“The boy on the football turf is a feast for the eyes. I’d even go one step further: I’d rather see Raul on the pitch than Heidi Klum naked!”
“Coming to Rome was the best decision I could have possibly made. Beforehand I had never seen a postman kneel on my doorstep and kiss my feet, but it’s happened to me here! It is amazing how crazy Italians are for their football.”
"It's like flirting with a girl: perhaps she will resist you at first, but if you continue to ask her out, it will always end well!”
Zhu Jun, Shanghai Shenhua’s owner, on the club’s pursuit of Didier Drogba
“Style is very important. Football comes first, but my image comes second. It is vital to do magnificent things on the field, but it is also important to have a good image off it. I like looking good. I can open the wardrobe in the morning and look for an hour before I decide what to wear. As a professional sportsman, my physical shape and health are crucial for me, but I do not pay much attention to it. I am lucky because I have good genes. For example, during the close season I can relax for several days and I do not gain weight. Some players are not that lucky.”
"His potential is massive and there is no doubt he will be United's best goalkeeper at some point. My job is to make sure it is not until I have retired, which is about ten years away!”
Anders Lindegaard on David de Gea
"When Messi has scored 1,283 goals and won three World Cups, then we will talk. People ask me all the time when there will be a new Pele. I tell them, 'Never'. My parents shut down the factory.”
“The American player grows up in a country that is driven by the big three sports (baseball, basketball and American football). Soccer is not a social binder here like it is in other countries. If you have a bad game for your MLS club, no-one will come up to you in the supermarket the next day and [criticise] you about it. This happens in Europe, in Germany and Italy for sure. I know from experience. It is from this that you get a sense of responsibility. I want my players to experience this.”
Jurgen Klinsmann to FIFA.com
“The only thing I can do better than Neymar is dance!”
Patricio Rodriguez, the Independiente revelation, on comparisons to the Brazilian superstar
"Ancelotti is one of the great coaches along with Ferguson, Guardiola and Mourinho. I'm not worse than him and I don't accept the idea of being sacked while being first in the league. But even if I had an oversized ego, even if I had the balls, I would have to say, ‘Well, it was to Ancelotti'."
Antoine Kombouare on his sacking by Paris Saint-Germain
“Over here football is about strength, where as Spanish football is slower, more precise. At Barcelona they are more technical. But I like hard football. Maybe I'm more of an English player rather than what people consider a typical Barça player. That was one of the attractions coming here: that contact, the longer passes, the tackling. In Spain, they don't do that.”
“In the past, German players just ran and fought. Now they play technically wonderful football. They are currently even better than Brazil.”
"Didier is like Filippo Inzaghi was at AC Milan. He simply devours any competition. It's not that he's evil - nor was Inzaghi - it's just the way they are."
“There are only a handful of players on the planet who could do it. Iniesta, Xavi, Messi. They are the type of players who can come in at any time and look as though they could just play football at the drop of a hat at the top level. The game is so natural to them."
Rio Ferdinand on Paul Scholes’ return to Manchester United
"Playing for him is like playing for a good friend. We don’t want him to lose his job, and we’re well aware that if we don’t keep getting results, that’s exactly what will happen"
Donovan Ricketts to FIFA.com on his Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore
“Lavezzi. I'm crazy about El Pocho!”
Alberto Zaccheroni on which Serie A player he most wishes was Japanese
“He's the best defensive central midfielder in the world. Barcelona have a priceless player. If I was reincarnated as a player, I'd like to be like him.”
Pep Guardiola on Sergio Busquets