In this post, we explain the football clicheno one is bigger than the club‘. If you have questions or comments, email us at: one is bigger than the club

  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Football Cliche: No one is bigger than the club

This week there has been a lot of talk in the media about the relationship between French midfield star Paul Pogba and his Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho with the Reds manager claiming that, ‘He’s a player like the others; no player is bigger than the club and, if I’m happy with his work, he plays’ ( September 29th 2018). This phrase clearly means that the club is much more important than anything else – more important than a player or a manager but when it is used it can take on the meaning of a warning: a warning to a player or a manager not to become too arrogant or to rise above their role. In this example, Mourinho is suggesting that Pogba is not thinking of the team but instead is more interested in his own profile; he is not putting the team first. This is interesting as Jose Mourinho has sometimes been accused of being bigger than a club with his strong personality.

Now, sometimes you will hear a slightly different version such as:  written in the forms below:

  • No individual is bigger than the club – and here individual refers to the player.
  • No player is bigger than the club

Example: ‘Liverpool are bigger than any individual, says Kenny Dalglish, after Fernando Torres’ departure’ (, 4th February 2011).

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here
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Learn English Through Football

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Football ClichesEpisode 817