Sports are not just entertainment. They often say a lot about life, showing how much hard work and dedication can pay off—as well as how one can bounce back from tough situations. In soccer, people admire not only the players who shine but especially those who inspire them to pursue their dreams and be better.
Throughout the years, many renowned players and coaches have dropped inspirational quotes. Here, we’re taking a look at some of the best.
Here, we have some quotes from the best soccer players that will inspire you to achieve your goals in life. Soccer players are those who take all the limelight, those who show people that dreams can come true, and encourage kids to believe in themselves. “The beautiful game,” as Pelé liked to call it, be it men’s or women’s soccer, is a true source of inspiration.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the best inspirational quotes from different personalities in world soccer throughout history. These phrases are important not only because they are impactful on their own, but also because of their respective authors. All the players mentioned here have left their mark on the sport, both on and off the field.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, and Pelé—among others—all have something in common apart from being the greatest soccer players ever. All of them have made millions of admirers in different parts of the world, inspiring fans with their work ethic that led them to success. They may have been born with talent, but they made the most of it by working hard their entire lives.
Other players that appear here have also made a name for themselves in the sport, even if they didn’t enter the GOAT conversation. Moreover, female stars that helped to increase women’s soccer’s reputation have also dropped inspiring quotes.
1. "We cannot live being obsessed with what other people think about us. It's impossible to live like that. Not even God managed to please the entire world." ― Cristiano Ronaldo.
2. "Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you’re doing or learning to do." ― Pelé.
3. “You can overcome anything, if and only if you love something enough.” ― Lionel
4. “I worked on my weaknesses and made them my strengths.” — Sydney Leroux.
5. "The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking." ― Mia Hamm.
6. “I’ve never scored a goal in my life without getting a pass from someone else.” ― Abby Wambach.
7. “Always work hard, never give up, and fight until the end because it’s never really over until the whistle blows.” ― Alex Morgan.
8. “I always want to become better. If never being satisfied is a problem, then I have it.” ― Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
9. “Becoming a footballer is only the first half of the silent prayer a kid offers up to the sky or confides to his teacher in a primary school essay. The second part is the name of the team he wants to play for.” — Andrea Pirlo.
10. “There is no pressure when you’re making a dream come true.” ― Neymar Jr.
11. “I don’t have time for hobbies. At the end of the day, I treat my job as a hobby. It’s something I love doing.” ― David Beckham.
12. “I just hate losing and that gives you extra determination to work harder.” ― Wayne Rooney.
13. “I have to keep working hard and playing well because I don’t like to be second or third: they’re the worst places to be. You would be proud, of course, because it means you’re on the way, but you want to finish first.” ― Paul Pogba.
14. “The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” ― Pelé.
15. “Some people tell me that professional players are soccer slaves. Well, if this is slavery, give me a life sentence.” ― Bobby Charlton.
16. “Basically my whole life revolves around soccer. Everything just gets put on the back burner because of my training. But at the end of the day, I’m sitting here as a World Cup champion, and it feels pretty good.” ― Carli Lloyd.
17. “Every single day I wake up and commit to myself to become a better player.” ― Mia Hamm.
18. “God gives gifts to everyone: some can write, some can dance. He gave me the skill to play football and I am making the most of it.” ― Ronaldinho.
19. “I think there are a lot of things that soccer does in the communities that transcend the soccer field.” ― Brandi Chastain.
20. “Soccer is the most beautiful sport in the world. If a person messes up, soccer doesn’t have to pay. I messed up, and I paid. But the ball... The ball does not stain.” ― Diego Maradona.
While soccer fans are mostly inspired by soccer players, the truth is that coaches know a thing or two about motivation. If they can help a group of people bring the best out of themselves, they can also inspire the rest of the world. These are some of the best quotes from the most successful coaches in the game of soccer:
1. “I will forgive if the players cannot get it right, but not if they do not try hard.” ― Pep Guardiola, Manchester City coach who revolutionized modern soccer at FC Barcelona and went on to win multiple league and European titles.
2. “To be the ultimate team, you must use your body and your mind. Draw up on the resources of your teammates. Remember, only teams succeed.” ― José Mourinho, AS Roma manager who won Champions League trophies with Porto and Inter Milan.
3. “Young players need freedom of expression to develop as creative players. They should be encouraged to try skills without fear of falling.” ― Arsène Wenger, longest-tenured and most successful manager in Arsenal FC history.
4. “There is no room for criticism on the training field. For a player and for any human being there is nothing better than hearing ‘well done.’ Those are the two best words ever invented in sports. You don’t need to use superlatives.” — Sir Alex Ferguson, former Manchester United coach who delivered 38 trophies between 1986 and 2013.
5. “I once cried because I had no shoes to play soccer, but one day, I met a man who had no feet.” ― Zinedine Zidane, winner of three consecutive Champions League trophies at the helm of Real Madrid between 2016 and 2018.
6. “I am José Mourinho and I don’t change. I arrive with all my qualities and my defects.” ― José Mourinho.
7. “I don't like it when a player says, 'I like freedom; I want to play for myself.' Because the player has to understand he is part of a team with ten other players. If everyone wants to be a jazz musician, it will be chaos. They will not be a team, and nothing will be possible.” ― Pep Guardiola.
8. “I’m a believer that emotions can move mountains, that spirit alone can trump budgets.” ― Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid coach who won league titles in Argentina before leading Atleti to their first LaLiga title in 18 years.
9. “The most important thing about a person is that they know who they are and what they want. You should be capable of introspection and evaluate yourself.” ―Louis van Gaal, former Netherlands coach who won titles with Ajax, FC Barcelona, and Bayern Munich.
10. “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, and I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” ― Bill Shankly, who led Liverpool back to the English top-flight in 1962 and went on to win three First Division titles.
11. “To be a soccer player means being a privileged interpreter of the feelings and dreams of thousands of people.” ― César Luis Menotti, former coach who led Argentina to their first World Cup title in 1978 with a revolutionary style of play.
12. “You can’t score a goal if you don’t take a shot” ― Johan Cruyff, former coach of FC Barcelona and Ajax who helped to develop tactics in modern soccer.
13. “My values stemmed from my family. Anything I have achieved in life has been rooted in my upbringing.” ― Brian Clough, former coach who won two European Cups with Nottingham Forest.
14. “Life is too short not to celebrate nice moments!” ― Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool coach. Led Dortmund to two Bundesligas before winning the first Premier League trophy for Liverpool as well as a Champions League title.
15. “Nobody has enough talent to live on talent alone. Even when you have talent, a life without work goes nowhere.” ― Arsene Wenger.
16. “A man with new ideas is a madman, until his ideas triumph.” ― Marcelo Bielsa, Argentine coach who won a reputation for his offensive-minded tactics as well as his approach to life.
17. “Winning is not the most important thing, it is the only thing. Being second is not worth it. Do you know who set foot in America after Columbus? I do not.” ― Carlos Bilardo, coach of the 1986 Argentina World Cup winning team whose soccer philosophy consisted in doing whatever it took to win.
18. “It needs time. Nobody wants to hear it, but that's the truth: if you want to have success in the future, you have to be ready to work now.” ― Jurgen Klopp.
19. “I don’t believe much in luck. I believe more in work, in conviction, in stubbornness, and in capacity.” ― Diego Simeone.
20. “Our country [England] has been through difficult experiences in terms of unity. Sport—football [soccer] in particular—has the power to help with that. It is a special feeling.” ― Gareth Southgate, English manager who led England to first World Cup semifinals since 1990.
The game of soccer has also inspired renowned authors and composers to make some interesting sports quotes, explaining the positive impact the beautiful game has in society and our own lives.
1. “Football is the ballet of the masses.” ― Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian/Soviet composer (1906-1975).
2. “I’m attracted to soccer’s capacity for beauty. When well played, the game is a dance with a ball.” — Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist (1940-2015).
3. “Before kids can play like a pro, they must enjoy playing the game like a kid.” ― Steve Locker, former college soccer coach and author of the book “Playing For The Long Run: Helping Parents Navigate Youth Sports for Happy, Healthy, Confident Kids”.
In the end, players and coaches transcend their roles in sports by inspiring people through many aspects of their lives. What soccer players do is not just motivate kids to play soccer. With their own experiences, they show how dreams can come true. Not giving up, working hard every single day, and believing in themselves are the keys behind every successful athlete.
Coaches also know how to get the most out of a soccer team, and therefore their role as motivators is even bigger and more important in this game. As we’ve seen in this article, many renowned personalities—even those outside the soccer field—can be a source of motivation for all of us.
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