Famous Quotes Of 2017

As another year in football draws to a close, I have done my best to boil it down to the quips and quotes that mattered most.

Some of it is illuminating, some fascinating, and some is downright baffling. There are plenty of repeat offenders in this rundown, as well as one or two who are not so well known for speaking out. There’s Zlatan Ibrahimović in predictably verbose form, Arsene Wenger backed into a corner about his future, and Brendan Rodgers getting himself in all kinds of bother over how many players make up a football team…

There’s a special guest appearance from Elton John, Kevin de Bruyne explains why playing with David Silva is like arguing with his wife, whilst Pep Guardiola and Tony Pulis lose track of time over a friendly drink.

This retinue of famous football quotes from the outgoing year would be divided into four pieces so join us for a nostalgic jaunt as we revisit the last 12 months in words…3 months at a time.


“I have no individual targets because that I did already, after three months in England. I conquered England – it took three months.”

– Zlatan Ibrahimovic refuses to set a target after his sensational start to life at Manchester United

“I am deeply saddened and shocked to hear about Graham’s passing. He was like a brother to me. We went on an incredible journey together. He took my beloved Watford from the depths of the lower leagues to uncharted territory and into Europe. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius. This is a sad and dark day for Watford. The club and the town. We will cherish Graham and drown our sorrows in the many brilliant memories he gave us. I love you Graham. I will miss you very much.”

– Elton John paid a heartfelt tribute to Graham Taylor.

“I came here because I have targets, it’s a big challenge for me. I could have also gone to Real Madrid or Barcelona, they were interested. I chose to return because I had that in my heart. It was my feeling that brought me here. I want to win with Manchester United, I’ve never won with them. I had always said that I would return — I didn’t know when — because it’s a club that I like a lot. I hadn’t finished, I left because I wanted to play. I hadn’t done what I had wanted to do here. I want United to become the great United again. That’s my challenge here.”

– Paul Pogba explains his reasons for returning to Manchester

“Actually, they were teasing me, saying that the Mkhitaryan one was better! It’s crazy that two similar goals were scored in one week. I don’t know if I got inspired, it’s destiny. He did very well as well, but I think mine is better! But to be serious, it was funny in the dressing room, we were all surprised by what happened.”

– Olivier Giroud talks about his ‘scorpion goal’ in relation to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s

“Four years ago, I could not afford to watch this match on the television. Now people in the game centre back home were watching me score this goal. Maybe the kids who could not afford the 50 naira were waiting outside, kicking a ball or a balloon around. Maybe somebody came outside after the match was over and told them “Manchester City won. Kelechi scored.”

– Writing in the Players’ Tribune, Kelechi Iheanacho explains how his Manchester derby winning goal was received in his native Nigeria

“When Wayne Rooney joined the club I could never imagine anybody could beat Sir Bobby’s record. So his achievement is outstanding. It’s amazing. He’s 200-odd games short of Bobby’s playing record and that makes it even more amazing. I don’t think anyone can [overtake Rooney].”

– Sir Alex Ferguson leads the plaudits for Wayne Rooney after he breaks Sir Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United scoring record

“I would be lying to say that I’m not disappointed to have lost the record. However, I can honestly say that I’m delighted for Wayne. He deserves his place in the history books. He is a true great for club and country, and it is fitting that he is now the highest goalscorer for both United and England.”

– Sir Bobby Charlton reflects on Rooney breaking his Manchester United goalscoring record


“After 21 incrdible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer. Whilst I have received a number of exciting offers to continue playing at home and abroad, at 38 I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my life.”

– Chelsea and England great Frank Lampard announces his retirement from football

“I have loved being a footballer. Up until now, the ball was my whole life. I’m going to give myself, body and soul to my career as a DJ, a producer, and as a pundit, as well as develop my line of clothing.”

– Djibril Cisse sheds light on his post-football career plans

“I can continue with my leadership style, giving my best every day, in every training, until the end of the season. I can keep doing it this season, but not beyond.”

– Germany and Bayern Munich icon Philipp Lahm announces his retirement from football

“He offered his best wishes for me and my partner this week, which was an unbelievable touch. He is someone I have a massive amount of respect for. For me, he is the best manager in the world. I don’t think there’s anybody close to him and what he has achieved. For him to offer that to me, I respected it and accepted it with a smile on my face.”

– Harry Arter reveals details of his conversation with Man City boss Pep Guardiola following the death of his baby daughter

“Yesterday my dream died. After the euphoria of last season and being crowned Premier League champions all I dreamt of was staying with Leicester City, the club I love, for always. Sadly this was not to be.”

– Claudio Ranieri reacts to his sacking as Leicester City manager, less than a year after he guided the Foxes to the Premier League title

“I shed a tear last night. I shed a tear for Claudio. I shed a tear for football, and I shed a tear for my club. It’s inexplicable to me, and I think it’s inexplicable to a lot of football fans who love the game, but I suppose in some ways you can explain it in terms of a panic decision, and for me a wrong decision and it’s very sad.”

– Former Leicester striker Gary Lineker slams the decision to relieve Ranieri of his duties

“He deserves the Leicester stadium to be named ‘Claudio Ranieri Stadium’. The most beautiful thing in the Premier League and one of most beautiful in football history.”

– Jose Mourinho voices his support for Ranieri following his sacking at Leicester

“I’ve been watching football for a very, very long time and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game of football where two teams should come off the pitch and hang their heads in shame.”

– Jamie Carragher after Leicester beat Liverpool 3-1, ending a run of five successive defeats which culminated in the sacking of Claudio Ranieri


“You will soon know.”

– On March 18, Arsene Wenger offers an update of sorts on his contract situation at Arsenal

“I’m not a clown, I’m not always laughing like crazy. I’m a normal person. My job is to make the players feel there’s a big chance to win it. I was a real mentality player, my strength was pushing team-mates. You try everything in the game – have influence from the sideline.”

– Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp speaks at a news conference ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Anfield

“The way we played, the defensive system we used, didn’t please me. You could say I was bored.”

– Marseille winger Dimitri Payet tells L’Equipe why he was frustrated at West Ham

“One on the left and one on the right. I think I’m playing with twins. He is a fantastic player, he helps the team a lot and we are happy to have him on the team.”

– Eden Hazard sings N’Golo Kante’s praises as his performances propel Chelsea towards the title in his first season at the club

“Lived it. Loved it

Farewell beautiful game”

– Xabi Alonso announced his retirement from football via social media

to be continued tomorrow….