"All you know is growing up and playing with the boys in town. But, only when they let you. Because they always had that stupid plan. You can play, they’d say, but only on a team with the players from the neighborhood who weren’t that good. Not that it mattered. 'I’ll play with whoever,' you tell them every time. And it didn’t matter. Because even when you were with the boys who couldn’t play very well, your team still won. You dribble fast, you play in a short space and you think fast. And you show them. Every. Single. Time. You show them: You’re a girl, and you can play football."
Brazil and Orlando Pride forward *Marta *writes to her 14-year-old self in The Players' Tribune
"It's all about respect. It's all about equality everywhere in the world. We are all equal when we play football. We can play with Chinese people, African guys, French, American, but we're all equal when we do what we love on the pitch, and that's the message we want to give to everyone."
France and Manchester United midfielder *Paul Pogba *speaks at the launch of UEFA's RESPECT campaign
"That is a very good question. I see some with great potential: (Marco) Asensio, (Kylian) Mbappé, Neymar, (Ousmane) Dembele, (Eden) Hazard, (Marcus) Rashford ... and some others. In the next generation there are at least ten players with very, very great potential."
Portugal and Real Madrid star *Cristiano Ronaldo *is asked by reporters to name his possible successors after winning the UEFA Men's Player of the Year 2016/17 Award
"We have the best attack in the world. It is very important for me to be able to play and develop with players like Messi, Dybala, Di Maria and Banega. They have great qualities, they will surely help my game and I intend to return the favour. I think the call-up is a prize for all the work I've been doing these years. I want to demonstrate for the national team the same thing that I show with my club."
Mauro Icardi speaks after getting called up for Argentina’s upcoming FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches
"It was great that Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches. I really appreciated that. However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football. It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me. Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me. But I believe now is the time to bow out. Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team. One day the dream will come true and I look forward to being there as a fan - or in any capacity."
England top scorer and outfield appearance record holder Wayne Rooney announces his retirement from international football
"I'm not sure what else you have to do to become a legend. I congratulate him on a fantastic international career. We're good at judging our players harshly. Rooney's done everything but win a trophy with England. By that token only the guys from 1966 can be elevated to that level. I've got huge respect for him. I was fortunate to play with him and manage him. He's been a pleasure to work with and I'm sure there'll be a role for him to play in the future. "
England manager *Gareth Southgate *pays tribute to Rooney during a news conference
"We always said that we would not close the door to anyone. We felt we needed him now and we think he will help us. He is having magnificent performances with his team and he is very motivated. It's true that he comes from a different league [MLS] but that is the way it is. I have spoken to David and we have seen him play."
Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui *tells a news conference about the inclusion of New York City forward David Villa *in his latest squad
"I worked with him last season at Fenerbahce where he showed what he could do. Robin is a player we might still need but we'll see in the next weeks how fit he is and if he is playing."
*Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat speaks about the return of Robin van Persie in the latest squad in a statement released by the Dutch football association (KNVB)
"Aboubakar definitely deserves to succeed and assert himself like me, or like Samuel Eto'o for example, because he has everything that it takes to get there."
Porto head coach *Sergio Conceicao *tells O'Jogo he believes forward Vincent Aboubakar has the potential to emulate Cameroon legend Samuel Eto'o
Non-league side Baldock Town's Twitter account manager subs in to their FA Cup preliminary round match against North Greenford United
"I had to get rid of the bad beer taste. After a 25-hour drive with the bus from Germany to Liverpool I simply needed to freshen my mouth. We had some English beer and then directly went to the stands. Which mother has a son that shows the whole world that he brushes his teeth."
Hoffenheim fan Sven S. speaks with Radio Regenbogen after being spotted in the stands brushing his teeth during his club's UEFA Champions League play-off against Liverpool at Anfield
"To be mentioned straight after in the same sentence as him was crazy. Our team, our age group, have been together so long now, we knew each other, we could relax with each other and have a good time around the camp. Having that friendship really made it just like playing with your mates on the pitch in a World Cup – it is pretty mad."
Bournemouth midfielder *Lewis Cook *speaks with the Guardian about being mentioned in the same sentence as Englan'd 1966 FIFA World Cup™-winning captain Bobby Moore after captaining the Young Lions to victory at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017
"I come back to finish what I started. There were a couple of teams reaching out who wanted to have Ibra-cadabra in their team... but I had such a great year with United. We had a great season, we won three trophies, fantastic guys, a great club, a coach that I know from before and my family was happy. It's not always about the sporting thing you chose when you sign for a club."
Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic speaks with ESPN after re-signing with the club
"I expect the English teams to have one or two in the semi-final. Definitely, it is time to see an English club compete. There are no excuses for me. Christmas, having no break? Physical league? Not good enough. We invest enough in football, we are lucky to have a huge investment in the league because it is so popular. Clubs have brought in players from all over the world, even lesser clubs. If you get beaten in the Champions League, then that's because you have been beaten by a better team. It is as simple as that. Unfortunately, for the English teams, the real best teams have been a Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich for a time."
Former Chelsea midfielder *Frank Lampard *tells Goal that he expects an English club to compete for the UEFA Champions League 2017/18 title
"When I kicked a football again for the first time since the crash, I felt like a child again. I was supposed to die that day. I said my last words out loud. God gave me a second chance, and I will do my best to honour him, and to honour all my friends who are gone."
Chapecoense airplane crash survivor Neto *speaks in a heartfelt *reflection in The Players' Tribune