The Week in Quotes
© AFP

"I adore Mourinho. As a man, a trainer, a coach and a psychologist. For me he is the best. Mourinho can turn a coin into a rose. I’m not in love with him or anything, but he is an exceptional guy.”
Diego Maradona

“Zidane was absolutely the best player I have ever coached. My regret was that he rarely showed in matches the monstrous things he did in training.”
Carlo Ancelotti

“I saw that they named [Ronaldinho] as the worst player of the match. The fault doesn’t lie with him, nor with Joel [Santana]. There was just one culprit. I was that culprit. Had I scored, we would have gone in at the break leading 2-1. I would like to be here talking about a good performance, the goal I [should have] scored, the pass I gave for [Vagner] Love’s goal. It could be here talking as a hero of our qualification, but I speak as a villain. I was so convinced that I would score that I had already began to celebrate. Even my son, who is five years old, would have scored it.”
Deivid on his unbelievable open-goal miss during Flamengo’s 2-1 defeat by arch-rivals Vasco in their Taca Guanabara semi-final

"Xavi is the brains of this team. It is he who conducts the orchestra. Messi is a great striker who scores a lot of goals, but if you don’t get the ball, you can’t do much."
Sebastian Vettel, the Formula One superstar, on who is Barcelona’s best player

“I’d have loved to have got Gascoigne. He played against us up at Newcastle. He’d been out of the team for weeks, and they were down the bottom. We’d scouted him and thought 'Gascoigne’s the man', and we couldn’t get near him – honestly, it was unbelievable. If you look at English football since, say, 1966 when they won the World Cup, you’d have to say Gascoigne’s been the one real world star that England have produced.”
Sir Alex Ferguson

"The expectation in our country is very high. This is the burden of a good deed. The height of the fall is correspondingly high, but our players are not afraid of the height. We spent the last two or three years shaping a young, promising team. We have shown that we can compete with the world leaders. This team is good for society in terms of integration and mutual respect. We can be just as proud for this as we are of our achievements on the pitch.”
Joachim Low

"The barbecues and fishing trips strengthen the bond in the squad. In every job, when you get out of a routine and you get together to eat somewhere else, there are people that talk more and they express themselves differently because other subjects are discussed. These chats create more trust and unity among our group, they are fantastic. Fishing is not my thing. I go along to chat. The idea is not just to go for the barbecue, but to stay a while and talk about everything, tell anecdotes and have a few laughs.”
Leo Ponzio of River Plate

“I will die without having seen a foreigner play for Athletic. If I did see one, I would go San Mames and be at the front of the queue of those calling for the president’s head.”
Javier Clemente, who was born in the Basque country and played for and coached Athletic Bilbao, on the chances of the club breaking its traditions

“I still think I’m a player really, or as close as can be! When I was manager at St Johnstone, I tried a suit once and it didn’t feel particularly comfortable. I just feel that with the shorts, it’s ultimately just something I feel comfortable in. I don’t actually feel cold during the games. When the game finishes, I’m freezing, but with the adrenaline of the match, it’s not something I feel at the time.”
Owen Coyle to FIFA.com on his touchline attire

“Fabio Borini always gives 100 per cent - even when he is asleep!”
Luis Enrique on the player who is on loan at Roma from Parma after he scored the only goal in the former’s victory over the latter

"On paper, maybe the current team is more spectacular, but Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo, Hierro, Roberto Carlos and Raul are players who went down in the history of Real Madrid and the history of world football. The current team has to win things, as their predecessors won La Liga titles and Champions Leagues They must continue the cycle, even though they are stronger on paper."
Michel

“Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable. We started the competition against Senegal with a kick-off at 22.00 local time, which is 23.00 Zambian time. We won and then heard that people were celebrating back home until the early hours. We did not believe it until we received pictures. After the final, people went straight to the airport in Lusaka and slept there to wait for us. There were one million people in the streets, every one of them with a flag. We could not believe that. It was very emotional. Even today we can’t really believe we are African champions. In Zambia, everybody can’t stop talking football and the magic of the cup at the moment! I just thank God I could live that moment. From 1993, I wanted to see one day that Zambia would be champions. And now I have.”
Kalusha Bwalya
to FIFA.com on the support the newly-crowned African champions received

"I had a conversation with Ashley and Frank. [Because of] the players that they are and the experience they have, they felt they could have helped the team. That's perfectly understandable. Of course they were disappointed but they were decisions they have to accept and move on. Whatever explanations I gave you would be fantastic if we'd won but are now useless given the result of the game.”
Andre Villas-Boas on dropping Messrs Cole and Lampard for the loss at Napoli

"I asked Mr Heynckes, 'Will you not be mad at me if I score a goal against Bayern?' He laughed and then made a joke about it.”
Xherdan Shaqiri, the Bayern Munich-bound Basel star, ahead of their UEFA Champions League last 16, first leg

"It’s important I express my sincere apologies to my country. Psychologically I am down. As you can imagine, it's been very hard for me mentally to miss two important successive penalties for my country. I never fully recovered from the 2010 World Cup, and now 2012 AFCON. I would like to ask for the prayers and support of Ghanaians to help me to come back with a renewed strength to continue serving my country."
Asamoah Gyan, whose penalty misses denied Ghana places in the South Africa 2010 semi-finals and the CAF Africa Cup of Nations final, after taking a break from international football

Xavi is without a doubt the best player I ever played with. The way he moves without the ball and turns. He hardly ever loses the ball. He always gives the pass at exactly the right moment.”
Henrik Larsson, who also counted the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney as team-mates during his playing career

“Football is like a jungle - it’s something you end up eating.”
Alberto Zapater of Lokomotiv Moscow

"My message to the fans is that I love Chelsea and Inter a great deal, but I would prefer them to support their own teams and coaches. I am the past, a very good past, but I am not there anymore and they should all be fighting together.”
Jose Mourinho