for Roma.”
Antonio Cassano was at Real Madrid when he uttered this two-legged promise. But all roads did not lead to Rome. Sampdoria of Genoa purchased his services from Los Merengues, and that cultured epicure, Vincenzo Montella, (“English coffee tastes like soapy water, but I like the London art galleries”) promised to entertain and educate his former fiery Roma mate after training sessions.
“Cenzo, who is this?”
“Tonio, that is a Canaletto. A 17th century masterpiece.”
“I bet that I told Capello to f*** off before he did.”
“Tonio, he died a few hundred years ago.”
“Damnit, Cenzo, I told both of them to f*** off!”
10. “If one day the Vatican were to have a competitive side and wanted me, I would happily go there as their Coach.”
Roberto Donadoni, manager of the Italian National Team. This was Mister Donadoni’s contingency plan in case he lost in Scotland. Can you imagine answering to the Holy Father?
“Roberto, the College of Cardinals and I think you should use the Christmas tree formation for the qualifier against Malta.”
“Holiness, after recruiting all of your Swiss Guards and personal staff, we still need an assistant coach, physio, masseur, kit man, ball boys, WAGs, someone to sell tickets, and special Holy Water for when Giovanni Trapattoni visits for a word with the lads. But as we discussed in our first audience, Carlo Ancelotti was better qualified for that tactical system than I.”
11. “To be the England manager you must win every game, not do anything in your private life and hopefully not earn too much money!”
Sven Goran Ericksson, manager of Manchester City, and the former England boss.
Let’s analyze this one by one.
1) Win every game. He didn’t, but had a good record. According to Dash, he had 60% wins, 15% losses, 25% draws.
2) Not do anything in your private life. He did. Frequently. Especially at Soho Square. Not dipping into the company ink, Mr. Ericksson, is Law Number 18 in life and in World Football. 🙂
3) Not earn too much money. Some believe that he did.
12. “If I have offended any Croatians, they have my deepest apologies.”
Operatic star Tony Henry after his mistake during the Croatian anthem at Wembley. He should have sung “Mila kuda si planina,’ which means, “You know, my dear, how we love your mountains.” Unfortunately, Mr. Henry sang “Mila kura si planina,” which translates as, “My dear, my penis is a mountain.”
Mr. Henry was credited with relaxing the Croatians before the big match, and has been asked to sing their anthem during Euro 2008 in Austria/Switzerland. I think he should sing that classic Motown hit, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
13. “When I finish my playing career, I want to become a preacher.”
Ricardo KakÃ of AC Milan and the Brazilian National team. If Beckham can’t convert the American masses, there is always Reverend Ricky in the wings. And as we know, God is Brazilian.
14. “I seem more Brazilian than Nelson Dida because he doesn’t talk much. But you can’t criticize a person for being quiet.”
Zeljco Kalac of AC Milan and Australia shows the usual solidarity among keepers. He made this quiet thought-provoking analysis listening to a Berlitz Portuguese language tape on the bench that was graciously donated by Afonso Alves.
What was the first phrase that he learned?
“I had a quiet orgasm when Dida fell down at Celtic Park, and I played for 3 minutes.”
15. “Everton have got three or four really outstanding players. It is a major setback to get a real beating like that but I trust the players to learn from it and I have to learn from it myself.”
Roy Keane, manager of Sunderland after Everton defeated them, 7 x 1. If Everton had 10 or 11 really outstanding players, would the beating have been at least 24 x 1? Using the Keane Coefficient, of course…
16. “The fact that a segment of the world worships an inferior product in the Premiership is their business. In England our league is considered second-class but I honestly believe if you took a helicopter and grabbed a bunch of MLS players and took them to the perceived best league in the world they wouldn’t miss a beat and the fans wouldn’t notice any drop in quality.”
Alexi Lalas, General Manager of the LA Galaxy. As of this date, no first class helicopter operator has been contracted to take the second-class bunches between North America and England. But wait… There is Air Beckham in some distant “Galaxy.”
17. “I’ll do Beckham by Christmas.”
American actress Lindsey Lohan promised to give David a warm Hollywood welcome. If she could only stay out of trouble long enough. Can Gerry McDonnell list odds? For getting in and out of trouble, that is…
18. “I hope that Napoli win these last few games. You watch, if we go up I will do a striptease. The fans have a total passion, the city deserves promotion.”
Sophia Loren, a native of Naples. Napoli did win promotion back to Serie A, but Miss Loren reneged on her passionate promise. In public, at least.
19. “Eddie Johnson reminds me of Eusebio.”
Diego Maradona made this salient observation in Venezuela at the Copa America. From the same man who once said “In this clinic, one guy thinks he is Napoleon, another thinks he is General San Martin, and nobody believes that I’m Maradona.”
20. “I want to see Major League Soccer in the flesh.”
Steve McClaren, former manager of England. In August, Mr. McClaren flew to Washington, D.C., to watch David Beckham and the LA Galaxy face DC United. Had he gone to Hollywood, odds were that he would have seen more flesh than football. But in October, he did make a second trip to observe Beckham before he played against Hollywood United in a fund-raising friendly. Strictly to access, in the flesh, David’s fitness levels.
21. “I would have never sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Inter.”
Luciano Moggi, former Director General and transfer guru of Juventus. Only the CIA, MI5, and the Mossad could tell us how this message was ever published. And then they would have to, well, you know…
22. “It is omelettes and eggs. No eggs – no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.”
José Mourinho, former manager of Chelsea FC. Now that he has a lot of free time on his hands, perhaps he can write a book about the classes of English eggs. But when his contract was paid off, Mr. Mourinho was in a position to buy more eggs than McDonalds.
23. “I don’t think any of the Croatian team would get into our team.”
Michael Owen of Newcastle United and the English National team made this interesting comment shortly after England were eliminated by Croatia. Karmic destiny was achieved when Croatia and England were placed in the same World Cup 2010 group. But Michael, why would any of them want to get into the England team?
Mr. Slaven Bilic, manager of Croatia, said: “Mila kura si planina, Michael.”
Tony Henry said:
“Ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe.”
24. “A referee is the most difficult job in the world, especially if you are in Italy.”
Claudio Ranieri, manager of Juventus. Actually, it is not so difficult now that Luciano Moggi is banned from locking referees in changing rooms, or from using telephones, cellphones, ultra banners, email, instant messages, chat rooms, texting, carrier pigeons, graffiti, sign language, wireless devices, beating drums, shortwave spy sounds, invisible ink, psychics, yodeling, smoke signals, and Morse Code for the rest of his natural life. He can’t even talk in his sleep anymore. If he is able to sleep anymore…
25. “I would play for nothing to stay at Boca Juniors.”
Juan Roman Riquelme, formerly of Villarreal, said this after his very successful loan spell in Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, his patron and manager at Villarreal, Mr. Roig and Mr. Pellegrini, preferred to pay him millions to watch games from the Estadio Madrigal terraces. This is what the accountants would call a “non-performing asset.” Fortunately, he will be performing again very soon for Boca.
26. “I will be beautiful again in four or five days.”
Cristiano Ronaldo commenting on his disfigured face after an elbow by Mirko Vucinic of AS Roma. If Ronaldo lived in Beverly Hills, California, he would only have to wait four or five hours. And might get on Lindsay Lohan’s A list.
27. “I think he made the wrong decision. Anyone who knows the game of soccer knows it was wrong. I have no doubt I would have made those saves… You can’t live in the past or who won the Olympic gold medal three years ago.”
Hope Solo, goalkeeper of the US Women’s National Team, commenting on her coach, Mr. Greg Ryan, during the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. He benched her in favor of Brianna Scurry for the key semi-final against Brazil. For telling the truth, Ms. Solo was banished from the team for its final third place game. But “truth” prevailed, and she is back in the team. Mr. Ryan has been relieved of his duties.
28. “Unfortunately apparently I am to blame because I don’t produce enough English players!”
Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal. Actually, it is Croatia’s fault for producing too many Croatian players.
29. “Despite the global warming, England is still not warm enough for him.”
Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal, commented on why Jose Reyes will return to Spain. I believe that a second opinion is warranted from Nobel Laureate, the Honorable, Mr. Al Gore.
30. “It is more than a football match now. It’s Clark Kent versus Lex Luthor, Popeye against Bluto. It’s good over evil.”
Chick Young of the BBC prior to Scotland x Italy. What he meant to say was “It’s Cain versus Abel, Napoleon versus Wellington, and José Mourinho versus Arsene Wenger.”
31. “Sometimes on a day off I go to the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. When we play at home, I go there after the game and it’s like a doughnut party! Everyone is eating doughnuts inside their cars – it’s like a disco!”
Insight from Cesc Fabregas on everything Arsenal, from what it really means to be an Arsenal ‘kid’ to why the Arsenal squad is getting tired around Christmas (too many trips to the donut shop?) to why Arsenal players have so much energy this year to their new weapon against United for the return clash at Old Trafford. The possibilities are endless, but one question bothers me more than most – a disco? Cesc needs to get out more often, and not with Arsenal players.
32. “I feel OK. The only difference is in training you have the press – and they want to come back home and sleep with you.”
Barcelona striker Thierry Henry on his intimate relationship with the Spanish hacks. Does he feel the same after filming this video – and more importantly, does he feel ‘OK’ about it?
33. “I am not the ‘Special One’. I’m the normal one. But my wife says I am special. What am I like? I am 180cm.”
New Chelsea manager Avram Grant on what makes him special.
Do you have a favorite, and what were some others that you read or heard during the year?
Please share them with us.
Happy Holidays, and all the best wishes for 2008. “In any language, the whole world is united by a ball.”