"As I went to shake Ancelotti’s hand the first thing he said to me was, ‘Xabi, you owe me the Champions League trophy!’”
Xabi Alonso, who helped Liverpool recover a three-goal deficit and beat Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final, on his first conversation with his new Real Madrid boss
"I will not mention the name of that person. He's not worth it."
Cristiano Ronaldo when questioned about Jose Mourinho
“I’m 80 but I feel like a kid. And I remember everything as if it was yesterday. I went to Sweden as a reserve, but when we arrived at the airport in Stockholm, the coach told me I was going to start. I was really up for it! But just before the first match I only had one boot. Fortunately, [reserve] Stephane Bruey wore the same size as me and lent me his. I scored 13 goals with them! I thought for a long time that somebody would be capable of beating my record, but 55 years have passed and, until now, nothing. Actually, I’ve begun to doubt the possibility.”
Just Fontaine on his exploits of 1958
“It's a bit hard for me to decide who to support – it’s a good thing it’s only a friendly!”
Pope Francis ahead of the Italy-Argentina friendly
"€120m is a huge amount of money. I think it's just a commercial stunt. For Real Madrid to take a British player, it's probably for sponsor-related reasons.”
Arrigo Sacchi on Real Madrid’s bid to sign Gareth Bale
"I've seen a lot of Zaha and I think he could be like Cristiano Ronaldo. He has the ability to do everything. He’s quick, strong and determined. He's Sir Alex Ferguson's last signing, a great gift to David Moyes."
"My role model? Ronaldo, the Brazilian. I think Ronaldo revolutionised football. He was dynamic, great with his headers, technically strong and fast. He was a massive player."
"I did not show a professional attitude at EURO 2012. But I didn’t kill anybody. Worse things happened in 2010. I have been given a second chance. I had not been called up for a year and feared I might not get a second chance. It hurt a lot watching all of France’s matches.”
"I think that Lionel Messi will continue to be the best player in the world for the next two years or so. Messi not only plays for the team, but he also has amazing individual skills. He can decide a match all by himself with his ability. Now that he's at Barcelona, Neymar can show his technical abilities and make the same individual actions as Messi.”
Luiz Felipe Scolari