"I do not need to win this trophy to know I am the best."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the FIFA Ballon d’Or
“It seems as though he doesn’t have any hips – he can turn any way at any time.”
Henrik Larsson on Xavi
"Everybody speaks nonsense about Cristiano [Ronaldo]. For me he is the best guy in the world to work with. He's always ready, always trying his best, and always looking to try something different. No-one works harder than him. People complain because he puts gel in his hair, because he’s cute or a womaniser. They say he is vain because he puts cream on his legs after a game. Just leave him alone and let him do what he does best."
Luiz Felipe Scolari
"There's way too much talking about Balotelli. All he has achieved in his life is sitting on the bench at other clubs. He would have been carrying the bags of players such as Marco van Basten, George Weah and Andriy Shevchenko in my days. He does not understand what it means to wear the Milan jersey. Milan will always be bigger than Balotelli. His poor attitude is only further proof that he doesn’t understand the value of playing for Milan. People like Marcel Desailly, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi would have slapped him for showing up late.”
“There is no player in the world able to have a greater influence on the team than him.”
Alvaro Arbeloa on Xabi Alonso
"I have a lot of respect for [Alan] Shearer. He is the forward I dreaded meeting during my spell in the Premier League. Shearer was always ready for the occasion and would fight for anything and everything. He was never into theatrics like [Luis] Suarez. Suarez always thinks the football pitch is a swimming pool."
"Mourinho has had to congratulate me twice – now that’s something beautiful.”
Murat Yakin after his Basel team made in back-to-back wins over Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League
"[Bayern] are obviously the best. Dortmund are clearly the second-best team in Europe. Then come Madrid, Barcelona. That, to me, is the current order in world football.”
"I have had a similar experience to Yaya [Toure]. Coaches go to clubs, take players with them and want to pick them a tall costs – regardless of whether they are any good or not. Yaya was much better than Sergio Busquets at Barcelona, but he was behind him in the pecking order and he found that hard to accept. I advised him to come to Manchester City while I was still there. He listened to his big brother's advice and now he is the big boss on the field for them. I was better than certain players at Manchester City, but I was left on the bench. Before I left I told the people in charge that they would regret letting me go. People said I was finished and that I could never get back to my former level. But now I’m sure that City must now be kicking themselves when they see how I’m performing."