100 Greatest Soccer Quotes From the Legends of the Game

post title image of soccer quotes

Over the years I’ve been watching and playing soccer, I have come across many soccer quotes. Some good and some not so great!

Of all the soccer quotes out there, I wanted to compile a list of the best ones and keep them all in one place.

So here is my list of what are, in my opinion, the greatest soccer quotes you will find.

To make the list easier to navigate, I’ve split the list of soccer quotes into 10 categories so you can click on the topic you are most interested in and jump straight to that section.

Don’t just look at one category, though! There are many incredible quotes on this list that are too good to miss out on.

Take your time to look through the list and be inspired to enjoy the game of soccer in a whole new way.

Soccer Quotes Are Important

One thing I appreciate about quotes is how a relativity short statement can hold such a depth of meaning. I’m sure we all know how a good quote can stick with you for years. It will grab your attention and lodge itself in your mind.

Quotes are important because they have the capability of expressing a thought or feeling in a clear and memorable way. They often put words to feelings you had not yet found a way to express articulately.

Soccer quotes are just as important.

The game of soccer impacts more people than any other sport in the world. It has been the most popular for years, and there is no sign of that changing any time soon.

Soccer quotes can make you see something about the game that you haven’t seen before. Or they may highlight an area that you had not given priority to. They have the ability to inspire and motivate you to be a better player or a better coach.

You never know when you will next read a quote that will jump out at you and completely change the way you see an aspect of soccer.

Enjoy and be inspired!

Most Inspirational Soccer Quotes

inspirational soccer quote from Eduardo Galeano

“I’m attracted to soccer’s capacity for beauty. When well played, the game is a dance with a ball.”

Eduardo Galeano

“The person that said winning isn’t everything never won anything.”

Mia Hamm

“If you’re going to be a footballer[soccer player], be a great one. If you’re going to have a dream, dream big.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“Talent may get you on the pitch, but it’s the effort and attitude that will keep you there.”

Alex Morgan

“Practice like you’ve never won; perform like you’ve never lost.”


“The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.”

Anson Dorrance

“I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.”

Mia Hamm

“For sportsmen or women who want to be champions, the mind can be as important, if not more important, than any other part of the body.”

Gary Neville

“Good soccer players need not be titans sculpted by Michelangelo. In soccer, ability is much more important than shape, and in many cases, skill is the art of turning limitations into virtues.”

Eduardo Galeano

“The wonderful thing about soccer is, a football is a perfectly round object, and it doesn’t make mistakes. The player using it makes mistakes. And the more you use it, the less mistakes you make.” 

Craig Johnston

Funny Soccer Quotes

Funny soccer quote from Bob Paisley

“If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.”

Bob Paisley

“Football[soccer] is a game in which a handful of fit men run around for one and a half hours watched by millions of people who could really use the exercise.”


“We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass.”

Brian Clough

“Winning doesn’t really matter as long as you win.”

Vinny Jones

“My mother thinks I am the best. And I was raised to always believe what my mother tells me.”

Diego Maradona

“We lost because we didn’t win.”


“I am a firm believer that if you score one goal the other team has to score two to win.”

Howard Wilkinson

“I would not be bothered if we lost every game, as long as we won the league.”

Mark Viduka

“Some people say that we professional football[soccer] players are slaves. Well, if this is slavery, then give me a life sentence!”

Sir Bobby Charlton

“The rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.”

Phil Woosnam

Soccer Quotes for Girls

soccer quote for girls from Alex Morgan

“Whenever people say ‘women’s soccer,’ I want to correct them to say ‘soccer.’ Every girl has had their sport diminished because they’re girls.”

Alex Morgan

“There’s no better feeling than stepping out on the field and stunning them all by doing what none of them thought you could do.”

Ashlyn Harris

“Many people say I’m the best women’s soccer player in the world. I don’t think so. And because of that, someday I just might be.”

Mia Hamm

“Grit, Inspiration, Resistance, Lively, Stamina – That’s what GIRLS are made of.”


“Surround yourself with good people, surround yourself with positivity and people who are going to challenge you to make you better. If you just kind of let yourself stay alone and be by yourself, the negative, it is just not going to help you. You can control two things, your work ethic and your attitude about anything.” 

Ali Krieger

“Alright, call me a tomboy. Tomboys get medals. Tomboys win championships. Tomboys can fly. Oh. And tomboys aren’t boys.”

Julie Foudy

“I have learned that by pushing aside those insecurities and rediscovering my inner confidence, I become a better teammate and person.”

Alex Morgan

“Do what you love. If you love something, you aren’t going to care about the sacrifices you’re making to do whatever it is.”

Kelly O’Hara

“I think women’s soccer is so important. Soccer is the biggest sport for little girls. It’s so important for us to give these girls a dream and something they can aspire to be.”

Lauren Holiday

“Embrace the opportunity, no matter what it is. Look at everything in a positive light.”

Julie Ertz

For even more soccer quotes for girls, click here to go to a list I put together of the best soccer quotes for girls.

Short Soccer Quotes

short soccer quote from Ronaldinho

“I learned all about life with a ball at my feet”


“A great soccer player is never content with their performance.”


“Everything is practice.”


“Soccer is my life.”

Ethan Zohn

“You can’t score a goal if you don’t take a shot”

Johann Cruyff

“Every single day I wake up and commit to myself to becoming a better player.”

Mia Hamm

“If you ask why I play soccer, I ask you why do you breathe.”


“Dream big, because dreams to happen”

Alex Morgan

“Life is like soccer, you need goals”


“Talent without working hard is nothing.” 

Cristiano Ronaldo

For even more short soccer quotes, click here to go to a list I put together of my favorite short soccer quotes.

Famous Soccer Quotes

famous soccer quote from Dmitri Shostakovich

“Football[soccer] is the ballet of the masses.”

Dmitri Shostakovich

“Some people think football[soccer] is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.”

Bill Shankly

“Success isn’t determined by how many times you win, but by how you play the week after you lose.” 


“I think there are a lot of things that soccer does in the communities that transcend the soccer field.”

Brandi Chastain

“I’ve never played for a draw in my life.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“We always try to win until the very end. If we don’t, we congratulate the opponent. That’s what sport is about.”

Pep Guardiola

“If you have the ball you must make the field as big as possible. If you don’t have the ball you must make it as small as possible.”

Johann Cruyff

“Excuses are like losses. Everyone has them except champions.”

Alex Morgan

“I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘born’ soccer player. Perhaps you are born with certain skills and talents, but quite frankly it seems impossible to me that one is actually born to be an ace soccer player.“ 


“In football, the worst blindness is only seeing the ball.”

Nelson Rodrigues

Soccer Quotes By Famous Players

soccer quote by Pele

“The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” 


“I’ve never scored a goal in my life without getting a pass from someone else.”

Abby Wambach

“I don’t need the best hairstyle or the best body. Just give me a ball at my feet and I’ll show you what I can do.”

Lionel Messi

“I see football as an art and all players are artists. If you are a top artist, the last thing you would do is paint a picture somebody else has already painted.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

“When people succeed, it is because of hard work. Luck has nothing to do with success.”

Diego Maradona

“God gives gifts to everyone, some can write, some can dance. He gave me the skill to play football and I am making the most of it.”


“If you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard enough.”

Alex Morgan

“Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.”

Johan Cruyff

“I think sometimes the best training is to rest.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

“I always want more. Whether it’s a goal, or winning a game, I’m never satisfied.”

Lionel Messi

Motivational Soccer Quotes

motivational soccer quote from Pep Guardiola

“If you train badly, you play badly. If you work like a beast in training, you play the same way.”

Pep Guardiola

“We must always set the bar high — otherwise we do not progress.”

Kylian Mbappe

“I once cried because I had no shoes to play soccer, but one day, I met a man who had no feet.”

Zinedine Zidane

“When I say I want to become a legend, some people say it’s pretentious. For me, it’s a challenge — my desire, my dream. I’m not saying I’ll get there, but it’s what I want.”

Paul Pogba

“People react to criticism in different ways, and my way is definitely to come out fighting.”

David Beckham

“Keep dreaming, even when people laugh at your dreams or tell you that they are impossible to achieve. Keep believing in yourself.”

Tobin Heath

“It’s hard to beat someone that never gives up”

Megan Rapinoe

“You owe it to yourself to be the best you can be.”

Christian Pulisic

“To watch people push themselves further than they think they can, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Abby Wambach

“All good athletes make mistakes; the great ones learn to make that mistake only once.”

Raul Lopez

Along with quotes, you may also find soccer facts interesting. If so, check out my list of 101 Fascinating (And Often Surprising!) Soccer Facts. You won’t be disappointed!

Soccer Quotes About Life

soccer quote about life from P J O'Rourke

“Soccer matches should be something special, something people eagerly look forward to, something that brightens life.”

P. J. O’Rourke

“Give a man a soccer ball, he plays for a moment. Teach a man to play soccer, he plays for a lifetime.”

Unknown Author

“What we are missing over here is the life of soccer.”

Thomas Dooley

“To me, soccer is so much more than a ball and two goals; it connects people from all of the corners of the world.”

Unknown Author

“I always felt that our triumphs were an expression of the consistent application of discipline. Once you bid farewell to discipline you say goodbye to success.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“In his life, a man can change wives, political parties, or religions but he cannot change his favorite soccer team.”

Eduardo Galeano

“Leadership must be likable, affable, cordial, and above all emotional. The fashion of authoritarian leadership is gone. Football[soccer] is about life. You can’t be angry all day.”

Vicente del Bosque

“On the pitch and for life generally, I keep my center by remembering that I am part of a team and if I don’t do my part, I let down not just my team but everyone who follows it.”

Yaya Toure

“The mantra I live my life by is: “No excuses. Play like a champion. Shortcuts will get you nowhere.”

Kelley O’Hara

“Soccer matches should be something special, something people eagerly look forward to, something that brightens life.”

P. J. O’Rourke

Soccer Quotes About Teamwork

soccer quote about teamwork from Johann Cruyff

“In my teams, the striker is the first defender and the goalie is the first attacker.“

Johann Cruyff

“You need teamwork to achieve real success, and that attitude comes straight from soccer.”

Matt Bahr

“I don’t need a captain’s band to lead a team to victory.”

Hope Solo

“I’m going to tell you the story about the geese which fly 5,000 miles from Canada to France. They fly in V- formation but the second ones don’t fly. They’re the subs for the first ones. And then the second ones take over – so it’s teamwork.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“To be the ultimate team, you must use your body and your mind. Draw upon the resources of your teammates. Choose your steps wisely and you will win. Remember, only teams succeed.”

Jose Mourinho

“Teammates are critical to your success. The reality is no matter how good you are, you can’t score if they don’t pass you the ball, you can’t win if they don’t stop the other team.”

Alex Morgan

“The work of a team should always embrace a great player, but the great player must always work.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“I hate to speak about individuals. Players don’t win you trophies, teams win trophies. Squads win trophies.”

Jose Mourinho

“I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”

Mia Hamm

“There should be no prima donnas on a team, everyone should feel important, from the oldest player to the youngest.”

Marcello Lippi

Soccer Quotes About Hard Work

soccer quote about hard work from Jose Mourinho

“Work hard to get good, then work harder to get better.”

Jose Mourinho

“It needs time. Nobody wants to hear it, but that’s the truth: if you want to have success in the future, you have to be ready to work now.”

Jurgen Klopp

“Always work hard, never give up, and fight until the end because it’s never really over until the whistle blows.”

Alex Morgan

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing.“ 


“If you want to be a professional soccer player, if you want to make the national team, you have to do everything possible to work hard. You’ve got to put it number one.”

Carli Lloyd

“When people succeed, it is because of hard work. Luck has nothing to do with success.”

Diego Maradona

“Hard work will always overcome natural talent when natural talent does not work hard enough.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“I’m lucky to be part of a team who help to make me look good, and they deserve as much of the credit for my success as I do for the hard work we have all put in on the training ground.”

Lionel Messi

“I play in a position that demands hard work and generosity and little glamour, but I like it. It’s my job and I like it. I would rather intercept and steal 10 balls than shoot. That’s what I’m here for, to make everyone else’s jobs easier.”

Sergio Busquets

“You have to be willing to accept the information, you have to be willing to work hard. You have to be motivated to go to practice with an open mind. You have to be willing to be criticized. Only you can do those things.”

Brandi Chastain

Soccer Quotes About Not Giving Up

soccer quote about not giving up from Lionel Messi

“You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it.”

Lionel Messi

“You have to dream big and go for it. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and ignore those who try to bring you down. Never give up, no matter what – overcoming obstacles makes you stronger!”

Shannon MacMillan

“When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.”


I just hate losing and that gives you an extra determination to work harder.”

Wayne Rooney

“Life is like a game of soccer. You need goals. If there are no goals in your life then you can’t win.”

Unknown Author

“A champion is someone who does not settle for that day’s practice, that day’s competition, that day’s performance. They are always striving to be better. They don’t live in the past.”

Briana Scurry

“You’ve got to believe you’re going to win, and I believe we’ll win the World Cup until the final whistle blows and we’re knocked out.”

Peter Shilton

“I had to lift the players’ expectations. They should never give in. I said that to them all the time: ‘If you give in once, you’ll give in twice.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“Practice makes permanent.”

Sir Bobby Robson

“You must not only have competitiveness but the ability, regardless of the circumstances you face, to never quit.”

Abby Wambach


If, after reading all these quotes, you feel inspired to get out on the soccer field and improve your soccer skills, see my recommendations of the Top 10 soccer skills and tricks to learn.

And if you’re looking for recommendations for the best soccer equipment to buy, have a look at my Recommended Soccer Equipment Page.

Ben Clayfield

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Find out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

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