“You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Porsche because they have a different engine. I don't like to be compared with anybody, but they constantly compare us. He does the best things for Barcelona, I do the best things for Madrid. It's incredible because we keep beating our own records. We push each other and this is why the competition is so high. This is why Madrid and Barcelona are the best teams in the world. Some people say I'm better; other people say it's him. But at the end of the day, people are going to decide who is the best player at the time, and I think it’s me.”
Cristiano Ronaldo on comparisons between himself and Lionel Messi

“If there’s a transfer window, there should be a sacking window. If you hire a manager, you shouldn’t be able to sack him for a year. That will mean the fans will support the manager, instead of booing them after two months when things aren’t going well. If you don’t boo them, who knows what can be achieved? Managers have to be given time. If Manchester United had sacked Alex Ferguson after two years of failure, where would they be now?”
John Barnes

"We were in line waiting for the medals. I approached the great Michel Platini, who put the medal on me and then removed it. I looked at him and he said, ‘It’s you again!’, before finally giving me my medal! He shook my hand with a smile, handed over the trophy, and the celebrations exploded!"
Falcao on Twitter on what followed winning his second successive UEFA Europa League

“From the ground, I could see Bertolacci running towards the goal and I said to myself, ‘Relax, it’s just a film, something will happen to stop him. He might faint before he taps it in.’ I remember the silence straight after that idiotic thing I did. It kills you. At that point you have to ask yourself: will they massacre me or hold me up on their shoulders?”
Gianluigi Buffon on the howler that allowed Andrea Bertolacci to snatch struggling Lecce a point at Juventus during the Serie A title run-in

“Messi is a great player, but Cristiano is absolutely tremendous. He is the best in the world because he's the most complete player. He is fast, powerful, scores goals, has so much quality and always helps his team out defensively if required. He is the perfect ten. I have never seen such a perfect football machine. Football has changed a lot, and I doubt that players such as Pele, Di Stefano and Maradona could do what Cristiano does now with such intensity.”

“England have very good individuals, but they are not so good as a unit. Look at Argentina in 2010 - they had great individuals, but they didn’t play as a unit. Why did Dortmund win the championship here in Germany? Because they played as a team and Bayern played as individuals. If England want to win something, they have to play as a unit, like us Germans do. Us Germans never give up, we fight to the last. We just have that mentality.”
Bastian Schweinsteiger

“I will never forget my return. It was Milan against Fiorentina, and coach Massimiliano Allegri told me, 'Get ready'. My legs were shaking like never before – even more so than when I made my Serie A debut! I felt alive again. I was the happiest man in the world.”
Antonio Cassano on his return to action after six months out following heart surgery

“People at Arsenal tried to make out that I came here for the money. I hope they are watching me now, collecting my Premier League winner’s medal. I believe they have not won a trophy for many years now. If all that I was interested in was money, the easiest decision would have been to stay at Arsenal, picking up my wages each week and walking into the team. I made the difficult choice to come and fight for my place at a big club, where they never settle for second best, and it has been vindicated. I now hope the Arsenal fans can get on with their lives and forget me. They should celebrate their third-place achievement and I will focus on winning titles.”
Samir Nasri

“Falcao has shown in Spain that he is at the level of Messi and Ronaldo.”
James Rodriguez

“It’s fun walking down the street in Turin and seeing people hit the brakes in the middle of the road so they can get out of their cars, hug you, cry and thank you for everything!”
Antonio Conte

“It was a miracle. I remember looking at the clock and it showed the 72nd minute, but when I glanced a second time it was the 89th – it seemed like only a minute had passed. At that point I hoped for a miracle. Then what happened, happened. Football is crazy and extraordinary.”
Roberto Mancini after Manchester City’s stunning win over Queens Park Rangers

“Nowadays it’s almost impossible to mark him. Neymar’s like [something from] a video game. He’s so smooth. To mark him you need one man tight on him and another backing him up. Man-to-man, there’s no way, he just goes past you.”
Ewerton Pascoa of Guarani after attempting to mark the Santos forward during the Campeonato Paulista final

“Mario Balotelli wore Milan socks to training once. At that point, I cut them up, as those colours look terrible on him. He understood the lesson.”
Marco Materazzi on his former Inter Milan team-mate