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A friend at school was always being laughed at because his father emptied dustbins for a living. But those who laughed worshipped famous footballers. This is an example of our topsy-turvy view of 'success.' Who would we miss most if they did not work for a month, the footballer or the garbage collector?
The only thing I won't watch is darts. And I don't watch cricket. How can you like a game that requires you to take four days off work to follow a Test? And I don't really like golf. I know a lot of English footballers play, but I know that if I go with the club to play, sooner or later I will end up trying to smash the ball with my foot.
I feel sorry sometimes for these sportsmen and women who put in just as much effort as the footballers. For example, athletes train at least as hard as footballers but have to be happy if they can earn enough to finance a decent education.
Where the costs of entry are minimal, there is a wide avenue of opportunity for those with little or nothing, which is why football is just about the most democratic sport of all: African and Brazilian footballers compete on a level playing field with their rich white European counterparts.
If you look at the footballers, you look at our celebrity culture, we seem to be saying, 'This is the way you want to be'. We seem to be a society that celebrates all the wrong people.
Iain Duncan Smith
Ever since Pele's extraordinary talents blessed the world of football, black footballers have been accepted in the pantheon of the greats. But to achieve commercial recognition is somewhat different: it requires a form of adulation that also spells identification and role model.
When I was a footballer, I surrounded myself with footballers. We were all friends. But in Brasilia you don't know who your friends are. It can be a dangerous place.
Actors, movie stars, rock stars, I can meet them with no worries - but with footballers I go weak at the knees. All of them.
In England, footballers are respected more, the game is more noble, there's less cheating. Every Spaniard who goes loves it - and comes back a better player. If I had ever left, it would have been to England.
Footballers from the street are more important than trained coaches.
Footballers are kept in such a bubble that horse racing is a release.
I run an academy in Spain for young footballers who are released by their clubs and who, in my opinion, deserve a second chance. It is a rewarding job for me, but one that also reveals many of the faults in the English game.
Footballers are an easy target. They are offered big lines of credit. Every sport is vulnerable; it's such a big gambling industry, and there are problems with syndicates in other countries.
People think footballers are all like robots - we can control everything on the pitch. But your heart is beating 200 times a minute; it's very, very physical.
The trouble for today's footballers is they have too many distractions. We used to get our old players coming to watch training with football magazines in their hands. Now, more often than not, they are checking the share prices.
And I don't really like golf. I know a lot of English footballers play, but I know that if I go with the club to play, sooner or later I will end up trying to smash the ball with my foot.
Darts players are probably a lot fitter than most footballers in overall body strength.
Because I love football and I love the footballers.
Footballers do get a hard time, and there is a lot of generalization going on. When you get to meet players and know them as lads, it's always a bit different.
Too many pupils at schools in the U.K. want to have careers as footballers or TV hosts, or models, because that's what they're constantly exposed to as the heroes of our time.
Now learning a bit more about footballers I think what they need to do well, is someone who really wants to stay in the background and just be a strong support.
People talk about footballers and they get a bad press when not all of them deserve it.
One of our problems is the culture of Brazil which focuses on men's football. Of course we would like to change that. Maybe one day we will have a strong competitive league instead of our women footballers always having to play abroad.
There is a history of footballers in my family; my granddad played for Notts County and my dad played at county level.
The footballers' wives I know, they're teachers, midwives. They want to do something useful. One is working at my son's nursery, on her hands and knees, in Converse and jeans, teaching kids to count.
C. S. Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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