We’ve all been there. Sometimes the words just come tumbling out of your mouth before you’ve had time to think about them, and we’re sure the players and managers documented here regret what they said.
In this slideshow, we pick out 10 of the most ridiculous football-related boasts that made their subjects look really, really silly.
10. Houllier’s great 10 games
Gerard Houllier returned to the Liverpool bench in March 2002, five months after undergoing emergency heart surgery. On a glorious night at Anfield his side advanced to the last eight of the Champions League by beating Roma, with the Reds also striving for glory in the Premier League.
Houllier duly announced his team were "10 games away from greatness", but he should have kept his mouth shut: Liverpool collapsed against Bayer Leverkusen in the quarter-finals and finished seven points shy of title winners Arsenal.
9. Bookies beat Fergie
Manchester United chief Alex Ferguson was in a bullish mood ahead of his side’s Champions League final against Barcelona in 2011, suggesting his side had devised a plan to cope with the opponents who had triumphed over them at the same stage of the tournament two years previously.
“Beating Barcelona would end all arguments about this team,” said the Scot. “I know we are playing a terrific team but would you back against us in a big way? I don't think you would.”
Most bookies did, and with good reason. United were somehow level at half-time, but Barcelona’s class showed in the second period as they cruised to a 3-1 win.
8. US ladies get shirty
The United States women's national team caused a storm after celebrating their 2012 Olympic gold medal against Japan with an in-your-face wardrobe change.
After winning 2-1, the United States’ contingent returned to the field donning the American flag and pre-printed T-shirts featuring the slogan: 'Greatness Has Been Found'. They were even available to buy on the official U.S. Soccer store. “That’s why nobody outside the U.S. likes them,” opined a Canadian commentator.
7. Eagles of Brazil
What a difference a year makes. In December 2015, Alan Pardew was aiming for Europe after Crystal Palace’s 2-1 victory over Stoke kept the Eagles in sixth place in the Premier League, level on points with Manchester United.
“We’re getting the quality of 11 players on the pitch that’s not too far away from some of the top teams,” purred Pards, who six months earlier had said a 4-1 win over Sunderland (yes, Sunderland) was “like watching Brazil”.
Things unravelled horribly in 2016, though, as the Eagles mustered fewer calendar-year points than any other team in England’s top four leagues, leading to their manager’s dismissal two days before Christmas.
6. Maths with Cristiano
In 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo joked that he was “the first, second and third best player in the world”. Fast-forward eight years to February 2016 and the Portuguese preener was berating his team-mates for not being as good as him after they lost to Atletico Madrid. “If we were all at my level, maybe we would be leaders,” he huffed.
Even Ronaldo recognised he’d probably gone too far, though, retracting his comment soon after. “I was referring to the physical level, not level of play,” he backtracked. “I am not better than any of my team-mates.”
5. Sepp endears himself again
In June 2011, FIFA was rocked by fresh corruption claims which alleged Caribbean football officials had taken bungs. The scandal didn’t stop president Sepp Blatter being re-elected unopposed, though, and the Swiss was hardly in a magnanimous mood after the result was announced.
“What does one wish for when one has everything?” sniggered the now-departed octogenarian, who was banned from football for eight years (later reduced to six) in December 2015. “I have no material wishes. I don’t need another Porsche or holiday home, a yacht or a villa.”
4. Irreplaceable Jens replaced
Never backwards in coming forward, Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann once boasted he had the most mental strength at the club.
"I know that I have an advantage at Arsenal and that I can keep it. I don't see any young supermen keeping me out," Lehmann said in 2007. Eight months later, the 37-year-old was handed a token farewell appearance against Everton, having started only four Premier League games since his outburst.
3. Let's not repeat the parade
Before the 1978 World Cup, Scotland manager Ally MacLeod bragged that his team would come back “with at least a medal”. When asked what he planned to do after the World Cup was over, he simply replied: “Retain it.”
Warming to the spirit of over-confidence, ‘Noddy’ persuaded the authorities to open up Hampden Park so that the national team could do a lap of honour on an open-top bus before they went. But when they finally got to Argentina, the Scots lost to Peru and drew with debutants Iran, with a memorable victory over the Netherlands not enough to secure their passage to the knockout phase.
2. Brown talks one down (apparently)
Showboating Hull manager Phil Brown was ticked off by chairman Adam Pearson after boasting about “sweet-talking” a woman out of jumping off the Humber Bridge in 2009.
A spokesperson for the bridge board confirmed they had heard nothing of the incident. In fact, the only recorded event of note was a scrap between Nicky Barmby and Jimmy Bullard in front of members of the Women’s Institute. Brown hung onto his job until March 2010, when he was placed on gardening leave with the Tigers were in the bottom three.
1. Bendtner brings down the house
Bendtner has never lacked self-confidence, but most of his proclamations have been laughable. “If you ask me if I’m one of the best strikers in the world, I would reply yes,” the then- Arsenal forward said in 2010.
He also predicted he would win the Golden Boot at the 2010 World Cup, but ended up scoring just one goal in South Africa as Denmark failed to progress from their group. Bendtner was eventually shown the door by Arsenal in 2014, joining Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga despite expressing a preference for Real Madrid or Barcelona.
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