The Week in Quotes
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“If Real Madrid comes back in Champions League, I’ll let my girlfriend sleep with them!”
Mario Balotelli before the first semi-final, second leg

“During the final against Italy, I didn’t pray that France would lose but I wouldn’t have been especially happy if they had won. Missing a World Cup is difficult enough, but missing winning a World Cup is something you can’t get over.”
Jonathan Zebina

“'Impossible' is just a word that weak men use to live easily in the world they were given, not daring to explore the power they have to change it. 'Impossible' is not a fact, it is an opinion. 'Impossible' is not a declaration, it is a challenge. 'Impossible' is potential. 'Impossible' is temporary. 'Impossible' is nothing!”
Dani Alves before a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich condemned Barcelona to a 7-0 loss on aggregate

"Abramovich didn’t speak English. There was an interpreter. I wasn’t totally convinced he was the real thing. I had googled him, but he just didn’t appear anywhere. Nobody knew anything about him. So I wasn’t sure whether it was a scene from Candid Camera and that suddenly Jeremy Beadle was going to jump out at me. But we did the deal in just ten minutes! Nothing like that had ever happened. I don’t think people appreciated what a game changer it was. I suggested he spent £20m on players. He spent £140m in six weeks. It was the biggest change I’ve seen in English football."
Trevor Birch, Chelsea’s then chief executive, on how Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003

"Jan’s an unbelievable player. He shows great composure on the ball, works hard, is an athlete, and you’ve seen the goals he’s scored as well. Technically he's very gifted. He glides around the pitch so effortlessly. He’s like a Rolls Royce.”
Scott Parker on Jan Vertonghen

"Messi wins the ball playing as the false No9. If you put him at left-back, he would be just as good. He is the best defender in the world.”
Pep Guardiola

"If City want to sign Fernandinho, the buy-out clause is €50m. If our players receive offers from bigger teams than Shakhtar, we do everything possible to help them. However, currently I don’t think Manchester City are on our level."
Mircea Lucescu
 
"This is unbelievable, it's what everyone in our team dreamed of as a child – and some of us are still children!”
Mats Hummels

"Neymar has a character like Ronnie, he plays football very cheerfully, very fun, very spontaneous and with this commitment from Leo [Messi] to beat records every season, they can do great things together. The fans will love him."
Edmilson

"When you are with a top side and have had more money than anyone for years, then you can keep winning and you can keep talking. But when you play against another top side in Europe, it's always more difficult. Should United have done more in Europe? I don't know.”
Rafa Benitez takes a swipe at Sir Alex Ferguson

"There are some similarities between Bale and Messi. They are both very quick, left-footed and they have a winning mentality. Bale is an amazing player because of his speed, strength and goalscoring ability. He is in the top ten players in the world.”
Mauricio Pochettino