Steve Smith, Eric Cantona, Tiger Woods, Rafael Benitez - memorable news conferences in sport

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Smith breaks down in news conference

Ahh news conferences in sport - fans and journalists have a love-hate relationship with them.

Why? Because they can go one of two ways: dull as dishwater or more drama than Game of Thrones.

We saw the latter on Thursday when Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and Darren Lehman apologised for the part they played in the Australian cricket ball-tampering scandal.

Meanwhile, in north London, we saw Arsenal's assistant manager Steve Bould take the place of Arsene Wenger because the boss had lost his voice. Bould delivered some team news and spoke about the need to "win games". You get the idea.

We decided to trawl through the archives in order to dig out a few of the most iconic news conferences in sport over the years.

Louis van Gaal: Any news conference ever

We start with an old favourite - Louis van Gaal.

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Louis van Gaal: Man Utd boss's funniest quotes

We couldn't pick just one of his brilliant moments - there were far too many to choose from.

BBC Sport's Simon Stone fondly remembers the Dutchman's news conference antics:

"The great thing about Louis van Gaal was that it was relatively easy to draw him in - and once he was drawn in, he made his point with passion.

"He was quite good-humoured and, even when he was delivering words with anger, there was still amusement.

"No-one who was there will ever forget Van Gaal railing at media suggestions he was about to get sacked at Christmas 2015, then loudly saying 'enjoy your mince pie' as he strode past the plate of festive food that had been laid out for the gathered press."

Tiger Woods: An apology

Tiger Woods
American Tiger Woods has won 14 major tournaments

He may be just returning to form but we are taking it back to where the downward spiral seemed to start.

A tearful Tiger spoke publicly for the first time after the scandal surrounding his private life erupted in November 2009.

The reason this news conference had such an impact was that he spoke directly to his mother, friends, colleagues and close associates in the room with only a few selected media outlets present.

"I was unfaithful, I had affairs and I cheated. What I did was unacceptable," said the 14-time major winner.

He continued: "I am the only person to blame. I stopped living by the core values I was taught to believe in.

"I knew my actions were wrong but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply. I never thought about who I was hurting, instead I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries a married couple should live by."

Understandably, his then wife Elin was not in the room.

Rafael Benitez: Fergie facts

Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez's side finished second to Manchester United in the 2008-09 Premier League table

The former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had - shall we say - "a fractious relationship" with Rafael Benitez during the Spaniard's time at Liverpool.

In 2009, Ferguson suggested Liverpool would be affected by nerves during the Premier League title run-in.

Benitez's response came during a news conference when he embarked on a five-minute speech, highlighting Ferguson's conduct towards referees, the FA's Respect campaign and fixture lists.

"I was surprised by what has been said... but I want to talk about facts," Benitez began before pulling out a sheet of paper and reading out a list of accusations against Ferguson.

The rant included the phrases "I am not playing mind games, I am talking about facts", "we need to know that I am talking about facts, not my impression", and "you can analyse the facts and come to your own decision and ideas".

Read the full statement here...

Tyson Fury: Batman v Klitschko

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Boxer Fury's bizarre Batman entrance

Most people remember Tyson Fury's world heavyweight title fight against Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko for the totally unexpected result - but prior to the drama in the ring, there was all this weirdness.

The self-titled "Gypsy King" ran into the pre-fight news conference wearing a batman suit and mask, shouting: "Who called for Batman?"

He then proceeded to wrestle with a man dressed as The Joker, shouting further insults at his veteran opponent.

Algeria head coach Rabah Madjer: 'You are the enemy'

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Is this the angriest interview outburst ever?

Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez looked unbelievably awkward when his national team's head coach Rabah Madjer lost it at a journalist in a post-match news conference.

Following Algeria's 3-0 victory over Central African Republic, veteran reporter Maamar Djebbour asked Mahrez about the team's recent performances - a relatively normal question by all accounts.

But Madjer looked like he was releasing years of pent-up frustration at the journalist, telling him to "shut up" four times before adding: "Retire and let the next generation do the job."

It's explosive, but Mahrez's face is what makes it so memorable.

Nigel Pearson: 'Are you an ostrich?'

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Nigel Pearson rants at journalist

Managers have questions fired at them all week, so when Nigel Pearson had the chance in 2015 to switch things up and put one to a journalist, he went for: "Are you an ostrich?" Naturally.

The then Leicester boss said his players had faced a lot of criticism lately and the journalist asked him to specify what criticism he was talking about.

Pearson responded by saying: "Have you been on holiday for six months?" He continued: "Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand?"

It was terrifying and hilarious in equal measure.

Jose Mourinho: The 12-minute rant

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Watch Mourinho's impassioned 12-minute speech

It's Jose. You have got to expect fireworks every now and again, but Manchester United's press officer appeared to be having kittens when the manager embarked on a 12-minute rant after the team were knocked out of the Champions League.

For a start, he walked in and joked: "I am alive. I am still here."

The Portuguese added: "I am not going to run away or disappear or to cry because I heard a few boos."

Watch the full speech above (wi-fi recommended - Jose obviously wasn't thinking about all our data allowances when he launched into this).

Bernard Tomic: 'I was pretty bored'

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I was bored - Tomic's extraordinary admission

Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic - never one to shy away from controversy.

The 25-year-old told the Wimbledon press room he felt "bored" during his straight-set defeat by Mischa Zverev in the first round in 2017.

He then went on to debate with a journalist whether he would donate his prize money to charity.

Many didn't appreciate his cavalier attitude to earning £35,000 for being bored on a tennis court...

Eric Cantona: Seagulls

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Watch Cantona's famous 'seagulls' quote

Ahh the ever eccentric Eric Cantona...

Having received an eight-month ban from the Football Association for his kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan in 1995, the Frenchman addressed the media with one quote.

"When the seagulls *sips water* follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea"... *gets up, leaves*

Nope. Us neither.

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