“More than 30 years after losing the 1974 World Cup Final, that Holland team are still praised and remembered. The term ‘total football’ comes from that team, in which defenders attacked and attackers also defended. This also applies to Barcelona. They are the ‘total football’ team of the 21st century. This team revolutionises football.”
Johan Cruyff

"It is difficult to compare a footballer’s wage to the wage of a bank manager or the manager of a large company. They are without a doubt putting a lot into their jobs and they are important to other people’s lives as well, but my line of work is different to that. I am in the football business and, on the highest level where Arsenal are, football is first-class entertainment. So it is wrong to compare my salary to the salary of businessmen. Compare it to movie actors instead.”
Nicklas Bendtner

“It’s my fault this happens every time, as I feel so close to my home [region] and it’s something personal I wish I could keep to myself. But it is not true that I asked to be substituted. I was upset, sat away from the squad in the locker room and the coach saw that, so he decided to replace me for my own good and that of the team.”
Fabrizio Miccoli explains why he cried after equalising for Palermo at Lecce on the stroke of half-time

“Let's say that Cristiano is incredible, but Messi is from another planet. I don't have enough adjectives to describe Lionel, and there is not one which can define his level. Players like Lionel emerge very rarely, if they emerge at all. I think that he is going to be the greatest footballer of all time, whether he wins a World Cup or not.”
Sergio Batista

“We were friends and shared the same room in pre-match hotels. Generally, he barely spoke. But despite that, we once got into a fist-fight. In fact, I was the one who threw a punch at him.”
Toto Schillaci on Roberto Baggio

"I do not think there is anyone who loves the shirt more than me. I show that in every game I play. I give everything I have got. I am completely at ease here.”
Carlos Tevez on life at Manchester City

“In Spain, one is treated like a grandfather when he passes the age of 30. Italy is much different - there is much more appreciation for experience.”
Luis Figo

“I am crazy about life. For me it was incredible just to represent Uruguay for the first time, but to score a goal that will go down in history… I’m lost for words.”
Matias Vecino

“At the age of 21, a promising Japanese footballer with technique and tactical nous also dedicates himself to his education. But in Europe, if a lad can play football then he pulls out of his studies. We should think about this.”
Alberto Zaccheroni

“He's 19, I know, but I remember the best players that I managed - Baresi, Maldini, Raul - these players started really young. It's the talent [that matters].”
Fabio Capello on Jack Wilshere

“To win the Scudetto with Inter was easy, but to guide the club to a treble last season is something impressive. Besides our arguments, I have a lot of respect for him.”
Claudio Ranieri on Jose Mourinho

“I like my team to have the ball, dictate the game and score goals. I like to see players pushing forward as a unit. It makes the game more enjoyable to play, and to watch as well, doesn’t it?”
Laurent Blanc to FIFA.com

"Virtually every day, when I get stopped by someone different, they'll tell me what they were doing at the time, where they were, and ask what it was like for me. It’s special to be part of such a moment.”
John Aloisi on the goal that qualified Australia for Germany 2006

"I cannot imagine Cesc wearing the white shirt [of Real Madrid]. As you know, I believe his wish is to return home. He knows our system perfectly and he would fit in well here."
Victor Valdes

“Real Madrid is a legendary football club, as are Barcelona, Manchester United and many others. All of the big clubs make my mouth water.”
Eden Hazard of Lille to FIFA.com

“That was the most important, most wonderful and most exciting match of my Italy career, probably even more than my debut or the World Cup Final. It represented the victory of Italian immigrants in Germany and our victory against a German side that was playing on home turf and over-riding favourites. It was just wonderful.”
Gianluigi Buffon on Gli Azzurri’s 2-0 win in their 2006 FIFA World Cup™ semi-final

"I actually think Chelsea got a bargain with Torres. Ok, £50m is a lot of money, but that’s what you pay for a top class striker - and the guy is world class. As for Carroll, that is a big gamble by Liverpool. £35m is a heck of a lot to spend on a player with limited experience.”
Andy Cole