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Football players are not often renowned for their deep thinking or articulating opinions within high-brow debate.

With a few exceptions (Guardian-reader Graham Le Saux anyone?) most players choose to do their talking with their feet. Which is just as well, judging by some of the evidence of these football quotes

“I’d like to play for an Italian club, like Barcelona”
Hasta la vista, Mark Draper.

“My parents have always been there for me, ever since I was about 7”
David Beckham wonders where his early childhood got to.

“If you don’t believe you can win, there is no point in getting out of bed at the end of the day.”
It’s lights out for Neville Southall.

“I’ve had 14 bookings this season – 8 of which were my fault, but 7 of which were disputable.”
Paul Gascoigne and the one that got away.

One player who bucks the ‘does-he-know-how-to-tie-his-bootlaces?’ trend is Burnley’s Clarke Carlisle, currently on loan at Northampton Town and Chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association.
This teacher’s pet racked up 10 A-grades at GCSE and studied mathematics and politics at A-level. For his troubles, Carlisle was awarded the title of “Britain’s Brainiest Footballer” in 2002.

“I’ve never wanted to leave. I’m here for the rest of my life, and hopefully after that as well.”
Alan Shearer is in it for the long haul. Eternity, in fact.

“You’ve got to believe that you’re going to win, and I believe we’ll win the World Cup until the final whistle blows and we’re knocked out.”
Peter Shilton tells it like it is.

“I faxed a transfer request to the club at the beginning of the week, but let me state that I don’t want to leave Leicester.’
Stan Collymore (Somehow, I think Stan will crack under questioning).

“I was watching the Blackburn game on TV on Sunday when it flashed on the screen that George (Ndah) had scored in the first minute at Birmingham. My first reaction was to ring him up. Then I remembered he was out there playing.”
Ade Akinbiyi experiences short-term memory loss.

“Without being too harsh on David Beckham, he cost us the match.”
Ian Wright is off David’s Christmas card list.

“I would not be bothered if we lost every game as long as we won the league.”
It doesn’t work like that, Mark Viduka.

“I’m as happy as I can be – but I have been happier.”
Ugo Ehiogu searches for the meaning of life.

“I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel.”
Outstanding mixed metaphors from Stuart Pearce.

“I took a whack on my left ankle, but something told me it was my right.”
Lee Hendrie wasn’t paying attention at ankle school.

“I couldn’t settle in Italy – it was like living in a foreign country.”
Ian Rush is very special, isn’t he?

“Germany are a very difficult team to play…they had 11 internationals out there today.”
Steve Lomas states the bleedin’ obvious.

“Sometimes in football you have to score goals.”
Thierry Henry tries to ‘do a Cantona’ and get deep and meaningful. Fails.

“I always used to put my right boot on first, and then obviously my right sock.”
Barry Venison has slipped into some kind of weird space-time continuum.

“I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened, but I don’t know into what religion yet.”
David Beckham gives hope to the religions of the world.

”The Brazilians were South American, and the Ukrainians will be more European.”
Phil Neville proves his worth yet again.

“All that remains is for a few dots and commas to be crossed.”
Mitchell Thomas, whose handwriting is worse than your GP.

“One accusation you can’t throw at me is that I’ve always done my best.”
Alan Shearer makes us wonder just how good he could have been if he’d tried.

“I’d rather play in front of a full house than an empty crowd.”
Johnny Giles on the sound of one hand clapping.

“Alex Ferguson is the best manager I’ve ever had at this level. Well, he’s the only manager I’ve actually had at this level. But he’s the best manager I’ve ever had.”
David Beckham avoids the hair-dryer. Just.

‘Leeds is a great club and it’s been my home for years, even though I live in Middlesborough.”
Jonathan Woodgate proves once again that he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Post written by Martin Preedy
Blog: smarty09.wordpress.com, Twitter: @MartinPreedy

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