The Week in Quotes
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“Messi is a class above the rest. I’ve never seen a player like him in my life. He’s immensely superior and as Pep says, he dominates all areas of the game. He’s fast, brave, strong – he’s got everything! A player like him comes along every 50 years.”
Xavi on the man he considers to be the world’s best player

“It would not be a big drama for me if I finished my career without winning the Champions League. I really want to pick up the trophy, but nobody will question my ability or achievements if I don’t. George Weah and the Brazilian Ronaldo never won the Champions League, but it didn’t stop them being remembered as really great players.”
Didier Drogba

“I can assure you that Giuseppe Rossi never nutmegged me – if he had, he wouldn't be able to walk anymore!”
Giorgio Chiellini responds to his Italy team-mate’s post-training session claims

"I would be prepared to give an indefinite contract to Thomas Tuchel. We have a massive amount of confidence in each other. And it has nothing to do with our position at the top of the league. Tuchel embodies the philosophy of the club.”
Christian Heidel, Mainz’s general manager, on the club’s coach

“It still hurts. When I lie down, put my head on the pillow, I still rue what happened, I’m still genuinely upset, because I know we had everything to win the World Cup. I wouldn’t go out afterwards, I didn’t want to see anybody. It took me eight days to leave the house and that was only because of Lucio’s help.”
Julio Cesar on Brazil’s elimination from South Africa 2010

“All you can do is be yourself. Even if I tried, I couldn’t be like [Sir Alex] Ferguson, I couldn’t be like [Martin] O’Neill and I couldn’t be like [Frank] Rijkaard. I have to be my own man, with my own style.”
Henrik Larsson to FIFA.com

“This is the best Barça in history, but this is just a passing fad. We are able to stand up to them. We compare favourably with them and we are only a couple of months, perhaps a season away from them.”
Iker Casillas

"Tim has that special touch up front. He has all the ingredients. He is good in the air, he is good at controlling the ball, he is a good finisher. Why waste him in the midfield, too far back?”
Holger Osieck explains his decision to deploy Tim Cahill in his Australia frontline

“In this life you need a measure of good luck – in football even more so. Whether a ball hits a post and goes in or comes back out can permanently change a coach’s career.”
Carlos Bilardo to FIFA.com

“In January I will need to find a solution. After renewing my contact, being on the bench is not good for me or for Sevilla.”
Luis Fabiano

“We were more interchangeable in positions, but they have gifts that we didn’t possess. Pazzini has a stronger header than me, and Cassano beats his man better than Roberto.”
Gianluca Vialli compares Sampdoria’s current strike force to the one he formed with Mancini

“I had to endure ten very difficult years. On a personal level I lost both status and spending power: I had to sell my Mercedes Benz and start catching the bus!”
Sergio Markarian, the Peru coach, to FIFA.com on his decision to quit a well-paid job to pursue a career in the dugout

“I think the Bundesliga is far superior to Serie A. It is much more balanced – on their day, any team can beat any other.”
Diego

“It’s very exciting for me. I’ve followed his career since I was much younger in France. When you win the World Cup and the EUROs, you know you’ve had a great career. It’s a dream for me to play against him.”
Sebastien Le Toux of Philadelphia Union on his upcoming meeting with New York Red Bulls stand-out Thierry Henry

"I think Nani is ready to step up to that next level now. He’s definitely beginning to add something that perhaps we lacked since Cristiano left, and he’s filling that gap better now.”
Ryan Giggs

“I made the mistake of saying certain things right after the final whistle, but I was being honest, even if it wasn’t the right moment to come clean. But I’m very happy at Inter.”
Diego Milito on flirting with a move to Real Madrid following the UEFA Champions League final in May

“This is a boyhood dream come true. I was happy just to be in the squad, but to come on at half-time and score twice would be anyone's dream.”
Marvin Ogunjimi on his Belgium debut, a 2-0 win in Kazakhstan

“I am very happy here. But I am conscious that saying no to certain offers would be difficult. I would only leave for Real Madrid.”
Emiliano Viviano

“We put on a great show of football. It was a great match to play in, especially because I got two goals myself and provided an assist for Ibrahim Afellay. I think this was the best game I've ever played for Holland.”
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar following the Netherlands’ 4-1 win over Sweden

“It felt great to run on there and play for England - it was an amazing feeling. I’m proud to have got the cap, and I don’t want to be one of those players who stays on one cap.”
Kevin Davies to FIFA.com following his international debut

“No one can replace Xavi because, in his position, he is the best in the world. It is a luxury to watch him play.”
Santi Cazorla