Quotes on: Paul Gascoigne

“Not only could he pick a pass but he could go past two or three players – he was a genius with that football at his feet. He was also great for the dressing room, what he would have been like at club level I don’t know. I am sure he would have been an absolute pain in the backside because turning up to work every day not knowing what you were going to get in the dressing room or on the training pitch might have been a nightmare for some players. But to have it once every once every four or five weeks as I did when we went away with England was great fun. He was a great lad and great to have around but first and foremost he was a great player.”
Alan Shearer 

“We all loved Gazza and there haven’t been many finer English players in my lifetime.  No one dropped their shoulder like Gazza.”
– Ray Parlour 

“I played with him at Rangers and in his prime he was one of the best players in the world. He glided with the ball in a way that made him virtually untouchable for opponents and he was a match-winner, who had great technique when striking the ball. He was also a great entertainer – on and off the pitch! A tremendous natural talent.”
– Brian Laudrup 

“Quite simply the best midfielder I’ve ever played with. In fact, he had the ability to be best player in the world. Unfortunately we know what happened to him with injuries and whathaveyou, but on his day he was unstoppable with the ball at his feet.”
– Les Ferdinand 

“Probably the best player I played with. What more can I say? He’s a maverick, he just had everything. He wasn’t the quickest but he had that little injection of pace to get away from people [ . . . ]. He’s brilliant, scores all types of goals and without doubt the best player I played alongside.”
– Paul Ince 

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“He had unbelievable ability and he could have won everything if he’d looked after himself. Everything could have been so different if he’d gone to Manchester United instead of Spurs.”
– Ian Wright 

“I first saw Gazza when he was 14. He was talented, but so slow we wondered if he could get round the pitch. But he grew, lost the puppy fat and became quicker. Very strong, with the vision, flair and character to go with it. The ideal footballer, technically and socially. Great value; never a dull moment.”
– Chris Waddle 

“The crackerjack of British football. The most talented individual I’ve played alongside. Even when he got into the England side, he was not fazed by anyone he played against. He had a real arrogance on the pitch, and loved football. Mad as a March Hare, and brilliant to have around the squad. The reason why England haven’t gone to semi-finals and beyond recently is we haven’t had another Gascoigne.”
– Stuart Pearce 

“The first time I heard the name Paul Gascoigne was when he was in his early days at Newcastle. People in the game started talking about this young man that had something a little bit special. He was a precocious young talent, a kid that would do things, that would take people on, that would beat people, and had an unbelievable natural talent.”
– Gary Lineker

“Part of his genius, part of his magnificence, is the fact that he was so vulnerable. Without that vulnerable side, without that carefree side, without all the things that come with Gazza, I don’t think Paul Gascoigne would have been the player that he was.”
– Gary Lineker

“He had great confidence. You could see he played for the love of the game. He didn’t obviously give it too much thought, and he had this amazing strength of the body. and he’d push people off.”
– Gary Lineker

“What made him special was the lack of fear in his game. He would try anything, and he would never be scared that something would go wrong. And more than anything else, the love for showing off the abilities that he had, and that’s what lifts him above.”
– Gary Lineker

“Mad as a box of frogs, and is to this day. But what a player. The most naturally gifted footballer England has produced.”
– Gary Lineker

“I liked Paul Gascoigne a lot. He was an extraordinary person both on and outside the pitch. He always remained his own self which in my opinion is of utmost importance in every man’s life.”
– Andrei Arshavin

“Paul Gascoigne is the special one.”
Jose Mourinho 

“I worked with Mr (Bobby) Robson, and he was really in love with Paul, and was permanently speaking about his talent, and about the pleasure he had to coach such a talented player.”
– Jose Mourinho

“He was aggressive, very physical, but at the same time very technical, fantastic characteristics that you need to be a top footballer.”
– Jose Mourinho

“I witnessed Gazza from a young age and what an incredible player. His enthusiasm was so infectious and the whole squad took so much from him during Italia 90.”
– Peter Beardsley 

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“When I was a kid, Paul Gascoigne was my hero. [ . . . ] I remember when I started watching football, I was a young West Ham fan, and Paul Gascoigne had come and played against West Ham for Newcastle, and he was young at the time, and I was mesmerized by his character and his ability on the ball. [ . . . ] He was the one I always looked up to and wanted to be.”
Frank Lampard

“He was always someone I looked up to for the way he played football, and how good he was. I still think, to this day, he’s the greatest England player.”
Wayne Rooney

“The one thing I used to love about watching Paul play was how he got the ball and ran at defenders. Nowadays you might not get away with it, but he’d always protect himself with his arm. It’s a great art to be able to do that, and to not let the defenders near you.”
– Wayne Rooney

“If I’m sitting here now, [ . . . ] explaining about Paul Gascoigne, I’d say he’s the probably most exciting English player I’ve seen, and certainly the best.”
– Wayne Rooney

“If you’ve got that much natural ability, it doesn’t really matter how much the game moves on – he still would have been outstanding today. Gazza was one of the best dribblers and it was very difficult to get the ball off him. Phenomenal.”
– Matt Le Tissier 

“When Gazza was dribbling, he used to go through a minefield with his arm, a bit like you go through a supermarket.”
– Sir Bobby Robson

“He was the best player of his era, a breath of fresh air because he played with a smile. Around 1987, when Newcastle were bobbing above the relegation zone, we played them and my three central midfielders that day were Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside and Remi Moses – all great footballers, and he just tore them apart. When he nutmegged Moses and patted him on the head, I was out of the dugout shouting, ‘Get that f****** so-and-so!’ Robbo and Whiteside were chasing him up and down the pitch, and they couldn’t get near him.”
Sir Alex Ferguson

“A player of immense talent. Gazza wasn’t the quickest, but he was so creative and physical that he could beat his man. On ability alone England have never had a more gifted midfield player. Had it not been for his problems, who knows what he could have achieved?”
– Denis Irwin

“He ate ice cream for breakfast, drank beer for lunch and when injured he blew up like a whale. But as a player? Oh, beautiful, beautiful. I loved that boy. He was a genius, an artist, but he made me tear my hair out.”
– Dino Zoff
(manager at Lazio)

“I obviously didn’t have Gascoigne at Lazio, but of course I know that he is a great, great player. He has had bad luck and many bad injuries and I think he could have been even better if he didn’t have those injuries.”
– Sven-Goran Eriksson

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