Some people think football [soccer] is a matter of life and death. I don't like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.
The problem with winter sports is that -- follow me closely here -- they generally take place in winter.
You're the only one that can put pressure on yourself... No one else can put pressure on you. It's self-inflicted. For me, I just want to go out and play football.
The StadiumHave you ever entered an empty stadium? Try it. Stand in the middle of the field and listen. There is nothing less empty than an empty stadium. There is nothing less mute than stands bereft of spectators.At Wembley, shouts from the 1966 World Cup, which England won, still resound, and if you listen very closely you can hear groans from 1953 when England fell to the Hungarians. Montevideo’s Centenario Stadium sighs with nostalgia for the glory days of Uruguayan soccer. Maracanã is still crying over Brazil’s 1950 World Cup defeat. At Bombonera in Buenos Aires, drums boom from half a century ago. From the depths of Azteca Stadium, you can hear the ceremonial chants of the ancient Mexican ball game. The concrete terraces of Camp Nou in Barcelona speak Catalan, and the stands of San Mamés in Bilbao talk in Basque. In Milan, the ghosts of Giuseppe Meazza scores goals that shake the stadium bearing his name. The final match of the 1974 World Cup, won by Germany, is played day after day and night after night at Munich’s Olympic Stadium. King Fahd Stadium in Saudi Arabia has marble and gold boxes and carpeted stands, but it has no memory or much of anything to say.
Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn't come with money and it doesn't come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionateabout what you do. That's having a life of success. When you have the ability to do what you love, love what you do and have the ability to impact people. That's having a life of success. That's what having a life of meaning is.
The ball laughs, radiant, in the air. He brings her down, puts her to sleep, showers her with compliments, dances with her, and seeing such things never before seen his admirers pity their unborn grandchildren who will never see them.
And one fine day the goddess of the wind kisses the foot of man, that mistreated, scorned foot, and from that kiss the soccer idol is born. He is born in a straw crib in a tin-roofed shack and he enters the world clinging to a ball.
I didn’t answer. We were not buddies. We could not chat about the proximity of our offices, or football, or forgiveness.
[Books are] vital to learning. Half the population don't go to football matches but that doesn't make football any less important.
Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.
Things that aren't important, that have nothing to do with winning and losing, don't have to be a rule.
I've never bonded with anyone before. I didn't know that day on the field that standing up to him the way I did could earn his respect. He might have been an asshole homophobe but he was my asshole homophobe and probably the first real friend I ever had. I love him. Don't tell him. He wouldn't want to hear it.
I crawled back to bed, knowing I was done for. Hours later, the phone in our room started ringing. It was George. He was not happy.Room 312. Now! he shouted.Bouldy got up. I tried to pull myself together, splashing my face with water and hauling on my shorts and flip flops. It was a lovely day outside, the sun was scorching hot and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, but it might as well have been a pissing wet morning in St Albans for all I cared. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach as we made the Walk of Death to Room 312, which I knew was Paul and Gus's room.When we walked in, I thought I'd arrived in downtown Baghdad. Water dripped from the ceiling. The board games were in pieces and all the plastic parts were scattered over the floor. The balcony window was wide open and I could see a bed upended by the pool outside.
I think you're a shit,’ said Keith sharply. ‘I think much of what you’ve done this season is shit and I think what you've put everyone involved with this club through is shit. How’s that?
Well we certainly don't want to see that kind of thing,’ admonished Jeff Stelling. ‘Did it calm down?’‘No,’ shouted Kamara. ‘It got worse. The police were just getting involved when the chairman was hit by a pie thrown from the crowd.’‘Was he injured?’ asked Stelling, struggling to suppress a giggle.‘I don’t think so,’ laughed Kamara. ‘He sat down and started eating it!
Oh really?’ said Mayes raising a mocking eyebrow which put Rob in mind of a poor man’s Roger Moore. ‘And what on earth makes you think that you of all people would be allowed anywhere near our board meeting? Rob’s smile widened as he realised that he was about to have one of those golden bombshell moments of the type he’d been on the receiving end of all too frequently over the last few days. ‘Because Mr. Mayes, I’m your new chairman.
Jane turned and looked at Rob who was still staring into space with a crazed look on his face. ‘Are you listening to this?’ she said as she thumped him on the arm. Rob turned to her and broke into a broad grin. ‘Listening to what?’ he laughed. ‘I’m loaded. I don’t have to listen to anything!’‘Yes you do,’ said England calmly. ‘You have to listen very carefully.
A game?’ Rob spluttered. ‘A bloody game?’ He turned to face his father. ‘This is your bloody fault! I’m living your bloody karma!
You see football isn’t just about 90 minutes, it‘s about passion and, yes, if you like, about life. We men will do things under the umbrella of football fandom that we would never dream of doing in any other sphere of life, and within the pages that follow I will try and explain why.
One of the things about football fans in general is that they all think that they’re the same. But they are not. This is a myth put about by people who wish that they were the same as the geezers. There are, in fact, a number of distinctive types of supporter, and although they all have a role to play, they are all very different indeed.
Two hours later, a noise resembling a hippo rolling along a corrugated iron roof shook Jane from her doze and Rob bursts through the living room door.
[F]or the most part football these days is the opium of the people, not to speak of their crack cocaine. Its icon is the impeccably Tory, slavishly conformist Beckham. The Reds are no longer the Bolsheviks. Nobody serious about political change can shirk the fact that the game has to be abolished. And any political outfit that tried it on would have about as much chance of power as the chief executive of BP has in taking over from Oprah Winfrey.
We want different things. Men want to have sex with a woman. Then they want to have sex with another woman. And then another. Then they want to eat cornflakes and sleep for a while, and then they want to have sex with another woman, and another, until they die. Women,’ and I thought I’d better pick my words carefully when describing a gender I didn’t belong to, ‘want a relationship. They may not get it, or they may sleep with a lot of men before they do get it, but ultimately that’s what they want. That’s the goal. Men do not have goals. Natural ones. So they invent them, and put them at either end of a football pitch. And then they invent football. Or they pick fights, or try and get rich, or start wars, or come up with any number of daft bloody things to make up for the fact that they have no real goals.’‘Bollocks,’ said Ronnie.‘That, of course, is the other main difference.
To be perfectly honest, if I had my way women wouldn’t even be allowed inside grounds, and I certainly believe that if a ground is sold out and a male of the species is locked outside, someone should go in, grab the nearest female and throw her out so that the bloke can have her seat.
Women‘s football is crap. If it were any good people would go and watch it, but it isn’t and they don’t. And, to be honest, I doubt they ever will.
The strongest storms make the best sailors. The strongest games make the best players. Tougher challenges make the best leaders.