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Premier League football is nothing short of awesome, but if you comb through the history books, some of the best moments originate not from sensational strikes or jaw-dropping displays of athleticism. Those are all fine and dandy, but expected. For the diehards littered across the globe, the juiciest, some of the most memorable bits stem from the eyebrow-raising statements made off the pitch. From wacky, post-match speeches to the goofiest attempts at testosterone-fueled slams, the English Premier League has historically delivered some of the zaniest verbalized gems sure to baffle even the most cunning linguist. Derived from both short, monotone quips or dizzying diatribes, the best part about players’ and managers’ nuclear rants is the fact that, for a majority of the occasions, those orators are completely serious as they spew whatever half-baked string of nouns and verbs are swirling around their noodles. So, without further ado, here are some funnies from a collection of the EPL’s legendary figures that are sure to leave you sporting a big, toothy grin.
Considering the Oxford English Dictionary has cemented his "park the bus" phrase and other belly-busting whoppers, it’s easy to see why the three-time Premier League champion manager José Mourinho tops our list. A more extensive breakdown of his best quotes can be found at the shortlist.com.
“Young players are like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100% sure that the melon is good.”
“If they made a film of my life, I think they should get George Clooney to play me. He’s a fantastic actor and my wife thinks he would be ideal.”
“I have a problem, which is I’m getting better at everything related to my job since I started.”
“[God] must really think I’m a great guy.”
“It’s not important how we play. If you have a Ferrari and I have a small car, to beat you in a race I have to break your wheel or put sugar in your tank.”
“At the moment, we cannot walk from the bed to the toilet without breaking a leg.”
“The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelets and eggs. No eggs – no omelets! 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 omelets. So, when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.”
He lost us at omelets, or maybe it’s just time for a spot of breakfast.
Though he was always highly regarded for his superb dribbling and ability to maneuver swiftly and evasively in tight, congested areas of the pitch, the brash Northern Irish George Best, who scored 137 goals for Manchester United between 1963 and 1974 remains the architect of some of the wittiest, unfiltered blurbs in football. Props to The Irish Post for keeping track of his best.
"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
"If I'd been born ugly, you'd never have heard of Pelé."
"I used to go missing a lot... Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World."
"I've stopped drinking, but only while I'm asleep."
"In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol - it was the worst 20 minutes of my life."
Referencing Cristiano Ronaldo, Best once said, “There have been a few players described as the new George Best over the years, but this is the first time it's been a compliment to me."
Referencing David Beckham, Best once declared, "He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's alright."
Aside from once famously responding that he’d be a virgin if he weren’t a footballer, the 6’7 English striker Peter Crouch, who scored 22 goals for his national squad between 2005 and 2010, has blessed the football universe with a pantheon of additional quotes that had to make our list.
“My wife doesn’t like football. One day, she called me 10 minutes before a game to find out where I was.”
“I don’t have any tattoos, but that’s mainly because none of my limbs are wide enough to support a visible image.”
“I don't know why, but if I was walking down the street, the same people who called me freak would probably ask for a picture. It's a real strange thing.”
“I once bought an ill-advised half cashmere, half camel hair jumper for £800, then ruined it by spilling a pint of Guinness all over it.”
“A little voice deep down keeps telling me that an Aston Martin really isn’t me, but a louder voice is telling me that as an England international playing up front for Liverpool, the old rules no longer apply. Big voice: Peter, you’ve never looked cooler. Little voice: Peter, you’re a monstrous bell-end.”
As a player and manager, the mischievous and ever enthusiastic Scotsman is best known for propelling Liverpool into the first division, winning three Premier League championships and the UEFA Cup; however, he could talk the talk with the best of them. In addition to the gems below, a slew of other brilliant soundbites are collected at shanklyhotel.com.
“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
On resigning in 1974, Shankly said, “It was the most difficult thing in the world, when I went to tell the chairman. It was like walking to the electric chair. That’s the way it felt.”
Always one to poke fun at the Toffees, after beating Everton in the 1971 FA Cup semis, Shankly joked, “Sickness would not have kept me away from this one. If I’d been dead, I would have had them bring the casket to the ground, prop it up in the stands and cut a hole in the lid.”
Though the Englishman enjoyed a successful career as a striker, Brian Clough is primarily known for his success managing Derby County and Nottingham Forest, joining only three other managers to ever win English titles with two different clubs. Never one to mince words, throughout his years in the game, Clough enjoyed crafting one brutally honest, snarky quip after another. If this doesn’t satiate your thirst English football headlines, check out Sky Sports’ breakdown for more of Clough’s best comments.
“Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes.”
"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one."
“I’m a little bit of an idealist, I do believe in fairies, and that is my outlook.”
"Resignations are for prime ministers and those caught with their trousers down, not for me."
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