At the top are midfielders Cho So-hyun and Tang Jiali, and below is the beginning of some year-end Hoddle content.
Ramble of the Day
About a year ago, I was thinking about the value quotes hold. There are many ways to define that value, but it all boils down to the simple fact that a quote’s function is to aid us in our pursuit of understanding the world around us. It quickly inspired me to embark on a project, with the aim of answering one question: How do quotes help us understand the world of football?
I decided to answer this question by collecting quotes throughout 2021, in a Google doc simply titled “Quotes of the Year.” I gave myself few restrictions after that, but I noticed early on that I opted for quotes with a little bit of humor. I think it reflects my personal outlook on football — inside the very simple formula of watching teams prepare for and play matches, a lot of really amusing things happen. Over the next several days, I will outline the many categories in which football silliness plays out.
Today’s theme of silliness through football quotes is the nicest category: feel good quotes and light humor.
—Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou after scoring a late equalizer against Real Valladolid, March 21
The sweetest form of silliness in football is the unexpected goalscorer, and a goalkeeper scoring is as unexpected as it gets. Bounou so beautifully describes the sport’s most essential experience, and it is hard not to feel happy that he got to experience that type of joy.
"Now I'm the person who is the happiest in the world. I am dead but I am so happy."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 21, 2021
Sergio Reguilón's reaction after scoring for Tottenham following his pre-match interview calling it "worst week of my life" pic.twitter.com/9Mc8Ah06kf
—Tottenham defender Sergio Reguilón on scoring against Leeds United after experiencing Antonio Conte’s intense training preferences, November 21
This quote is about a couple of things: the joy of being an unexpected goalscorer and the rewards of the tough, but regular work of being a footballer. Reguilón’s goal came after the first few weeks of work with new manager Antonio Conte, who prefers high-intensity training sessions. It ends up being a different version of the same thing with Bounou: you’re happy for the guy, especially after the well-documented hard work that came beforehand. It helps that you can laugh with Reguilón about the preparation.
—Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on then-Fulham manager Scott Parker in a pre-match press conference, March 12
One of football’s defining aspects is banter, and Guardiola presents the lightest version of it. It’s a nice little joke that inspires a solid chuckle because, at least until the end, probably everyone is in agreement on Parker. (The way people feel about Parker is pretty well-documented!)
tl;dr: Today begins a series on football quotes of the year, which will mostly be an exploration of the enjoyable silliness of the sport. Today’s quotes spotlight light humor and feel-good moments.
Stay informed, read this: Lauren Collins on the life and legacy of entertainer and French resistance agent Josephine Baker, who became the first woman of color inducted into the Panthéon for The New Yorker
Links of the Day
Seven Leicester players will miss the team’s Europa League tie at Napoli with COVID-19 or illness.
Ex-Brazil international Pelé is in the hospital to receive chemotherapy for a colon tumor.
The UK will require people attending most sporting events to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test starting next week.
Wednesday’s Champions League match between Atalanta and Villarreal was postponed because of heavy snowfall.
A longer read: John Duerden on the challenge Asian football organizations have attracting local supporters, and how some are planning to overcome them for DW