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Ali is the greatest dinner guest, according to the UK’s top football managers

Yahoo! LMA interviews also reveal Jesus, managers’ wives, Geoffrey Boycott, Kylie and Napoleon as choices

Muhammad Ali floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee and is also the perfect dinner companion, according to the UK’s top football managers, interviewed by Yahoo! Eurosport to celebrate the renewal for the second year of its ‘Dugout’ partnership with the League Managers Association (LMA)  ( )

Chosen by a quarter of the 20 managers interviewed,  which included some of the biggest names in football like Harry Redknapp, Roberto Mancini and David Moyes,  the legendary heavyweight boxer Ali was a clear favourite. Four diverse figures were tied as the second most popular dinner guest: Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Elvis Presley and the managers’ own wives!

In terms of professions of the guests selected, Sports Stars were most popular, being chosen by 33% of the managers. Next came politicians, featuring in choices by 18% of managers, followed by musicians, chosen by 13% of managers.

There were some unique choices among the managers. Neil Warnock wanted dinner with the Queen, while Rafa Benitez was keen to share an hors d’oeuvre with Napoleon. Roberto Mancini wanted to break bread with the Pope, and Paul Lambert was looking for a quiet night in with George Best. Former managerial greats also popped up, with Simon Grayson citing Don Revie, Neil Warnock wanting a bite to eat with Brian Clough and Chris Hughton looking to invite Bill Shankly.

“The top choices of Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Elvis Presley and their own wives as ideal dinner party guests shows that an evening with any of Britain’s top football managers would be an entertaining affair,” said James Wildman, Yahoo!’s Managing Director and Vice-President of Sales.

As the Premier Digital Media Company, Yahoo! is investing is quality original content in the UK, including ‘The Dugout’ with the LMA , Barclays Premier League highlights and ‘Bumps, Babies and Beyond’, a parenting show presented by Myleene Klass.

The full list with a breakdown of statistics is as follows:

Breakdown of results

Gianfranco Zola – Father, wife, Diego Maradona

Harry Redknapp – Muhammad Ali, Vincent O’Brien, Bobby Moore

Paul Ince – Wife, John F Kennedy, Tiger Woods

Paul Lambert – Elvis Presley, George Bush, George Best

Roberto Di Matteo – Julius Caesar, Claudia Schiffer, Robert De Niro

Sam Allardyce – Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Sir Alex Ferguson

Sven Goran Eriksson – Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul, Barack Obama

Chris Coleman – John F Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix

Tony Adams – Jesus, Sir Alf Ramsey, Scarlett Johansson

Simon Grayson – Geoffrey Boycott, Bono, Don Revie

Roberto Mancini – Paolo Mantovani, The Pope, Sheikh Mansour

Rafa Benitez – Julius Caesar, Al Pacino, Napoleon

David Moyes – Mother, Tommy Burns, Kylie Minogue

Gustavo Poyet – Fernando Morena, Michael Jordan, Wife

Neil Warnock – Queen, Barbara Streisand, Brian Clough

Steve McClaren – Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Sir Alex Ferguson

Alex McLeish –  Robert Di Niro, John Lennon, Muhammad Ali

Alan Pardew – Muhammad Ali, Barrack Obama, Spike Milligan

Peter Reid – Elvis Presley, Jesus Christ, Angelina Jolie

Chris Hughton – Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Bill Shankly


Order of popularity

1st – Mohammed Ali with 5 votes (25%)

2nd wives/Nelson Mandela/Elvis/Obama – 3 votes (15%)

3rd De Niro/Julius Caesar /Sir Alex/JFK – 2 votes (10%)

All others received 1 vote (5%)
Profession of guest

Musician – 13%

Model – 2%

Actor – 8%

Writer – 2%

Politician – 18%

Family member – 10%

Sports star – 33%

Royalty – 3%

Other – 10%

For insight from England’s leading managers plus exclusive Barclays Premier League highlights every Monday morning visit Yahoo! Eurosport  at

Article title: Ali is the greatest dinner guest, according to the UK’s top football managers

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