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As a footballer, you always want to test yourself against the best.
Money is not a motivating factor. Money doesn't thrill me or make me play better because there are benefits to being wealthy. I'm just happy with a ball at my feet. My motivation comes from playing the game I love. If I wasn't paid to be a professional footballer I would willingly play for nothing.
As a kid, you obviously dream of being a professional footballer. I would watch players like Ronaldo of Brazil and pretend to be him in the playground. But I don't think about trying to become one of the best in the world or anything like that. I just play football.
Would I swap what I have achieved as a cook if I could have been as successful as a footballer? Definitely.
If I Could
I really loved football from a young age. And my only thought, my only objective in life, was to be a professional footballer.
To be a footballer was just a dream, and I don't believe in dreams. I only deal in what is real. To be honest, I've never thought about what I could get out of football or where it would take me. I just wanted to play. I'm the same now.
There is no rule that says a footballer needs to be 'this high' and 'this wide.'
I see myself as the best footballer in the world. If you don't believe you are the best, then you will never achieve all that you are capable of.
I look at Messi, and he makes me laugh. A beautiful footballer who is still like a kid. A world superstar, but still a kid. Innocent, you know. He just plays.
I take compliments and I take constructive criticism. Not everyone loves you. It's the way you react as a footballer. I use it all to make me play better.
Timothy F. Cahill
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I was 19 or 20 when The Beatles were at their peak, and I was coming up to the peak of my career, too. I was also the first footballer to have long hair, and that's how I got my nickname 'the Fifth Beatle.'
Carlos Valderrama was the one I admired most, really. At the time, he was a top player, and I had a lot of admiration for him. I met him once, and he's a great person, someone who provided the country with a lot of joy. He was a very intelligent footballer who could create something out of nothing as well as score goals.
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?
I got injured when I was a kid, and it prevented me from becoming a footballer.
It's hard losing a parent, especially dad because he was always behind me. It was his dream and my dream for me to become a footballer.
As a private person I think I am now totally different from Ruud van Nistelrooy the footballer.
Ruud van Nistelrooy
I wanted to be the best footballer in Belgian history. That was my goal. Not good. Not great. The best.
All I dreamed of when I became a footballer was to play for a club as big as Real Madrid. It's maybe the most famous and best club in the history of football.
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.
Real Madrid is the most important thing that happened to me, both as a footballer and as a person.
My talent as a footballer was medium. But I had heart, a will to win, to work to overcome my limitations.
You question yourself all the time as a footballer. You have to focus on the positives.
I just want people to see me as a hard-working footballer and someone who is passionate about the game.
When you are a player, a footballer, or a manager of a great club like Chelsea, you must play to win. To win. To win the title. Or to fight and, at the end, to compete with the other teams to win the title and reach your targets.
I want to be remembered as a great footballer and a great player. When our football days are over, that's all we are - people.
Pulling on your country's shirt is the greatest honour a footballer can have. It's what I always dreamed of as a kid and I get a buzz every time.
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