Now, for a selection of quotes that are a little bit funny.
Ramble of the Day
As I mentioned in the introduction to the Hoddle’s (my) football quotes of the year, I gravitate towards the moments that reveal the sport’s silliness. Many know how to keep it silly but normal; some, though, go off the rails with their embrace of silly. There is no easy way to categorize this collection of quotes, but what I will say is this: the quotes are off-balance, and in no way normal opinions. There are almost no redeeming qualities here, and each of these quotes boasts that for different reasons. I spotlight them because sometimes, it is worth knowing where unreliable opinions are.
—Sheriff Tiraspol midfielder Sébastien Thill on getting a neck tattoo, as published on November 10
Allow me to begin with an innocently weird quote from Thill, and maybe walk back my comments a little bit. I think it is okay to think one looks normal without a neck tattoo, but there is an unexpected quality to this quote that really brings out a certain weirdness. Asking someone about getting more tattoos and talking about necks isn’t unexpected, especially since football-loving people love talking about the neck tattoos they see. It’s bringing up wedding photos that is different, but I get where Thill is coming from.
—Inter Miami managing owner Jorge Mas, as published on June 9
This may be the opposite of innocently weird. I will not question Mas’ optimism or his ambition — after all, I personally have no idea if Inter Miami got close to signing Messi, and I understand why the club would want to. Like I wrote in a Hoddle back in August, though, what I question is Miami being important to Messi’s legacy at all. This is more than being overly optimistic; it’s an example of delusion by over-assigning your club more importance than it has. I don’t mean this to actively bash Inter Miami — I think the club has a rightful place in the footballing universe. I just think this is not an accurate depiction of it.
—Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville on refereeing decisions that have gone against his team throughout the season, October 9
If you are looking for a long rant that is the definition of exaggerations, Neville has you covered. I could not include the entire quote because Neville went “full barrel” for more than two minutes to open his press conference after lost 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls, outlining several recent refereeing decisions that went against the team. Complaining about referees is a generally insignificant activity, and it is entirely possible he has a point. He is just using extremely exaggerated language that I found it funny, but I also want to crown this as the worst rant of the year. I am not convinced MLS referees have it out for Inter Miami.
tl;dr: In today’s roundup of the year’s best football quotes, here’s a weird one, a delusional one, and my pick for worst rant of the year.
Stay informed, read this: Abbey White interviews Black playwrights on being part of the first Broadway season in which most plays are produced by Black writers for The Hollywood Reporters
Links of the Day
Albert Benaiges, the former head of Barcelona’s academy, was accused of sexually abusing children when he was a schoolteacher in the 1980s and 1990s.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped for the team’s win over Southampton after a disciplinary breach.
Ex-Cameroon international Samuel Eto’o was elected president of the country’s football federation.
A longer read: Tom Hamilton profiles US prospect Richy Ledezma on the crushing blow of an ACL rupture and his journey to pick off from where he left off for ESPN