Really?! Bendtner joins list of sport’s most delusional stars

Really?! Bendtner joins list of sport’s most delusional stars
By Eurosport

18/11/2013 at 14:50Updated

It would be unfair to blame Arsenal's eight trophyless years on striker Nicklas Bendtner. Yet at the same time, the Danish international has been widely recognised as exactly the sort of player who has held the Gunners back.

That widespread recognition - common among fans and media - is not shared by the man himself, however. Several years ago he was widely derided after claiming that he was "one of the best strikers in the world" and would be heading to a club like Barcelona as the next step in his career - and despite a string of underwhelming seasons since then he has repeated that bold assertion.

"How do you envisage continuing your career?" he was asked by Danish publication Politiken this weekend.

"[At] Real Madrid or Barcelona," came the instant answer - despite the fact that the man who's been lucky to get a spot on the Arsenal bench in recent years also insisted that he would only go somewhere that he would not have to end up, "sitting on the bench and staring. I love playing lots of games."

The Rundown is torn between deriding this delusional maniac and admiring his chutzpah.

And he's far from the first sportsman who is able to talk the talk without managing to walk the walk. Here's our pick of the best from the world of sport:

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Ian Poulter claimed to be the second best golfer in the world in an interview back in 2008: "The trouble is I don't rate anyone else. Don't get me wrong, I respect everyone who is a professional. But the problem is I haven't played to my full potential yet. And when that happens it will just be me and Tiger." He's won a few big events since then and been terrific in Ryder Cups, but his results in Majors still read: played 42, won 0.

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Audley Harrison: "My name is Audley, my name is Audley, my name is Audley, AUDLEY MONEY," is the boxer's most famous quote. And the money came, thanks in part to a BBC licence fee-funded 10-fight deal signed by an idiot at the corporation who obviously knew nothing about the mechanics of career progression in boxing. Success and meaningful titles, however, remained thin on the ground for the former gold medallist.

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Greg Rutherford: "It’s as if they’re saying, 'You’ve done really well at the Olympics but you’ll never do it again and so we’re not interested’," Rutherford said of his sponsors, Nike, after they refused to give him an improved deal after winning Olympic gold. The unpalatable truth for Rutherford - whose gold medal winning long jump at London 2012 was the worst winning leap at the Olympics since 1972 - is that everyone apart from Rutherford himself can kinda see where Nike are coming from.

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Ashley Cole: "'He's taking the p*ss, Jonathan!' I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn't believe what I'd heard." So wrote Ashley Cole in his autobiography of the pay deal offered to him by Arsenal chief David Dein. Ironically, his words took the p**s out of everyone earning less than £2.5 million a year; they couldn't believe what they'd read.

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Brian Clough: "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one." Really? Two league titles in 28 years as a manager in an era that you shared with Bob Paisley (six titles) says otherwise.

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Prince Naseem Hamed: "Damn, I'm looking good!" he said after beating Augie Sanchez to finally earn the fight with Marco Antonio Barrera, in which he got completely outclassed, and never fought at the top level again.

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Maurice Greene: Former 100m Olympic champion and world record holder had 'GOAT' tattooed on his arm to recognise his (self-proclaimed) status as the Greatest Of All Time. Looks pretty silly now that five men have gone quicker, and that his old record has been surpassed 28 times.

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Sam Allardyce: "I'm not suited to Bolton or Blackburn, I would be more suited to Internazionale or Real Madrid. It wouldn't be a problem to me to go and manage those clubs because I would win the double or the league every time. Give me Manchester United or Chelsea and I would do the same, it wouldn't be a problem. It's not where I'm suited to, it's just where I've been for most of the time. It's not a problem to take me into the higher reaches of the Champions League or Premier League and would make my job a lot easier in winning it."

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Roy Hodgson: "My track record, if people bothered to study it, would put me in the same category as [Sir Alex] Ferguson enjoys today, but people don't talk about what I've done outside England. Here, they just talk about Blackburn Rovers, but that's just a very small part of a 26-year career. To most English journalists it's the only part. I've got an excellent track record in Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and in Denmark." In fairness to Roy Hodgson, this quote comes from 1999. In fairness to us for including him on this list, guiding Malmo to the Swedish title or Inter to the UEFA Cup final isn't quite in the same bracket as guiding Aberdeen to victory over Real Madrid in the Cup Winners' Cup or four Premier League titles in five years with Manchester United, as Fergie had done by early 1999.

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Shoaib Akhtar: "I had gone up to Tendulkar and asked if he knew who I was and he said that he didn't. I just replied back saying that he would now. I knew I would definitely stand out and help my team win. The very next delivery I sent Tendulkar packing. The crowd was stunned. My humble upbringing helped me focus on being the best."

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Jimmy White: "I’ve been playing really well in practice – I made a 147 this morning – and I believe I can still win the world championship." So said Jimmy White before the 2008 tournament, while ranked 60 in the world. Twenty four years after losing to Steve Davis in the first of six world finals and 14 years after his last appearance in the final. He lost them all.

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Are there any particularly delusional sports stars that we have omitted from the list above? Post your suggestions below...

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