An interview on a Granada Television chat-show, hosted by Shelley Rohde on Wednesday 20th of May 1981, produced arguably Shankly's most famous (and most often misquoted) quote – "Someone said to me 'To you football is a matter of life or death!' and I said 'Listen, it's more important than that'." But on the official Liverpoolfc.tv website, it states that the official quote is "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that." It is likely that Shankly paraphrased a quote attributed in the 1950s to Henry Russell Sanders, an American football college coach, although his was referring to a rival – "Beating 'SC is not a matter..." .
I realised that the political context had got worse since the 2010 World Cup. I tried to ignore it but I wanted, as a national coach - you may call this Utopia - to make Catalans and Basques feel good about supporting a Spanish side... to unite even the most sectarian and nationalist. .
No one knows anything about economics. It's the great lie of the economists. By contrast in football people might have contrasting opinions, each of which has some validity. But the economists always speak in conditionals - what a mess. .
The certainty that our football, the football of Spain, is recognised, that's very important to us - perhaps more important than the successes and the joy that you can create. Football hasn't always been appreciated, and luckily our football is appreciated now, at all levels of society. .
I just wanted to defend football, which is not always easy to do. Those of us who have been in the sport so many years now realise we must protect it and look after it. I was speaking about football, what it means. It is our profession, it has been our lives, and we must take care of it a little. .
As with Cesc Fabregas, some players who go and play for foreign clubs improve on a cultural level. It makes them grow on many levels; intellectually, because you have to learn a new language and adapt to another culture, and on a footballing level too. .
The Confederations Cup is interesting. It served Spain very well to take part and then go on to win the 2010 World Cup. We knew the stadiums, the atmosphere, the conditions and also the difficulties of a tournament which simulated the World Cup format. .
In England, it's a rare thing to see a player smoking but, all in all, I prefer that to an alcoholic. The relationship with alcohol is a real problem in English football and, in the short term, it's much more harmful to a sportsman. It weakens the body, which becomes more susceptible to injury. .
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