10 big quotes from La Liga players: from Di Stefano and Cruyff to Mourinho and Simeone
A look at some of the finest quotes over the years from La Liga coaches and players...
LaLiga coaches and players have always talked a good game, and here are 10 famous phrases from Spanish football history which still provoke a smile… or some head-scratching!
“Un partido sin goles es como un domingo sin sol” - Alfredo Di Stefano
The Real Madrid legend and all-time great’s take on what he wanted to see during the 90 minutes: “A game without goals is like a Sunday without sun.” Poetic or what?
“La calidad sin resultados es inútil. Los resultados sin calidad aburren” - Johan Cruyff
“Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring.” Wise words and a very simple footballing philosophy from the late, great Johan Cruyff. Few could claim to have revolutionized the world game quite as much as the mercurial Dutchman, who starred for Barcelona in the 1970s and managed the iconic ‘Dream Team in the 1990s.
“Ganar, ganar y volver a ganar” (Luis Aragones)
Spain’s Euro 2008 winning coach and Atletico de Madrid cult hero Luis Aragones on the basic aim of football: “Win and win and win, and win again. Then win and win and win and win. That’s football.” Can’t argue with that.
“Pedí un sofá y me trajeron una lampara” - Rafa Benitez
One-time Valencia coach Rafa Benitez’s response when he wanted his club to sign a forward only to be given a winger, the Uruguayan Fabian Canobbio? “It's like I asked for a sofa, and they bought me a lamp.” You get what he meant…
“Si no tienes perro para ir a cazar y tienes un gato vas con él” - Jose Mourinho
Then Real Madrid coach Mourinho on having to make do with ‘just’ Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema as his centre-forwards during his time as Real Madrid coach: “If you don't have a dog to go hunting, you just have a cat, well you take the cat.” Some might say he didn’t have it so bad!
“Me veo en los cromos vestido del Real Madrid y no me reconozco” - Luis Enrique
The current Spain coach courted controversy in 1996 when he moved across the El Clasico divide from Real Madrid to FC Barcelona. He went on to become an icon at the Camp Nou and has never hidden that he felt more at home with the blaugrana than he ever did in the capital. He famously remarked that “When I see myself wearing white in the sticker albums, I don't recognise myself.”
“Partido a Partido” - Diego Simeone
El Cholo’s response whenever asked if his Atletico de Madrid team can win the LaLiga title, often given with a smile, especially as they closed in on the 2013/14 trophy: “We just take it one game at a time.” The phrase has become a modern day LaLiga mantra.
“El sábado ya pienso que tiene que volver a jugar los once mismos cabrones” - John Toshack
Real Madrid’s Welsh coach John Toshack explained his thought process in the week following a calamitous away match at Rayo Vallecano: “On Mondays I always think I’ll make ten changes to the team. On Tuesdays, seven or eight. By Thursday, it’s four. Friday two, and by Saturday I’m back to starting the same eleven bastards.” Football is a players’ game, it seems.
“Siempre negativo, nunca positivo” - Louis van Gaal
Former Barça manager van Gaal’s legendary angry response to a journalist who asked a [mildly] critical question during a press conference during his first stint as blaugrana coach in 1999: “You are always very bad, always negative, never positive.” Delivered in his strong accent – which made ‘positivo’ and ‘negativo’ sound more like ‘positifo’ and ‘negatifo’ – the press conference branded van Gaal with the ‘always negative’ label for the rest of his time in Catalonia.
“Jugar tanto ante el Barcelona es ir tres veces al dentista” - Joaquin Caparros
The Levante coach didn’t mince his words when calendars collided to see his side have to face Lionel Messi and Barcelona three times in quick succession in both LaLiga and the Copa del rey in January 2014: “To play so often against Barcelona is like having to go the dentist three times.” He just said what everyone was feeling…
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