Famous Quotes

From Eric Cantona

“When you arrive in England for football it’s a paradise.”

“I prefer to play and lose rather than win, because I know in advance I’m going to win.”

“I’m so proud the fans still sing my name, but I fear tomorrow they will stop. I fear it because I love it. And everything you love, you fear you will lose.” To this day even 20 years after his retirement Cantona’s name is still sung around Old Trafford on match days.

“Sometimes you surprise the goalkeeper and sometimes the goalkeeper surprises you. In my career, I tried to do more of the first than the second.”

“The real fans of football come from the working class. Now they cannot afford to come and watch the game.”

“Deschamps gets by because he always gives 100 per cent, but he will never be anything more than a water carrier.” On the current France manager Didier Deschamps.

“My best moment? I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan.”

“When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.” This was when King Eric showed his philosophical side after returning from his 9 month ban for kicking said hooligan.

“After his first training session in heaven, George Best, from the favourite right wing, turned the head of God who was filling in at left back. I would love him to save me a place in his team, George Best that is, not God.”

“I am not a man, I am Cantona.” 

“I didn’t study; I live.”

“Manchester United is stronger than anybody in the world.”

“There can only be one king in Manchester, you can be the prince if you want.” When Zlatan signed for United.

From Sir Alex Ferguson

On winning the Champions League in 1999

“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. Football. Bloody hell.”

On his greatest challenge – 2002

“My greatest challenge is not what is happening right at this moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their perch. And you can print that.”

On Rafa Benitez’ infamous ‘fact’ based rant in 2009

“I think he was an angry man. He must have been disturbed for some reason. I think you have got to cut through the venom of it and hopefully he’ll reflect and understand what he said was absolutely ridiculous.”

On Arsene Wenger and Pizzagate – 2004

“In the tunnel Wenger was criticising my players, calling them cheats, so I told him to leave them alone and behave himself. To not apologise for the behaviour of the players to another manager is unthinkable. It’s a disgrace, but I don’t expect Wenger to ever apologise, he’s that type of person.”

On Leeds in the thrilling title run-in of 1996, prompting Kevin Keegan’s infamous ‘I’d love it’ rant on Sky.

“I can’t understand the Leeds players. I’m absolutely in support of their manager (Howard Wilkinson). He doesn’t deserve his players. If they had played like that all season they’d be near the top. They raised their game because they were playing Manchester United. It was pathetic. I think we can accept any club coming here and trying their hardest, so long as they do it every week.”

On the challenge of new Chelsea manager ‘Big’ Phil Scolari – August 2008

“I read that Scolari is more experienced than me. What have I been doing for the last 34 years? I must have missed something or been asleep somewhere. They are saying because of Scolari’s experience, Chelsea are going to win the league. I don’t understand that.”

On City and THAT Carlos Tevez poster

“It’s City isn’t it? They are a small club, with a small mentality. All they can talk about is Manchester United, that’s all they’ve done and they can’t get away from it.”

On the challenge of City and their newfound wealth – 2009

“Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour. You cannot do anything about that. They will always be noisy. You just have to get on with your life, put your television on and turn it up a bit louder.”

On signing Wayne Rooney – 2004

“I am very excited. I think we have got the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years.”

On Rooney’s transfer request in 2010

“Sometimes you look in a field and you see a cow and you think it’s a better cow than the one you’ve got in your own field. It’s a fact. Right? And it never really works out that way.”

On the flying boot that struck David Beckham’s face in 2003

“If I’d tried it 100 times or a million times, it wouldn’t happen again. If it did, I would carry on playing.”

On Beckham after his United departure in 2003

“He was blessed with great stamina, the best of all the players I’ve had here. After training, he’d always be practising, practising, ­practising. But his life changed when he met his wife. She’s in pop and David got another image. He’s developed this ‘fashion thing’ – I saw his transition to a different person.”

On Real Madrid’s attempts to sign Cristiano Ronaldo – December 2008

“Do you think I would enter into a contract with that mob? Absolutely no chance. I would not sell them a virus. That is a ‘No’ by the way. There is no agreement whatsoever between the clubs.”

On the Premier League’s fixture computer

“I’m not saying what they do down there, but next year we’ll be sending somebody to see how it happens, I can assure you. I just don’t understand how you can get the fixtures like that.”

On referee Alan Wiley, following a draw with Sunderland in 2009

“He was also walking up the pitch for the second goal needing a rest. He was not fit enough for a game of that standard. The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. He was not fit. It is an indictment of our game.”

On his original plans to retire in 2002

“I will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season and that is it.”

On his retirement u-turn in February 2002.

“It was really (his wife) Cathy’s idea. If she hadn’t come up with it and the boys (his sons, Mark, Darren and Jason) hadn’t given full support, I wouldn’t have considered a change of mind. But I do have to confess that maybe it was an idea I was hoping deep down that she would come up with.”

On his plans to retire at the end of his three-year contract in 2005 – February 2002

“I’m pleased to be staying – but once this contract is up, that will be it. I have no intention of staying on at the club in any capacity whatsoever.”

On retirement – March 2007

“I still have a lot of passion. I’m still happy. But I’m 66 now – maybe three years more, then I’ll finish.”

On retirement – October 2008

“I won’t be doing a Bobby Robson and be a manager when I am 70. It is just knowing when to quit. Football is like a drug which is difficult to give up.”

On retirement – October 2011

“I just don’t think about retirement any more. When you’ve been on the treadmill for so long, 25 years in my case, and my health is good at the moment, it’s just a matter of looking forward to being the manager of Manchester United, rather than worrying about Alex Ferguson.”

On the first time he saw Ryan Giggs

“He was 13 and just floated over the ground like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind.”

On trying to sign Alan Shearer in 1992

“Would Kenny have signed for Blackburn when he was a player? I know what he would have done if United and Blackburn had both come in for him.”

On THAT grey strip following defeat to Southampton in 1996

“The players couldn’t pick each other out. They said it was difficult to see their team-mates at distance when they lifted their heads. It was nothing to do with superstition. This club went 26 years without winning the league and we didn’t think about changing the red shirts. It’s nothing to do with that at all.”

On the title run in with Arsenal in 2003

“It’s getting tickly now – squeaky-bum time, I call it.”

From Sir Matt Busby

“It was a very simple team talk. All I used to say was ‘Whenever possible, give the ball to George’” (George Best of course!)

“Nobby Stiles a dirty player? No, he’s never hurt anyone. Mind you, he’s frightened a few!”

“He (George Best) was able to use either foot – sometimes he seemed to have six.”

“I never wanted Manchester United to be second to anybody. Only the best would be good enough.”

“In all modesty, my summing up of 1955-6 and 1956-7 must be that no club in the country could live with Manchester United.”

“He (Bobby Charlton) was idolized from his twentieth year on.”

“If you don’t put them in, you can’t know what you’ve got.”

“Resting in Interlaken, Germany was one thing and facing Old Trafford another. When I approached the ground and moved over the bridge along which our supporters had squeezed fifty abreast in there tens of thousands to shout for us I could scarcely bear to look. I new the ghosts of the babes would still be there, and there they are still, and they will always be there as long as those who saw them still cross the bridge, young, gay, red ghosts on the green grass of Old Trafford.”

“Over the years people called several players the new Duncan Edwards…first Dave Mackay, the Bryan Robson. But none of them came close. He was the only player that made me feel inferior.”

“I do not worry about conceding goals because I know my forwards will double it at the other end.”

“Manchester is my Heaven.”

“Winning isn’t everything. There should be no conceit in victory and no despair in defeat.”

From Ron Atkinson

”Someone in the England team will have to grab the ball by the horns.”

”For me their biggest threat is when they get into the attacking part of the field.”

”If you score against the Italians you deserve a goal”

”When Scholes gets it [tackling] wrong, they come in so late that they arrive yesterday”

”You can see the ball go past them, or the man, but you’ll never see both man and ball go past at the same time. So if the ball goes past, the man won’t, or if the man goes past they’ll take the ball.”

”van Nistelrooy, predating as usual…”

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