“We want football players, not fashion models. Last year Kevin-Prince Boateng had more hairstyles than goals.”
Jose Mourinho responds to hearing the AC Milan man wants to join Chelsea

“I went to Tahiti to play football, to make a living doing it, but then I saw that the sport is still amateur, so I started working as a tour guide. As the company I work for knows I’m a footballer, whenever an important person in that area comes, they ask me to receive them. It’s through this that I met Mourinho, Cassano, Buffon and Ronaldo – and in 2007 Torres. I went to pick [Torres and partner Olalla] up at the airport and then they went to Bora Bora. They were going to return to Papeete, but Torres had to leave at the last minute to sign a Liverpool contract. When the [Spain-Tahiti] game finished, I went to the Spanish dressing room and asked Vicente Del Bosque if I could speak to Torres. He knew I was there and recognised me! I was very happy and we exchanged jerseys.”
Efrain Araneda, Tahiti’s Chile-born standby player 

"Andres is out of this world. It often seems like he's playing against kids – he gets around his opponents with such ease. When Iniesta’s on the opposite team, you can’t enjoy playing. He makes you suffer a lot. If you give him an inch, he can do just about anything. But when you’re his team-mate, you can enjoy watching him do such amazing things while making them look easy. I was telling Valdes the other day, I would love to be Iniesta for just one game. He is unbelievable.”
Javi Martinez

“The players need to feel comfortable. You must never forget a birthday – sometimes it’s the little things that count.”
Rudi Garcia following his appointment as Roma coach

“I would give my soul every time I step on the pitch [for Real Madrid]. I have done this with Uruguay, Ajax and Liverpool. I always walk off the pitch having given everything. A player always aspires to be at the top of their profession and Madrid is at the top for any footballer. But do you know what it is like to play for Liverpool? I’ve suffered at Liverpool, but when I think of what it represents to play for this club, and the love my daughter has – she sings the hymn – the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I play at Anfield.”
Luis Suarez

"It's surreal. The whole first half was crazy. My team-mates have put me in all different kinds of positions to score goals, and I can’t say it enough, and I really believe it in my heart, that I’m only as good as my team-mates allow me to be. I can’t thank them enough. I can’t say how much I look up to Mia and how amazing the record that she set was. Ever since that day I saw her practising (while Wambach was in the USA U-16 squad), this is what I wanted to do. As a competitor, you want to be done with being second. This team is too good to be talking about just one player. I'm glad it's over with."
Abby Wambach after her quartet against Korea Republic took her past Mia Hamm and made her the 160-goal leading scorer in international football history

“The Premier League is superior [to La Liga] in all aspects. The structure, the fans, the competitiveness and, most of all, the economic power. Any English club can now buy a Spanish player from any team except [Real] Madrid or Barça. And the success of the talented little players like Juan Mata, David Silva and Santi Cazorla has proved a phenomenon in England. The English league is much more competitive than it is in Spain. Here you can win at any ground. In Spain it is impossible to go to Camp Nou or the Bernabeu and expect to succeed. The passion of fans in England is fantastic. Your supporters follow you to all your away games.”

“I can say that I prefer Japanese food, it’s the best in the world! And the girls are prettier, smaller and slimmer…wait, that might not be a good thing to say. Dutch girls are very beautiful too!"
Mike Havenaar, who grew up in a Dutch household in Japan, to FIFA.com on the differences between the two nations

“When people ask what my proudest achievement in football is, I always say it has been staying at the top for so long. I certainly ended my career playing a totally different game to the one I started with. That all goes back to picking up a very bad hamstring injury when I was 19 that compromised me physically for the rest of my career, and took away that explosive pace that was so important to my game. The fact is, I was never the same player after that. Everyone always says ‘no regrets’, but at the back of my mind I do wish I hadn’t been compromised so early in my career and been able to keep on playing the way I did during those first couple of years, taking players on, going at people with real speed.”
Michael Owen to FIFA.com

“I was deeply moved, almost crying. We watch World Cups on TV. Today we were actors. All of Tahiti was watching. Our president sent us a message and even suspended a cabinet meeting for it.”
Eddy Etaeta to FIFA.com on how he felt when Tahiti’s national anthem was played before their FIFA Confederations Cup debut against Nigeria

“It got to the point where we were quite superior to Real Madrid and we were winning lots of trophies. Mourinho tried to take the game off the field and I think he acted like that because he felt inferior to Barcelona, but the pitch is where things happen. Everything else just creates a bad vibe and generates things which aren't good for the national team or for this sport. It got to the point where things had crossed the line. That made for a tense atmosphere. That's when everyone's maturity came into play and everybody said, ‘that’s enough’. It wasn't Mourinho who initiated [a truce]; it was the players who realised it was getting out of hand.”
Gerard Pique on Jose Mourinho causing animosity within the Spain squad