The turn of the year is always an ideal time to
reflect on what’s gone before, so Goal has
decided to take advantage of this most
opportune occasion by trawling through the
most memorable quotes of 2014.
Some are amusing, some are touching, some
are controversial, while some are downright
bizarre. All of them, though, made headlines
around the footballing world. So, sit back and
enjoy, and be sure to let us know if we’ve
missed any crackers in the space provided at
the foot of the page …
“Maybe Louis does have a golden willy.”
– Arjen Robben comments on the bizarre
rumours regarding the key to Louis van Gaal’s
success as Netherlands coach.
“It’s nothing but masturbation for
– Andrea Pirlo dismisses the importance of
pre-match warm-ups with typical creativity.
“One day we won’t have the World Cup, we will
have inter-planetary contests.”
– Say what you will about Fifa president Sepp
Blatter but he is nothing if not an ideas man.
“Action replays in a match situation isn’t real
football. We all dream of seeing Monica
Bellucci naked, but don’t want to see her x-
– Italian Referees’ Association (AIA) president
Marcello Nicchi argues that it is possible to
get too close to the action. Or that some
things are better left to the imagination. We’re
not quite sure.
“A stadium without fans in the curva is like a
woman without breasts.”
– Sampdoria boss Sinisa Mihajlovic argues
against closing stands as a punishment for
crowd trouble, in his own inimitable fashion.
“If we beat Costa Rica I want a kiss –
obviously on the cheek – from the UK Queen.”
– Unfortunately, Mario Balotelli was unable to
inspire Italy to a World Cup win over Los
“As amazing as it sounds, the ball hit my
moustache. It was a moustache goal.”
– Brazil striker Fred reminds everyone of the
old adage that ‘they all count’ after ending his
World Cup goal drought with an unorthodox
finish against Cameroon.
“I was with the national team at the time. I
called Andrea Pirlo over and said: ‘F**k, look
who we’ve hired!’ But now I thank God every
day that we hired Porompopero!”
– Daniele De Rossi admits that he was less
than impressed when he googled Rudi Garcia
after the Frenchman’s appointment as Roma
coach and found a Youtube clip of his new
boss playing guitar and singing ‘Porompoper’.
“I got Robbie’s mobile number and rang him.
It went to his voicemail: ‘Hi, it’s Robbie –
whazzup!’ Like the Budweiser ad. I never
called him back. I thought: ‘I can’t be f******
– Former Sunderland boss Roy Keane reveals
why he decided against making a bid for
“Take someone like (Parma striker) Antonio
Cassano. He says he’s slept with 700 women
but he doesn’t get picked for Italy any more.
Can he really be happy? I wouldn’t be.”
– Pirlo reveals that he has always preferred
scoring on the field to off it.
“It was like being in a barbecue. In these
moments you realise what a fascinating thing
a cactus is for not withering away.”
– Thomas Muller marvels at the resilience of
nature after Germany’s win over France in the
searing heat of Rio de Janeiro.
DOWN IN THE DUMPS
“This is the worst day of my life.”
– Luis Felipe Scolari. July 8, 2014.
“At no stage has it looked like we won’t go
through. I knew we would score, but the
impressive thing has been not conceding and
it has never looked likely to happen. I don’t
want to jinx it, but … Oh, you’re f***ing joking!
F***! Don’t f***ing do this! How unfair, man!
Mother of God!”
– Former Valencia ace David Albelda is left in
a state of shock after Los Che are denied a
place in the Europa League final by a last-
minute strike from Sevilla.
“Everything is s*** because we lost.”
– Ronaldo Koeman offers a wonderfully blunt
appraisal of Southampton’s situation after an
unlucky 2-1 loss to Manchester United.
“You can’t go to a three-star restaurant with
€10 in your wallet.”
– Antonio Conte takes a not-so-subtle dig at
Juventus over the size of his summer transfer
kitty shortly before parting company with the
Italian club by mutual consent.
“The best news today is that football is over
for 2014. Any criticism that we receive now is
justified. We are standing here like complete
idiots and it’s completely our own fault.”
– Coach Jurgen Klopp calls it like he sees it
as Borussia Dortmund end the year inside the
Bundesliga relegation zone.
“It’s a breach of human rights that a player
cannot go into a stadium where there are
80,000 people or into a hotel with his team-
mates, that he cannot work for four months,
he has committed a crime, but this is
barbarity. Not even a criminal would receive
– Uruguay captain Diego Lugano was more
than a little bit upset by Luis Suarez’s
suspension for biting Giorgio Chiellini.
“It’s probably been the worst three months of
– Steve Gerrard opens his heart after leading
England to an embarrassing first-round exit at
Brazil 2014 just over a month after Liverpool
blew the chance to win a first Premier League
title in 24 years.
“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 proves himself as creative and
inventive off the field as he is on it, after being
accused of biting Chiellini during Italy’s World
Cup win over Uruguay.
“The worst of everything is the attitude of
Chiellini. He’s a great player, with an
enormous status. It doesn’t correspond with
Italian football. A sportsmen leaving the field,
crying and appealing against a rival. As a
man, he disappointed me totally.”
– Uruguay captain Lugano inexplicably blames
Chiellini for a making a meal out of Suarez
trying to make a meal out of him.
“My fellow players are sometimes occupying
the spaces I want to play in. That forces me to
adjust my runs, based on the position of my
fellow players. Unfortunately, they’re often
playing in my zones. I think that’s a shame.”
– Manchester United striker Robin van Persie
explains that his team-mates are to blame for
his dismal goals return during the 2013-14
Premier League season.
“It is clear that when you are the best team in
the world there is envy in some places. We at
Real Madrid suffer from that and must fight
– Sergio Ramos attributes his club’s 4-3
Clasico loss to Barcelona to biased refereeing
from jealous officials.
“The team underperformed in the second half
but that was normal because it started to
– Ex-Inter boss Walter Mazzarri takes excuse-
making to another level after another poor
performance, against Verona. Four days later
he was fired.
STICKING THE BOOT IN
“He scored the 4-1 goal in the 120th minute
of the Champions League final and celebrated
like he was insane. That was the ultimate
proof that he loves himself. The headlines
should be about the team, not about
Ronaldo… It’s a sad thing that a team loses
its identity because of an unbalanced captain,
both for Ronaldo and for an entire
– Zvonimir Boban lays into Ballon d’Or holder
Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal’s first-round
elimination at World Cup 2014.
“The reality is he’s a specialist because eight
years without a piece of silverware, that is
– Mourinho takes an umpteenth swipe at old
rival Arsene Wenger, who would go on to end
his trophy drought with Arsenal by lifting the
“It could end up like the Dog & Duck against
the Red Lion.”
– TV pundit Gary Neville was not exactly
excited by the prospect of having to watch
former side Manchester United face Liverpool,
in light of the two sides’ underwhelming
Premier League performances.
“An old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and
– Neymar’s agent, Wagner Riberio, bids
farewell to Luiz Felip Scolari after his
resignation as Brazil boss.
“I am a sportsman, not a brand ambassador. I
am not the sort of person who poses in
– Manuel Neuer stresses in no uncertain terms
that he has nothing in common with Cristiano
Ronaldo other than a Ballon d’Or nomination.
“It gave the title to Manchester City – it’s as
simple as that.”
– Jose Mourinho unsurprisingly refuses to
sugarcoat things for Steven Gerrard’s benefit
after being asked about the midfielder’s
infamous slip in Liverpool’s loss at home to
Chelsea in May.
“They went home from Brazil with no emotion,
as if such failure is normal. Typical for
losers… They just stare at smartphones, with
big earphones and PlayStation in their brains.
They don’t even know who they represent or
what they are part of.”
– Boban turns his attention to England and
their underperforming players, who bowed out
of the World Cup at the group stage and
without a victory to their name.
“I like Arsene for his principles, but principles
are sort of a restriction. And restrictions are
always lost possibilities.”
– Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov makes
it obvious that he no longer has any faith in
Arsene Wenger’s methods.
“Icardi shouldn’t have played today. He
doesn’t belong to the football family!”
– Diego Maradona expresses his outrage at
Inter striker and love-rat Mauro Icardi being
invited to partake in a friendly game arranged
to promote world peace.
“It was like something out of Swan Lake – it’s
– Hull boss Steve Bruce was astounded by the
fact that Gary Cahill escaped a second yellow
card for his theatrics in a 2-0 loss to Chelsea.
“If one day I go to a game and I don’t feel I
can win, maybe I don’t go.”
– Mourinho aims another verbal volley in the
direction of Anfield, this time mocking
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers for
controversially fielding a weakened team for a
Champions League clash with Real Madrid.
“He’s worse than Dracula because at least
Dracula comes out of his coffin now and then.
He seems to stay on his line and that’s it.”
– Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce
Grobbelaar addresses Simon Mignolet’s
alleged fear of crosses.
“You can win the Champions League in the
– Mourinho undermines Roberto Di Matteo’s
2012 European Cup triumph with the Blues
ahead of a meeting with the Italian’s current
“Rooney looks a bit chubby.”
– Norway defender Vegard Forren is less than
impressed by the physical condition of
“He cannot play football. I’m serious: he
cannot play football.”
– The one and only Boban launches a stinging
attack on the limited footballing ability of
Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini.
“I’m Samuel Eto’o. I really don’t care.”
– Former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o shrugs
off Jose Mourinho’s comments about his age
before then demonstrating a fantastic sense of
humour by celebrating a goal at Stamford
Bridge like an old man.
“You don’t understand anything about
football. Trust me, you really don’t.”
– Mario Balotelli loses it on Italian TV after
being criticised by Sky Sport Italia pundits for
a poor performance in AC Milan’s loss at
“I couldn’t give a s***! He just can’t take it.
Good old Jose, moaning again.”
– Sam Allardyce savours Mourinho’s enraged
reaction to the “19th century” football West
Ham employed in securing a draw at Chelsea.
“Sergio Ramos is a fantastic football player,
but he is not a doctor.”
– Chelsea boss Mourinho defends Diego Costa
and Cesc Fabregas against insinuations that
they pulled out of a Spain squad with
“We would not judge a city like Newcastle on
the basis of MTV’s ‘Geordie Shore’: we do not
think all of that city’s inhabitants are rude,
gym-addicted and sociopathic. It is a shame
to see The Guardian did not afford Napoli the
– Napoli director of communications Nicola
Lombardo issues a fantastic response to an
English newspaper’s use of some lazy and
offensive Mafia-related cliches in a story
about the Italian city.
“Pirlo is that good he meant to hit the
– Thierry Henry pays tribute to the infallible
Andrea Pirlo, after the midfielder strikes the
woodwork with a swerving free-kick in Italy’s
World Cup clash with England.
“I would like to congratulate the mothers of
these players because they have big
– It’s fair to say that Atletico Madrid coach
Diego Simeone was pleased with the belief and
resilience his troops showed in their
Champions League win over Chelsea at
“Messi would be the best player in the world –
if he were human.”
– Carlos Queiroz salutes the otherworldly
Lionel Messi after the No.10 earns Argentina
a 1-0 victory over Iran with a sensational
“Guardiola is crazy about football. You can
call him at three in the morning to discuss
tactics with him.”
– Arjen Robben reveals just how committed
Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola is to his
“I don’t know if he is the best player of all
time, but he’s the best right now. With him,
and the stats are showing it, you start the
game at 1-0.”
– Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti expresses
his gratitude for star forward Cristiano
Ronaldo, scorer of a frankly ridiculous 25
goals in 14 Liga games.
“Compared to Sven Bender, Chuck Norris is a
– Borussia Dortmund sporting director pays
defender Sven Bender the ultimate
THE HEIGHT OF ARROGANCE
“At the start of the season, Zlatan asked me
about the goals I scored during my
Valenciennes loan. I told him I scored two
goals in 21 games. And he then replied: ‘Pff,
you think that’s good? Bahebeck: two goals,
21 games. Zlatan: two games, 21 goals.'”
– Paris Saint-Germain youngster Jean-
Christophe Bahebeck enhances Zlatan
Ibrahimovic’s reputation as the most
amusingly conceited character in football
“Thank you, but to finish second is like
finishing last. On that list I would have been
number 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, with due respect to
– Ibrahimovic expresses his ‘gratitude’ after
coming second to tennis legend Bjorn Borg in
a vote for the top 150 Swedes.
“I do not look to beat records. This happens
– Cristiano Ronaldo responds with his
characteristic lack of humility to yet another
“If you go and sit with Van Gaal, you’ll come
out thinking, ‘I’m 12 years old.’ He will speak
to you as if you have no clue.”
– Rene Meulensteen freely admits that he is no
fan of Louis van Gaal’s people skills.
“I taught Romero how to stop penalties, so
– Even in defeat, Van Gaal still manages to big
himself up, with the Dutchman reminding
everyone after Sergio Romero’s heroics in
Argentina’s shootout success against
Netherlands that he coached the goalkeeper at
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
“Today. Today you become a hero.”
– Javier Mascherano’s words to Sergio Romero
before Argentina’s World Cup semi-final
shootout with Netherlands. The goalkeeper
saved two spot-kicks as the Albiceleste
triumphed 4-2 on penalties.
“It was Tottenham at home. I thought, ‘Please
don’t go on about Tottenham, we all know
what Tottenham are about: they are nice and
tidy but we’ll f**king do them.’ Alex came in
and said: ‘Lads, it’s only Tottenham.’ And that
was it! Brilliant!”
– Whatever his issues with former Manchester
United boss Alex Ferguson, Roy Keane retains
the utmost admiration for the Scot’s ingenious
“Go out and show the world that you are
better than Messi!”
– Joachim Low reveals what he told Mario
Gotze before sending the attacker on to win
the World Cup for Germany.
THE UGLY GAME
“In England, the non-European Union players
have to prove they’re worthy of playing in the
Premier League. Here, in Italy, we have ‘Opti
Poba’, who was eating bananas yesterday but
is now a regular at Lazio.”
– Claudio Tavecchio shames the game with
his horribly offensive views on foreign players
in Serie A. Depressingly, the 71-year-old was
still elected as the new president of the Italian
Football Federation (FIGC).
“When the national team get a bad result,
they start to say there is a little bit too many
black people, Muslim people and this kind of
stuff. I don’t like it. There is no point for me to
play for this kind of country.”
– Benoit Assou-Ekotto holds nothing back in
explaining why he opted to represent
Cameroon at international level rather than
“I have never seen a slave in Qatar.”
– Franz Beckenbauer momentarily pulls his
head out of the sand to offer his opinion on
reports of slave labour within the nation
chosen to host the 2022 World Cup.
“Don Alfredo leaves us, but his memory will
last forever in our hearts. Legends never die.
Thanks for everything Maestro.”
– Cristiano Ronaldo pays tribute to the
immortal Alfredo Di Stefano.
“Di Stefano was the most important player in
the history of Real Madrid and the best
footballer of all time.”
– Blancos president Florentino Perez gives
thanks to a true legend of the game.
“The fact he was standing there clapping
before running away is a mark of the man.”
– Former Manchester United goalkeeper Alex
Stepney recalls the fact that Eusebio
applauded him for making a crucial save from
the Benfica legend in the dying seconds of
normal time in the 1968 European Cup final,
pointing out that Portuguese was not only a
great footballer but also a wonderful
“We were opponents and companions in
football. The last time I remember meeting we
were filming an advert together in England.
When we finished up we were asking each
other what the future had in store for us … We
were very close. He is among the best friends I
have ever had.”
– The last word on Eusebio’s passing goes to
Di Stefano. Friends and legends forever.
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The turn of the year is always an ideal time to