33 Legendary George Best Quotes

We pay tribute to the Best of them all.
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33. ”In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol. It was the worst 20 minutes of my life.”

32. On leaving Manchester United: “It had nothing to do with women and booze, car crashes or court cases. It was purely football. Losing wasn't in my vocabulary. When the wonderful players I had been brought up with - Charlton, Law, Crerand, Stiles - went into decline, United made no real attempt to buy the best replacements. I was left struggling among fellas who should not have been allowed through the door. It sickened me that we ended up being just about the worst team in the First Division.”

31. “If I had been born ugly, you would have never heard of Pelé.”

30. On David Beckham: "He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's all right.”

29. “I always wanted more – more of everything.”

28. “They say I slept with seven Miss Worlds. I didn't. It was only four. I didn't turn up for the other three.”

27. On his spell at Hibernian: “I can remember earning £5,000 a game playing for Hibs at the end of the Seventies. They let me commute from London, train on the Friday and play on Saturday. That lasted until my friends at the Inland Revenue decided to take two-thirds. That wasn't very entertaining for me.”

26. “I was born with a great gift, and sometimes with that comes a destructive streak. Just as I wanted to outdo everyone when I played, I had to outdo everyone when we were out on the town.”

25. On having blood transfusion after a liver transplant: I was in for 10 hours and had 40 pints - beating my previous record by 20 minutes.

24. “I once said Gazza's IQ was less than his shirt number and he asked me: ‘What's an IQ?’”

23. “When birds start to take their clothes off, they say: ‘I’m not doing this because you’re George Best’.”

22. “People always say I shouldn’t be burning the candle at both ends. Maybe they haven’t got a big enough candle.”

21. On Thierry Henry: “There isn't a single player I would pay to watch. You can say Thierry Henry, he's a fabulous striker, with pace and power, but a great entertainer needs to have charisma, too. Does he have charisma? No.”

20. "Pele said he thought I was the greatest ever player. I have always thought I was the best ever player – that's the way you have to look at it. I have never looked at another player and felt inferior.”

19. When asked ‘What happened next?’ on A Question of Sport: “There's no point in asking me. I can't remember what happened last night.”

18. On Kevin Keegan: “He’s been very, very lucky, an average player who came into the game when it was short of personalities.”

17. “I found it difficult to watch myself playing on TV because I couldn’t identify with the person on the screen. I couldn’t get to grips with it. It was as if it was all happening to someone else.”

16. On being sent to prison for drink driving in 1984: “Well, I suppose that's the knighthood f****d.”

15. “Footballers today are millionaires by the time they're 22 or 23. More and more of them are going out and looking for something to give them a buzz outside football, be it gambling, drugs or booze. I got my buzz from playing. Players now have a groin injury for months and months and I often think they don't really give a toss whether they're playing or not because they're getting paid anyway.”

14. “It is typical of me to be finishing a long and distinguished drinking career just as the government is planning to open pubs 24 hours a day.”

13. On the ‘pizza-gate’ incident between Manchester United and Arsenal: That’s what children do – throw food. That’s not fighting. We were real men. We’d have chinned them.

12. “I might go to Alcoholics Anonymous, but I think it would be difficult for me to remain anonymous.”

11. On why he moved to the North American Soccer League: “Because I saw an advert on the side of a London bus inviting me to ‘Drink Canada Dry’.”

10. ”They'll forget all the rubbish when I've gone and they'll remember the football. If only one person thinks I'm the best player in the world, that's good enough for me.”

9. On Cristiano Ronaldo: “There have been a few players described as the new George Best over the years, but this is the first time it's been a compliment to me.”

8. ”If you'd given me the choice of going out and beating four men and smashing a goal in from thirty yards against Liverpool or going to bed with Miss World, it would have been a difficult choice. Luckily, I had both.”

7. “I've stopped drinking, but only while I'm asleep.”

6. On Eric Cantona: "I'd give all the Champagne I've ever drunk to be playing alongside him in a big European match at Old Trafford.”

5. “I used to dream about taking the ball round the keeper, stopping it on the line and then getting on my hands and knees and heading it into the net. When I scored against Benfica in the 1968 European Cup final I nearly did it. I left the keeper for dead but then I chickened out. I might have given the boss a heart attack!”

4. ”I used to go missing a lot... Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World.”

3. On being named Footballer of the Century in 1999: “It's a pleasure to be standing here. It's a pleasure to be standing up.”

2. ”Pele called me the greatest footballer in the world. That is the ultimate salute to my life.”

1. ”I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”


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