This summers World Cup in Russia, much like most previous tournaments, has been a wonderful spectacle for football fans around the globe.
As brilliant as club football is, there is little doubt that the added spice of seeing nations come together in support of their team makes the FIFA World Cup the greatest show on earth. Here are some of the greatest quotes ever about the beautiful games most prestigious tournament.
“Only three people have ever silenced 200,000 people at the Maracanã with a single gesture: Frank Sinatra, Pope John Paul II and me.” Alcides Ghiggia said this 50 years after breaking millions of Brazilian hearts by scoring the winning goal in 1950.
“I saw my father cry for the first time when Brazil were knocked out of the 1950 World Cup. I promised him there and then that I would help win it for him. Seeing your side lose doesn’t have to be a disaster- it could be the start of something beautiful” Pele
“The World Cup is a very important way to measure the good players, and the great ones. It is a test of a great player.” – Pele
“They won’t remember me for winning the World Cup, it’ll be for that save. That’s how big a thing it is. People just want to talk about that save.” Gordon Banks on his wonder save from Pele at the 1970 World Cup.
“A little with the head of Maradona, a little with the hand of God”. – Diego Maradona on scoring his famous ‘hand of God’ goal against England.
“I’m sure sex wouldn’t be as rewarding as winning the World Cup. It’s not that good, but the World Cup is every four years and sex is not.” – Brazilian Ronaldo.
“I don’t feel pressure … I don’t give a toss about it. I spent the afternoon of Sunday, 9 July, 2006 in Berlin sleeping and playing the PlayStation. In the evening, I went out and won the World Cup.” – Andrea Pirlo on winning the 2006 World Cup.
“Brazil go into every World Cup expecting to win – so when it is in Brazil, it is expected even more. You can’t understand what the World Cup means to our country. Not just the fans and players, but everybody in Brazil lets us know that they expect it. Our president, people in politics, all tell us to come back with the World Cup.” Ronaldinho
“I was only waiting for the pass from Cesc Fabregas and he delivered in a perfect way. He was very quick and for a moment I was alone and I really thought I was offside but I controlled it well and when I hit the ball I knew it had to go in.” – Andres Iniesta after scoring the winner in the 2010 World Cup final.
“As a kid growing up in the back streets of Dublin I used to pretend I was playing in the World Cup with my mates out on the streets, and now I will be doing it for real.” Robbie Keane
“I told Mario Gotze, ‘go out and show the world you are better than Messi.” – Joachim Low after his team won the World Cup in 2014.
“The World Cup only comes around once every four years and is the absolute pinnacle of our sport. It is something we dream about as players. It is a reason why many of us started playing this game. I know myself, my teammates will be focused on what’s ahead and what’s at stake.” Jozy Altidore.
“Consequently, I won just about everything I set out to win, everything bar the World Cup, of course. But even now, I don’t regret that, because I was part of a team which twice reached the semi-finals.” Michel Platini.
“The World Cup was a huge frustration because I had prepared really hard for it. But in the World Cup there is no formula, no recipe for success.” Kaka
“We deserved a bit more after the match we played, It’s very painful to lose in the manner that we did because we were so close to penalties. I think that in this World Cup we deserved a different [outcome] because we had the chances.” Messi on losing the 2014 final.