“I really want to try soccer after I retire, because I’ve watched football over the years and I think I could be a good contender. I’m really looking forward to it and yes, I definitely think I’m good enough to play for Manchester United.”
Usain Bolt

“Leo [Messi] is the best player of all time - better than Pele, Maradona or Cruyff. There have been some great teams in history - Pele's Brazil, Cruyff's Ajax, Sacchi's Milan - but in the past 20 years this Barcelona team is the best.”

“Before leaving on vacation, Fabregas gave little gifts to each player and I asked him, 'What is this? A parting gift?' He said nothing. It says there is something behind this silence.”
Andrei Arshavin

“Nothing is impossible. Pele became the player of the century at Santos. Only by playing, by winning titles, can I achieve this. With time we'll be able to answer whether [I can win it]. But I dream about it.”
Neymar on his desire to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or as a Santos player

“Roma are like a dessert that everyone is happy to eat.”
Luis Enrique

“When I first saw his first training session, I was impressed. I told all my friends that Madrid had signed an extraordinary player. For me, he is even better than Ronaldo, the Brazilian. Karim has incredible qualities.”
Jerzy Dudek

“No disrespect to Arsene, but George’s coaching ability, defensive structure and technical ability is far better. They say coaches are the best thieves, and I think he stole it off Terry Venables. George was an outstanding coach – I think I won six or seven trophies under him, including the Cup Winners' Cup against Parma with a team including Ian Selley and David Hillier in midfield and Steve Morrow at the back. You kind of think the guy has got something. That back four – Lee Dixon, Steve Bould, Nigel Winterburn and myself - doesn’t happen by luck. We worked hard on organisation. Morning and afternoon. We hated George for it, but we were on top of our game and we reaped the benefits.”
Tony Adams compares Messrs Wenger and Graham, his two former Arsenal coaches

“The Nerazzurri jersey is like a second skin for me.”
Marco Materazzi

“I love playing for Congo. When you arrive at the airport and then to the arrivals hall, people physically pick you up and carry you to the waiting car, dancing and singing! It's just great!”
Chris Samba to FIFA.com

“I heard some talk yesterday about Luka Modric and they're saying £20m. £20m for Luka - they've got to be dreaming! He's such a fantastic player. We've enquired about players and we're being quoted more than that for people who couldn't lace his boots! He's a great guy, he just gets on with the job, never complains, loves his football. He's the most low-maintenance player you'd ever wish to see. He's irreplaceable.”
Harry Redknapp

“I can say about Martin [Palermo] that I have never felt so secure with any other player. I didn't happen with Rooney or Cristiano Ronaldo. He gave me a confidence that nobody else has given me. He is a phenomenon - he has his own God watching out for just him. That is why the fans love him so much.”
Carlos Tevez on his former Boca Juniors strike partner
“All due respect to Ireland, but they haven’t got much quality and it irritates me to have lost to them.”
Giorgio Chiellini

“It's more difficult to wear in the street. There you are not safe.”
Abou Diaby of Arsenal on wearing the jersey of arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur, given to give by Younes Kaboul, around the house

“It’s very hard to catch the eye in Argentina because, in general, you only get to watch the goals from the Campeonato Brasileiro. So, if you’re not the one actually scoring then not many people get to know what you’ve done. Take the time I went with Cruzeiro to Estudiantes in this year’s Libertadores. There, the [Argentinian] people had the chance to see me play and I know that a lot of them were really taken aback.”
Walter Montillo to FIFA.com on his lack of recognition in his homeland

“Little guys who are fast and have quality are back in fashion.”
Sebastian Giovinco

“I come from a generation where I couldn't even contemplate such a thing. I find it amazing. You can become a multi-millionaire as a club player without playing international football. But international football is about individual pride and wanting to perform at the highest level. If I got picked at 41, I would have played, even if I thought I would make a fool of myself. I just wanted to play for my country.”
Trevor Brooking on players retiring from international football after Peter Crouch was reportedly poised to become the latest Englishman to make himself unavailable for national team selection