2012 in Quotes
© AFP

“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!”
Mario Basler

“After my first training session with Rangers, I went to shower, came back into the dressing room, and there was a foul smell in the room which was coming from my belongings. I took my boxer shorts out of my bag and saw that there was something heavy in them. Paul Gascoigne had c*****d in my underwear! Gazza is a madman who loves to make jokes. He’s crazy. This is just the way he is, but I wasn’t happy that I had to drive home without pants on!”
Gennaro Gattuso

"I have tried everything, but the best trick is to wear a surf suit. You pee in it with 15 minutes remaining and then go straight to the shower. Other keepers like Gregory Coupet do it too.”
Jeremie Janot on how he wets himself to keep warm while playing in goal 

“When I decide to score, I score. I think I am a genius. I believe I am more intelligent than the average person. If you find another guy like me, I’ll buy you dinner. The talent God gave me is beautiful, magnificent, but it is difficult to deal with because people are always ready to judge you. Only a few people have such talent, so only a few people should be able to judge what I am doing.”
Mario Balotelli

"If my name was Diamantinho or Diamantinic, my price tag would be €40m. In Italy, clubs have no problem splashing the cash on foreigners, but they are much tighter when it comes to signing Italian players. These jokes, which is exactly what these valuations of foreigners are, are unbelievable.”
Alessandro Diamanti

"Portugal have a national team called Cristiano Ronaldo and a group of players who run after him."
Carlos Queiroz

“I love syrup. You know what is syrup? Strawberry syrup. Every day. I need [it]. Always when I drink water, I put syrup in it. It’s something I can’t live without. It’s like an addiction, I swear. Every time my family come over, the first thing I ask them is to bring me syrup.”
Demba Ba of Newcastle United, the Premier League’s 15-goal second-top scorer, on the secret of his success

"Neymar is the kind of guy who could perform at the Bolshoi Theatre if he were a ballet dancer or could win an Oscar if he were an actor. I want Neymar to stay until he is 80 years old. I will even offer his son a contract. Barcelona's interest? They can go and harvest potatoes in Catalonia."
Luis Alvaro Ribeiro, Santos president

“Real Madrid? Barcelona would be a better fit for Balotelli – an average player joining an average team.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic on rumours linking his former Inter Milan team-mate Mario Balotelli with a move to the Bernabeu

"I never acted professionally. I was never an athlete. I did not sleep properly. I did not eat like a sportsman. I was always late to training. I didn’t put in the effort in training sessions every day. But I still scored 1,002 goals. If I had not gone out so much [partying], I would have scored 2,000 goals. But 1,000 is still good, right?"
Romario

“The best player ever is without any doubt Pele. After that you have Alfredo [Di Stefano], [Johan] Cruyff, and Diego [Maradona]. In those times, Messi would have been a substitute rather than a star. All of these Barcelona players who say they play for the best team in the world would have been bench-warmers in the times of Maradona and Cruyff."
Hugo Gatti

“Like me or not, I am the only one who has won the world's three most important leagues. So, maybe instead of calling me ‘The Special One', people should start calling me 'The Only One'.”
Jose Mourinho