Football is not just about goal tallies and revenue figures but also inspiration and style! Sports and games offer useful lessons for entrepreneurs about the importance of teamwork, preparation, passion, attitude, definitions of success, dealing with failure and having a sense of humour at the end of the day.
Sure, there are numbers galore about FIFA’s World Cup 2014, for example: it will attract 770 billion minutes of TV attention worldwide, make $4 billion in revenue and become the ‘most watched TV event ever’ as well as a major success on the ‘second screen’ or mobile phones. The Brazil vs Chile match in 2014 became the most-tweeted real-time event ever, with 16.4 million tweets sent during the match (and 389,000 tweets in the minute after Gonzalo Jara’s penalty miss).
During a World Cup year, FIFA may even be the seventh largest business in the world, after Britain’s BP and before Japan’s Toyota. About 3.2 billion people or half the world’s population watched at least a minute of the 2010 World Cup in their homes, according to some reports.
But the most memorable contributions of football are also the quotes about ‘the world’s greatest game’ by the players, commentators, coaches, media, fans and even philosophers. Captured in news reports and online archives, some of the quotes inspire not just players but also all those in leadership and startup roles around the world.
Here’s my pick of the Top 25 power quotes about football – motivational, inspirational and sometimes even humorous!
“There is no pressure when you are making a dream come true.” – Neymar Santos
“In football, the worst blindness is only seeing the ball.” – Nelson Falcão Rodrigues
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele
“I don’t believe skill was, or ever will be, the result of coaches. It is a result of a love affair between the child and the ball.” – Roy Keane
“The person that said winning isn’t everything, never won anything.” – Mia Hamm
“All good athletes make mistakes; the great ones learn to make that mistake only once.” – Raul Lopez
“Every defeat is a victory in itself.” – Francisco Maturana García
“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” – Mia Hamm
“Every disadvantage has got its advantage.” – Johan Cruijff
“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” – Roy Keane
“We lost because we didn’t win.” – Ronaldo (on Brazil’s defeat to France in 1998)
“A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe that you are the best and then make sure that you are.” – Bill Shankly
“Football is the ballet of the masses.” – Dmitri Shostakovich
“The ball is round, the game lasts ninety minutes, and everything else is just theory.” – Josef Herberger
“I’m a rock star because I couldn’t be a soccer star.” – Rod Stewart
“The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they don’t know the game.” – Bill Shankly
“It is better to win ten times 1-0 than to win once 10-0.” – Vahid Halilhodžic
“Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.” – Gary Lineker
“Whoever invented soccer should be worshipped as God.” – Hugo Sánchez Márquez
“I think there are a lot of things that soccer does in the communities that transcend the soccer field.” – Brandi Denise Chastain
“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” – Bill Shankly
“Football is war minus the shooting.” – George Orwell
“Rugby is a game for barbarians played by gentlemen. Football is a game for gentlemen played by barbarians.” – Oscar Wilde
“International football is the continuation of war by other means.” – Eric Arthur Blair
“In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.” – Jean-Paul Sartre