World Football

The Week in Quotes

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala speaks with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi

"I want to win the Champions League with PSG and then the World Cup. These are my biggest dreams at this moment and then who knows, maybe I'm going to get married."
*Neymar tells magazine ‘Man About Town’ about some of his future ambitions*

"I’ve always admired Ronaldinho, but Leo is like Diego Maradona for our generation. It’s an honour to play with him in the national team. He dragged us to the World Cup with his hat-trick against Ecuador and is a born leader."
*Paulo Dybala *speaks about his admiration for fellow countryman *Lionel Messi in an interview with France Football*

"I think Alexis Sanchez is the LeBron James of the Premier League. He is one of the best players in the league and I have the opportunity to train with him every single morning. I know how competitive he is, a trait that he shares with King James himself."
*Nacho Monreal compares his Arsenal team-mate Alexis Sanchez with NBA star LeBron James, speaking with the Daily Star*

"I would like to officially announce my retirement from professional football today. Firstly, I would like to thank God for the career I have had. I would like to thank the entire Nigerian Football Federation and my Nigerian national team-mates for all the memorable years I had playing for the Super Eagles. I would also like to thank all the football clubs I played for. The managers, all club staff, owners, fellow players and my dearest family and friends who immensely supported me throughout my career. When I started my career at Julius Berger in Nigeria all those years ago (1997) I could only have dreamt of the success that was to follow years after. Also playing in England especially helped me grow as a player and as a person so much that I am now settled here. I feel the time is right for me to now focus on the next chapter in my life."
Nigeria legend Yakubu Ayegbeni announces his retirement

"I think we can go all the way [in France]. The only thing that's going to stop us is ourselves. The exciting thing is we are young. This is probably our best shot we've had so far. We've got so much potential in this team and we've just got to keep going at the rate we are and hopefully 2019 will be our year."
*Samantha Kerr *talks about Australia's objective of lifting their first FIFA Women's World Cup trophy at France 2019

"It means a lot to me when a legend - because Zidane is a legend - praises and makes positive comments about me. It's good. I was pleased but at first I was shocked to hear that. The fact that my work is not something that goes unnoticed, and the fact that a legend like Zidane speaks like that of me, my football ability and especially my future, gives you an incentive to wake up in the morning and do a better job than others, and get where I want to be."
Celtic forward Moussa Dembélé *reacts to The Best FIFA Men's Coach 2017 Zinedine Zidane’s praise, speaking with*

Sevilla forward *Wissam Ben Yedder *jokes on social media after their spirited fightback, referring to AC Milan's defeat by Liverpool in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final when the Rossoneri had a 3-0 lead before half-time

"He's not thinking about being a millionaire. He wants to play. If I let him, he'd still ballboy. He's a Man City supporter and when he breaks through, the whole of the academy, the whole of Manchester City are going to love it. He's City through and through."
Manchester City new academy director *Jason Wilcox *tells the Manchester Evening News about FIFA U-17 World Cup winner with England Phil Foden

"My dad was in the room with me at our home, and we were both sitting by the phone in complete silence. We just sat there. Waiting for it to ring. And then it did. And I picked up. And I spoke to Tata for a few minutes. And it turns out that this legend, this idol … he’s also the nicest guy in the world. He told me he had an offer on the table for this new project in the United States, and that if he was going to go, he wanted me to go with him. 'Quiero contar contigo, Miguel.' I could barely believe what I was hearing. 'Coach,' I said, 'it is such an honor that you’re even calling me. Of course I want to go to Atlanta with you.' I didn’t know much about MLS. I didn’t know where Atlanta was. I didn’t know anything. But Tata was manager, and that was all I needed to know."
Atlanta United and Paraguay midfielder *Miguel Almiron **shares about his journey with coach Gerardo Martino to Major League Soccer, in The Players' Tribune *

“I still get goosebumps when I talk about it. The whole context makes that goal special. Us waiting so long to get to the World Cup, my Dad taking the first team to a World Cup and then me scoring the goal to get us to the next one. It is a great story most of all. It was possibly one of the greatest sporting nights New Zealand has ever seen. Our team took the opportunity to go to a World Cup and I cherish that the most. I know that there will be another team come up soon and I am looking forward to watching them."
New Zealand forward Rory Fallon, who retired this week, reflects on scoring the goal that ended the All Whites' 28-year World Cup drought in 2009, speaking with the team's official website

Ghana forward *Asamoah Gyan **talks about being Africa's leading goalscorer in World Cup history and his admiration for legend Roger Milla *

"That’s a tough one. I have to say yes. I’d take the World Cup because I can always go back to my club and win more titles with them. The World Cup is the most beautiful of competitions. It’s the stuff dreams are made of."
In an exclusive interview with France forward *Eugenie Le Sommer *says she would trade all of her club honours to win the Women's World Cup on home soil in 2019

"We are proud because not many people knew Gabon before, but when you say you are Gabonese today, people immediately say Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.”
Former Gabon international *Remy Ebanega *speaks with *BBC Sport about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's influence in the country*

"By challenging the players to achieve excellence, to be better and better regardless of whether we’d qualified or not. By challenging them to be better than the opposition, to be more competitive, more loyal. When you demand performance, players raise their game technically. But if you put all the emphasis on results, that brings their level down. We can’t control the final result but we can control performance. I’m a coach who demands performance of the highest level. Maybe that’s the fuel the national team needs to keep on developing."
Brazil coach *Tite *speaks exclusively with about how his successful start managing the national team

"Probably straight after the game. Then an hour later (Football Federation of Australia CEO David Gallop) convinced me not to. Then an hour later, I changed my mind again. Then five beers later I didn't know where I was. I've been fluctuating, but I'm also mindful that I didn't want this to drag on. Took the weekend to digest everything that happened last week - I really wanted to enjoy that - then I knew it was time to go.”
*Ange Postecoglou *explains how difficult the decision was for him to leave as head coach of Australia after leading the Socceroos to qualifying for Russia 2018

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