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Most players and managers look at football from a philosophical side. Many of their quotes can be applied to different situations, or even to improve quality of life. Just don’t overthink it and try to evaluate the meaning that the athletes tried to put in those inspiring phrases that we picked.

1. Paolo Maldini – “If I have to make a tackle, then I’ve already made a mistake”

The son of the legendary Cesare Maldini and probably the best player in the history of Milan, which Paolo gave 24 years of professional career.

The defender got his first chance in the main team at the age of 16. The players in the defensive line suffered from injuries quite a lot that time. Paolo played at the left flank, where he later established himself as part of the main squad, and one of the best left-backs in the world. Only years later he was moved to the centre of defence.

Maldini was an incredible footballer during the 80s and 90s as a part of a fantastic quartet: Tasotti-Costacurta-Baresi-Maldini. And even with the arrival of the newer generation of players, Paolo managed to stay no less of a key figure for a club.

Maldini played in eight Champions League finals with Milan, winning five of them.

2. Bobby Robson – “The first 90 minutes are the most important”

One of the most outstanding coaches in the history of not only English football, but European as well. 

Bobby Robson managed a lot of teams, including Fulham, PSV, Sporting, Porto and Barcelona. The pinnacle of their coaching career was eight years in the national team of England. Robson led them to the World Cup in 1986, but they were stopped by Maradona’s “Hand of God”. In 1990 England took 4th place in the World Cup, under Robson’s management.

Many of the odds for the current Euro-2020 at Betfair (the review is available at Bookmaker Ratings: https://bookmaker-ratings.com/review/betfair-review/) indicate that England were one of the favourites. So the Three Lions had all the chances to surpass all previous results and get the big international trophy. However, they lost to Italy on penalties in the final.

Besides all of the team accolades, Robson is also considered to be a spiritual mentor and a teacher to another legendary coach, Jose Mourinho, which he met while working in Porto.

3. Johan Cruyff – “Football has to be fun for kids, or it doesn’t make sense”

No football player can boast of a bigger influence on soccer than Johan Cruyff, the founder of “Total Football”. He was a football genius, who succeeded as a coach and player.

The Dutch striker had an amazing career with Ajax, Barcelona and the Netherlands, winning three Ballon d’Or and three Champions League Cups.

Cruyff revived Barcelona, where he moved to in 1973 and immediately won La Liga with the new club (Barça have failed in this competition for 14 years straight before).

The Dutch magician is a hero in Spain, as it was he who first introduced them to the famous style, Tiki-Taka, at Camp Nou. Johan turned football into an art form, he revolutionized it at his arrival at Barça. The Dutchman brought the world a brilliant style of football that is adored by millions today.

4. Andrea Pirlo – “Football is played with your head. Your feet are just the tools”

Andrea Pirlo, nicknamed “The Professor” and “Maestro” by the fans, is remembered for the brilliant execution of free kicks and amazing passing accuracy.

Having started his football career in 1985, Pirlo had a chance to play for many clubs in Serie A but achieved the heights as a player of Milan and Juventus.

Andrea became a Champion of Italy twice as a part of the Milan squad and four times with Juve. Pirlo also won two Champions League finals as a milanista.

As a part of the national team, Andrea became the 2006 World Champion and won the silver in 2012 at European Championship.

5. Lionel Messi – “When there is effort, attitude and desire… Nothing is impossible”

Lionel Messi
Flickr

This Argentine Barcelona striker is often considered one of the best players. Lionel Messi is the first player in history to possess six won six Ballon d’Or. He still holds this record.

He recently led Argentina to win the 2021 Copa America, while emerging as the top goal scorer and top assists provider in the tournament. That proves his qualities as one of the GOAT’s of football.

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