The Week in Quotes
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"Cristiano Ronaldo will never be of Messi's level. Lionel doesn't need Cristiano Ronaldo's powerful shot. Messi just dribbles towards the goal with the ball at his feet. When Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or he told Messi, 'No more second places'. Now silver is the best he can achieve."
Diego Maradona

"If you give Arjen the ball and he has two opponents in front of him, he'll still try and get past them. He's not the type of player to sacrifice himself for the wing-back and cut inside to create space for me, or to track back and help me out when I have two opponents to deal with. I was the one sacrificing myself for Arjen, and that's not something I'm used to. I prefer to do things together, both defending and attacking. It was a bit frustrating."
Gregory van der Wiel on Netherlands team-mate Arjen Robben

“When I grew up in Italy, Serie A was the best. Diego Maradona was sensational. Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, Roberto Baggio, Paolo Maldini, Maradona at Napoli. Serie A was great. But I hope I get the chance to see Messi, to tell him that he is prepared to be the best player in all history.”
Kobe Bryant, NBA superstar

"It was incredible from the moment we left the hotel to make our way to the ground, but the atmosphere inside the stadium itself was unreal. That's the best atmosphere I've ever played in. It wasn't intimidating, because they were friendly in their manner and just really wanted to support their team. It was just incredibly loud, passionate and exciting. It's great to see how passionate the fans are out here and that's one thing that has really hit home throughout this tour. I won't forget this trip for a long, long while. Some of the things I've seen and heard will stay with me forever. The passion that the Asian fans have for football is incredible, and that was epitomised by the Indonesian people last night."
Nedum Onuoha after representing Queens Park Rangers against Persebaya Surabaya in Indonesia

“I said to his family, I’m not sure if you’ve got a freak here because he’s got at least three or four lungs. I don’t know how he does it. He’s resilient, he’s tough, he’s up for the cause every single game. He’s quite a remarkable athlete. You can see the energy level that he brings. His mental toughness is as good as I’ve seen in a player. As we all know in professional sports, confidence is something that is drained away from you extremely quickly. But his confidence level – that’s what really what separates the men from the boys as far as finishing is concerned – is incredible.”
Paul Mariner on his Toronto FC midfielder Ryan Johnson

“[Carlos] Alberto Parreira introduced style of play that is not suitable for a team like Bafana Bafana. It might be suitable for Brazil, where they have the likes of Roberto Carlos, but we need to play the type of football for which we have the players. What I am hoping to introduce is that we need to identify our style of play, our philosophy and then stick to it. Spain, for instance, does that. They have a style that is easy to identify, and a new coach does not come and suddenly change everything.”
Gordon Igesund, the new South Africa coach, to FIFA.com

“I’ve travelled around this country with England squads, both at senior and U-21, but we’ve never stopped the traffic like we have with Team GB. It’s something special.”
Stuart Pearce to FIFA.com on the excitement surrounding his Great Britain Olympic team

"Firstly, for his career, for all it means in Argentinian football and globally. I chose him for the characteristics he demonstrates in every capacity, for his humility, for his comradeship and his commitment - I think the captain should have all of those. Captains must fight for their peers, advise them in terms of how to train and how to eat, and be examples to all.”
Mathias Almeyda on why he appointed David Trezeguet as his River Plate captain

"We accepted this offer for Tim with a heavy heart. The transfer salutes Tim's unswerving commitment to our cause over the last eight years and also respects his desire never to play against Everton. On a personal level, I will miss the first-ever player that David [Moyes] and I went to see together, and the wide-eyed bundle of energy that walked into my office a short time later and told me that Everton was his destiny. I can guarantee New York Red Bulls will have many, many admirers cheering them on from across the ocean – all wearing the blue of Everton. Thank you, Tim."
Bill Kenwright, Everton’s chairman, on Tim Cahill

"I’m not really keen on comparisons. However, the comparison with Messi is a beautiful thing. We are both left-footed, Argentinian, and brilliant."
Diego Maradona