Seven footballers who made outlandish claims about their childhood dreams
As young children, we all grew up kicking a ball around a field dreaming of playing for the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United or even Barcelona.
Only a select few are lucky enough to actually realise their dream later in life – although sometimes their dreams aren’t what you might expect.
We’ve taken a look at some players and a manager who made pretty surprising claims about their dreams in the game, from the bizarre to the downright baffling.
Richarlison joined Everton for £50million in the summer of 2018, after just one year in English football with Watford.
“I want my dreams to become a reality here at one of the biggest clubs in England,” the Brazilian winger said in an interview during which he heaped praise on both new and old club.
“I want to score more goals, provide more assists for my team-mates and help in whichever way is possible. Everyone in the world knows Everton.
“It’s a very big club, one of the biggest in England as I said. I am really happy and honoured to be here,” he added, before he possibly got a tad carried away: “When I was younger I’d watch Everton, I followed them a lot.”
"When I was younger I'd watch Everton, I followed them a lot."
Find it difficult to believe a 10 year-old Richarlison was sat at home in Brazil watching Tony Hibbert pumping long balls up to Victor Anichebe. pic.twitter.com/237l1MLESv
— Coral (@Coral) July 26, 2018
A regular butt of jokes on social media, Keane has claimed after a number of his career moves that it was his boyhood dream to play for his club.
In 2008, Keane thanked Spurs chairman Daniel Levy for allowing him to join Liverpool, saying: “As a fan, joining Liverpool is a lifelong dream of mine and one I couldn’t let pass me by.”
Just a year after returning to White Hart Lane, Keane was sent on loan to Celtic. “The club is massive. I am a Celtic fan and did not have to ask much about it. I always wanted to play for Celtic,” he said.
Not done there, he even claimed he’d always seen the appeal of America, saying in 2011: “I have always wanted to come and play in MLS so it’s the perfect combination for me and a dream come true.”
Even back in 2000, when he joined Inter Milan, Keane used that particular buzzword. “It all happened so fast that it seems like a dream,” he said.
Robbie Keane fulfills a lifelong dream of scoring for his boyhood side, Michael Carrick All Stars XI.
— bet365 (@bet365) June 4, 2017
“They are big names in Serbian football,” Mitrovic said of Newcastle United in February 2018.
“I joined Newcastle because from a young age I supported them. I don’t why, but they had black-and-white colours, the same colours as Partizan Belgrade.”
Mitrovic made 72 appearances in two and a half years at St James’ Park before leaving for Fulham, who also play in black and white…
It all started in 2013 for Mkhitaryan, who claimed it was a “dream come true” to join Borussia Dortmund from Shakhtar Donetsk.
And when the Armenian switched Dortmund for Manchester United, he tweeted a picture of him holding his new shirt, along with the caption: “This move is a dream come true for me.”
Low and behold, when Jose Mourinho used him as a lightweight in the move to take Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford, he claimed once more that he “always dreamed of playing for Arsenal.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is the new Robbie Keane 😂
📅 8 July 2013 "It was always my dream to play for Dortmund"
📅 6 July 2016 "It was always my dream to play for Man United"
📅 22 January 2018 "It was always my dream to play for Arsenal" pic.twitter.com/tQaUgkwJmo
— ShotOnGoal (@shotongoal247) January 24, 2018
“Every child grows up watching Barcelona and dreaming of playing them. I was the same, Barcelona are the team I always dreamed of playing for and I supported them as a child,” said Alexis Sanchez upon joining Barcelona.
“Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to play for Arsenal,” said Alexis Sanchez upon joining Arsenal.
“Since I was young, I have always said it was my dream to play for Manchester United,” said Alexis… you get the picture.
Alexis Sanchez: "It's my dream to join Manchester United"
Reporter: "You've said in the past your dream was to join Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester City.."
Alexis Sanchez: "I have lots of dreams"
— Mike Sanz (@mikesanz19) January 22, 2018
Not just players have made these outlandish claims.
Upon joining Swansea as manager in December 2017, Carlos Carvalhal recalled an astonishing story in which he apparently realised as a teenager just starting out as a player it was his “destiny” to manage the Welsh club.
His appointment in South Wales was his 17th managerial job across a 20-year career, but his incredible association with the club goes all the way back to 1983. Apparently.
On the list of things that didn’t happen, the story of a teenage Carlos Carvalhal realising he would be Manager of Swansea sounds dubious.. pic.twitter.com/8oqLVDeXvl
— Sam Jones (@SamJonesMCR) December 29, 2017
This is literally the exact opposite to what all of the above did, but we simply had to include Meshack Maphangule, who made some pretty bold comments when he signed for Orlando Pirates in the summer of 2018.
A number of clubs had chased the free agent’s signature after he helped Black Leopards to promotion to the top flight, but it was the Pirates that landed the midfielder ahead of the new campaign.
Rather than reel of platitudes about his new club, though, when being interviewed after joining, Maphangule revealed it was the Pirates’ biggest rivals he really wanted to play for.
“It has always been my dream to play for one of the big three clubs in the country. I grew up supporting Kaizer Chiefs and I always wanted to play for Kaizer Chiefs,” he said.
Not exactly a way to endear yourself to your new supporters.