The Week in Quotes
© AFP

"I’m lucky and appreciate what I have, but football is just a job, a means to an end. I’d rather be honest and say what I think. I play football to earn a living and make my life easier... It infuriates me when footballers go on about playing for the shirt. I think they should be held accountable for it when they kiss the badge and six months later clear off for a better pay day. After all, they turn up at a press conference and go on about history and the love of the club. But what is the first thing they ask about before signing? How much!"
Tottenham Hotspur and Cameroon defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto

"Messi has perhaps more finesse in his left foot, but Poldi's shot power is unmatched in the world. His greatest weapons are his left foot and his speed. Poldi must have freedom. This is normal - all great artists are like that. Lukas is our best player. He can decide every game."
Cologne coach Stale Solbakken on Lukas Podolski

"The unique link between the old Juventus and the new Juve is our captain, Alessandro Del Piero. He wanted to stay with us for one more year, and this will be his last season wearing the black-and-white jersey."
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli drops a bombshell at the club’s AGM

"I think it's quite dangerous as this could de-motivate Alessandro. This was the wrong way to deal with a player who has done so much for the club. Alessandro is still Juventus' best player in terms of technique, and he still causes any defence a lot of trouble. I'm convinced that he can still give a lot to Juventus."
Former Juventus director Luciano Moggi reacts to the announcement

"Is it never too late? I have learned to define players as talented or mediocre, not young or old. I always prefer a talent to a youngster… We nearly signed Del Piero in 1993 and failing to do that remains one of the great regrets of my career."
AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani hints that the San Siro could be Del Piero’s next destination

"I had no idea where they were from. I don't know if they've changed their name like a lot of European teams but I'd never heard of them."
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on UEFA Champions League opponents Otelul Galati

"There is a concern regarding his age. He is 36 years old and it is necessary to ask some questions. I think a lot of people are asking themselves these questions."
Zinedine Zidane casts doubt on David Beckham’s proposed move to Paris Saint-Germain

"Shout out to my homeboy, Ronaldo. The real Ronaldo, the retired soccer player from the Brazilian national team, international team, number nine, “nueve”, with the Mohawk… not the one that plays for Portugal, I’m down with you too, but the real Ronaldo. Come to my show. I need to get your autograph and that jersey, number nine."
Rapper Snoop Dogg invites Ronaldo to his show in Brazil

"I have no duel with Cristiano Ronaldo. The only thing I want to do is help my team do things well. I have never watched Cristiano to compare myself with him or to do things better than him."
Lionel Messi

"You simply cannot compare him with Pele. You cannot say he is the same when he has never won a World Cup. Messi has all the conditions to be the best one day, but first he has to overcome Maradona, Romario and then eventually Pele."
Romario remains unconvinced by Messi’s legendary status

"Stevie is the badge of this football club, the soul of this team. Just by the fact that he is on the pitch it is an inspiration for us. He always leads by example and anything he does he does with passion and a lot of commitment. He is a born winner."
Liverpool’s Pepe Reina on Steven Gerrard

"Jupp is an extraordinary coach. He has matured with age and has become more relaxed. He is just perfect. Things could not go any better than they are."
Franz Beckenbauer on Jupp Heynckes

"My massive issue with England is it is now an elitist, southern-based team. I think they should be touring, England should be a touring kind of thing, where Italy are the same way. How can you be passionate about England if you live in Newcastle and you’ve got to travel over 200 miles? I think your average Englishman really doesn’t care about England anymore."
Joey Barton on England’s national team

"He has a contract with Santos until 2015 and if we look at what is written in the contract, in 2015 he will decide where he wants to go, he will own the entirety of his economic rights. If it is up to me, he will not go, he will stay at Santos. Here, he is a king, an emperor."
Santos president Luis Oliveira on Neymar

"Ozil must now reach the next level. His performances last season were better, but he must find his form again. More needs to come from him. [But] he is a great player. Every time he gets the ball, he does fantastic things with it. The fans love him for it and I love him too."
Jose Mourinho on Mesut Ozil

"Maybe I took my eye off the ball a little bit… I have enough people around me who are happy to bring me down to earth. I have friends who would say: 'You didn’t play too well today'. I might have thought they were being cheeky at the time but they are right. Sometimes you have to take on board what the people closest to you say."
Manchester United’s Jonny Evans on his loss of form last season

"It was a fantastic experience. It might sound like a cliché, but when I was listening to the national anthem being played I thought about my family and my boyhood dream [of representing Brazil]. It’s a feeling you can’t put into words, but it’s one I wanted to really savour."
Sao Paulo youngster Lucas tells FIFA.com about making his senior debut for Brazil

"Today I am once again injured. If someone is giving me the evil eye, stop it now."
Besiktas’ Spanish midfielder Guti on his Twitter account

"I think it will be a lot of fun. Soon United v City will be the biggest derby in the world."
Mario Balotelli looks forward to the Manchester derby