The Week in Quotes
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“Messi is the best player ever. What we’ve seen over the last two or three years is incredible. It will be difficult to see that again. But the style of football Barcelona play suits Messi to the ground and it’d be almost impossible to do that within this country. It’s more physical, the Premier League — the likes of going to Stoke or Birmingham away are incredibly difficult games to play. I think Ronaldo is suited more for English football than Messi would be. Ronaldo’s physique is good and he’s suited to the English game. The English game is more about counter attacking and the Spanish game is about possession.”
Wayne Rooney

“After a bad experience like I had with Louis Van Gaal and Bayern Munich, then came Bayern-Inter in the final. It’s something that only God could explain. For me it was justice that God wanted and that something that had been so horrible for me could become the most beautiful thing in life."
Lucio

“I must smell or something!”
Joe Hart on why Ben Foster and Paul Robinson, his England goalkeeping understudies, quit international football

"There are no problems and if anyone has one, I hope they will say so. But I can't say more, because I don’t have that sort of attitude. We are with the national team now and all have the same objective here. Some ugly things happened, but everybody has to do what he thinks is in his best interest."
Andres Iniesta on whether there will be problems in the Spain squad between Barcelona and Real Madrid players

"It wasn’t easy, because I was caught between a rock and a hard place. At the end of the day, I listened to my heart, and it spoke Turkish.”
Mehmet Ekici to FIFA.com on his decision to chose Turkey over Germany at senior international level

"If [Santos-Barcelona] happens, it would be amazing. I am sure that we will learn a lot, as Barcelona are the best team in history. Messi and Neymar will be a brilliant duel, but I am firmly in Neymar's corner.”
Elano on a potential meeting in this year’s FIFA Club World Cup

“I watched games, analysed, and paid particular attention to the performance of the national team. Football is in my blood. And I spent a lot of time with my family, which is time you always lack when you're coaching. But now I have one more big child: the national team of Ukraine!”
Oleg Blokhin to FIFA.com on what he did while out of work

"They are the best team in the world, there's no doubt. It was a demonstration of the best football team I've ever seen. All they did yesterday is what football is all about".
Novak Djokovic, the tennis superstar, on Barcelona following their defeat of Manchester United

“Thiago Silva is part of a new generation of phenomenal players who are perhaps born once every 100 years.”
Filippo Inzaghi

“People have seen the way that the likes of Barcelona have played this year and they're asking: 'Why can't our kids play that way?' We want them to play that way. We feel that what we are proposing will give them the environment to develop those skills.”
Gareth Southgate on the English Football Association’s 'Your Kids Your Say' project, which, like similar initiatives in Spain, France, Italy and Brazil, will limit the number of children playing 11-a-side football until they reach U-13 level.

“Messi is spectacular. He forms parts of a team who play wonderful football, but he could dazzle wherever.”
Alfredo Di Stefano

“My shirt is always wet through with sweat at the final whistle.”
Miroslav Klose

“Of course you’re going to miss it, especially when the league starts and you see your team play, but all good things come to an end.”
Edwin van der Sar to FIFA.com on his retirement

"My number one wish is to keep Fabregas. For me he is the best midfielder in the world.”
Arsene Wenger on his targets for the close-season

"If Madrid had played the final of the Champions League we would also have earned [victory] over United. I knew whoever won the Madrid-Barça semi-final was going to win the title. We are the two strongest teams in Europe.”
Iker Casillas