"Cristiano Ronaldo has changed my perception of soccer. [At Manchester United] we had a player who was beyond a level of talent I had ever seen. He would go and win us game after game. Now he is a monster. He picks the ball up in an innocuous position, 30 yards out, does some type of shimmy I can't even describe let alone do, beats a man and whacks it in from 25 yards. You can't defend against that. Then he scores a counter-attack goal when he chases 80 yards forward, then he preys on the back of the centre-half and scores a hat-trick inside 30 minutes. You literally need to have two men against him. Even then they might both get beaten.”
Gary Neville on Cristiano Ronaldo

"In this vast zoo that is the world of football, everyone has a clear identity: one is an ass, the other is evil, another is funny and one is intellectual."
Jorge Valdano

"Beckham is someone who gets to training 45 minutes early a leaves half an hour after everybody else. He is a truly great professional. He’s 37 now and he doesn’t play 90 minutes every game, but he is still capable of turning a game in the 20 or 30 minutes he gets. He’s a man who loves the sport. His passion is still there. The guy is pure class."
Zinedine Zidane

"For me, Iniesta is the best player at Barça. We always talk about Messi, but without Iniesta Barcelona are a different team. He is the master of the team. He is the one who sets the pace for the whole team. He makes it look so simple."
Robert Pires

"Gareth Bale is a world beater. He is the complete player. He’s like Ronaldo. He is one of those who can produce that bit of magic. You have to be on your toes all the time and just pray to God he doesn’t score."
Steven Taylor

"A tenth European title is absolutely huge for the people of Madrid and for Mourinho too. It would seal his reputation if he can win his third Champions League at three different clubs and confirm him as a success everywhere he’s been. It would be a very successful three years if he wins the Copa del Rey in his first season, La Liga in his second and then the Champions League in the third. Mourinho is without doubt one of this new breed of super-managers along with Pep Guardiola. “
Steve McManaman

"Look, the manager picked [Ambrose]. The manager pulled him to one side and asked him if he was feeling ok. He said he was feeling brilliant. You know, if he wasn’t feeling ok then he should have said so. If he felt good, then he should have put in a better performance. It was just very sloppy, individual mistakes. Something you would probably get away with on a playground, not in the last 16 of the Champions League. There are certain individuals who let the team down tonight. At this level, you clearly can’t afford to make mistakes. If you do, you end up coming away with a 3-0 defeat."
Kris Commons on his Celtic team-mate Efe Ambrose, who only arrived after helping Nigeria win the CAF Africa Cup of Nations on the morning of his club’s 3-0 loss at home to Juventus, during which he was at fault for two goals

"We looked at James Rodriguez of Porto. He is young, but he cost €45m. We bid for Cavani, but his price is still €70m. There was Mata. There was Silva. There was Oscar. There was Pastore. There was Lucas Moura. But all had no motivation to leave their current club, or the transfer fee was higher than that of Willian. Willian is in the next bracket of stars directly below Cristiano and Messi. To bring him here was our goal, our dream. He’s certainly not here for the money. He's on the same salary he was in Donetsk.”
German Tkachenko, Anzhi Makhachkala director

“The hardest moment [in my career] was when I returned to training at Real Madrid and realised they had removed my name from my locker. The president then told me I was no longer wanted, and I responded that one day I would win the Champions League there at the Bernabeu. When I did it with Inter it was the proudest moment of my career.”
Wesley Sneijder