The Week in Quotes
© AFP

"Messi better than Pele? To get there he needs to score more than 1,283 goals. I hope Neymar doesn't end up like Messi, who plays so well for his club but does nothing for his country."
Pele

“They’ve got perhaps the hottest striker in the world on their team right now.”
Landon Donovan of USA on Mexico's Javier Hernandez

“Andre is a legacy of Sir Bobby Robson, 100 per cent. Bobby took him under his wing when he was a neighbour, just an interested kid really. Bobby being Bobby did all he could to help him along. He called me at Ipswich and Andre spent two weeks at Ipswich totally shadowing me. He was a delight to have in the building. He came to all the training sessions, meetings with the board etc., and everyone liked him. He was inquisitive, alert and well mannered, and I thought that Bobby had found something special. Jose Mourinho is a legacy of Sir Bobby who gave him a job as his interpreter at Barcelona, but Andre is even more so as Sir Bobby took him under his wing at an early age. There was no better person to learn your trade under than Sir Bobby Robson.”
George Burley on Andre Villas-Boas

“They’ve given us brilliant backing in the two matches we’ve played. I’m just so surprised that a little island like ours, with its 2.8 million people, has been able to get the crowd going in such a way. But it’s worth remembering that we’re a great little country. It’s the homeland of Bob Marley and Usain Bolt, after all!”
Zhlano Barnes, the scorer of Jamaica's maiden goal at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, to FIFA.com on the Mexican spectators

“We will be a lot stronger in the new season and I am confident that we have what it takes to beat them. We will bring Barcelona back down to earth."
Cristiano Ronaldo

“Napoli is a religion, Diego Maradona is God, and Ezequiel Lavezzi is his heir.”
Victor Ruiz

“Women are far more receptive to coaching. They recognise that they can always learn more, while men tend to think initially that they already know it all - it takes them a little bit more time to realise that they don't!”
Hope Powell on the difference between male and female players

We are condemned to win the encounter - we are aware of the rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana. Our boys have vowed to beat Ghana silly to make the return leg a mere formality.”
Ben Iroha
on his side's target in the first leg of their All Africa Games qualifier

 
“My team-mates have lumbered me with ‘Pulguita’ – they call me it all the time. I find it a little awkward because Messi is the best in the world, a truly unique player, though I do feel a sense of pride when they say it.”
Juan Iturbe, Argentina's 18-year-old mega-prospect, to FIFA.com

“In 2007 the message was 'get the ball up top ', and so I was involved in the play a lot more. When Pia came in she had to have many conversations with me because I had to learn to be more patient. She saw that my frustration was getting to breaking point and she really tried to help me in that regard. We don't want to just win games, we want to win beautifully. That's something which Pia has brought to the table and that's something which has been a great thing for me to learn.”
Abby Wambach, the powerful striker, to FIFA.com on the USA women's team's new style under Pia Sundhage

For me, [Neymar] is only below Messi. He is superior to Cristiano in every way. He is much sharper than Cristiano, more decisive, more of a genius. As the years go by, he will also reach Messi's level.”
Dorival Junior