"[Lionel] Messi... the Mozart of our game. The rest? Banjo players."
"I am speaking up about my homosexuality because I want to get the discussion about homosexuality among athletes going. It was a long and difficult process to realise that I am homosexual. Only in the past few years did I reach the conclusion that I prefer living with another man. Homosexuality is not a serious issue in England, Germany and Italy – at least not in the dressing room. I have never felt ashamed that I am homosexual."
“Man Utd on the ropes at the minute. Feel sorry for [David] Moyes. He inherited a dynasty in decline. Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson] is there again. Lurking in the shadows like the Grim Reaper. I've got a feeling David Moyes gets the bullet and [Ferguson] emerges to save the day. What was the point of him retiring? He's at every game. Go on holiday. Play golf. Spend time with your family. Or friends."
“Barça’s game wouldn’t function without Xavi. He’s the architect of our style of play. He, along with [Andres] Iniesta, [Sergio] Busquets and [Lionel] Messi, invented Tiki Taka – it’s Xavi signature style. He is a true legend of Barcelona. In years to come we will look back on what he has done and say to ourselves, ‘What an amazing player!’ He is the best Spanish player ever.”
"Everyone remembers the day he left the field in tears, crying for Portugal. Eusebio's tears are today ours."
Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s president, on Eusebio crying after the nation’s loss to England in the 1966 FIFA World Cup semi-finals
“Jose Mourinho is a coach who focuses only on results. He says he is ‘The Special One’ because he won this and that in so many countries, but I don’t like the way his teams play. Who remembers the Inter side who were champions of Europe? He has not left a legacy, unlike [Johan] Cruyff. [Roberto] Di Matteo was the same. He won the Champions League, but that team didn’t play football at all. I’m happy playing for Barça because of our philosophy.”
"I have never seen a player with [Franck] Ribery's character at this level. The way he keeps fighting and running for the team is incredible. It's an honour for me to coach Franck."
“Did I feel inferior to Alex, Marquinhos? No, never. I was once told, ‘You’re the number three’. I replied, ‘Yes, number three is my jersey number but I’m not number three in the hierarchy’.”
Mamadou Sakho on the battle, during his final months at Paris Saint-Germain, to partner Thiago Silva at the heart of the defence