Aki Riihilahti

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Aki Riihilahti is a Finnish soccerplayer, a former player of Crystal Palace. He is famous for his website and his column in The Times magazine. Sports heroes often write for newspapers. Many of those columns are ghostwritten or heavily rewritten by editors. Riihilahti's column, started in 2002, is all Riihilahti — with a little spell checking. And Riihilahti is funny, quirky and unafraid to say what he thinks.

Quotes by Aki:

On the opponents who have beaten him:

"I remember all their names, faces and situations, those bastards."

On Premiership friends:

"They call you out of the blue, tell how nice you are and ... more importantly, that they are free when you are playing against Arsenal."

On professional footballing perks:

"Don't you know who I am? -won't get you into nightclubs."

After dropping from the Premiership he wrote about his grandmother death and his grandfather:

"Sure I cry and feel pain about football results," Riihilahti wrote. "However, the view of an old man grieving next to his wife's coffin is real pain."

"For me, there has never been a footballer even half a man of my grandfather. ... I apologize even writing about him next to a football game."

Aki Riihilahti shows why footballers will never be the new cricketers after he plays his first match:

"I thought it was a bit rude when the umpire gestured me with a finger so I showed my middle one back."

"There may be a career for me in cricket after football, though it would help if I knew the rules!"

About journalists and politicians:

You are just the bloody vegetarian dish in a kebab shop"

About nationalities:

"Typical Englishman John Smith is more concerned about David Beckham's fitness than his own wife's. Typical Chinese man Som Young Guy is not trying to grow the population of his country for over one month. Typical German Jurgen wants to check from the map that where about in Europe the cheating Uruguay is located."

On his definition of pain

"Someone non-stop kicking your genitals combined with century’s hangover while Sepultura is playing in the background. Sometimes it could be better to be unconscious."

"Injuries are like ketchup: first there is long quiet period but then suddenly there comes out a big wave of shit."

Quotes on Aki:

Simon Jordan:

"Aki Riihilahti, a ridiculous person in the best possible way - committed, brilliant work ethic, bit bonkers and totally engaging."