The Week in Quotes
© AFP

"My wife Cristina often complains about my tactics. She keeps on telling me that I should stick with the players who won the last match. Explaining my rotation system to her is much harder than telling Arjen Robben that he will have to settle for a place on the bench!”
Pep Guardiola

"Yes, it was. I don’t have a car at present and I have to get around. It’s too far to walk, so I take a bike. I enjoy it. I sometimes prefer riding a bike to driving a car.”
Felix Magath on whether it was him photographed riding a Boris Bike around London

"I once played a charity game with Zinedine Zidane. It was crazy. The ball was a part of him – nothing was impossible. I have the same feeling when I see Eden playing. But I don’t tolerate one moment of him slacking off. He has to improve his stats in the national team. Where’s he at now? He’s scored five goals, two of them penalties, in almost 50 games. That's not enough. I wasn't as talented as he was, but I scored 29 goals for Belgium. I love Eden, but I ask him to be more influential."
Marc Wilmots

“He made me dream and he still makes me dream. He is the best player of all time.“
Karim Benzema on Cristiano Ronaldo

“If I don’t go to the World Cup thinking about winning it, then I might as well just go along as an extra, an outsider. We’re entitled to aim to become world champions. We’ve got a good infrastructure and good players, so why shouldn’t we think that way? They really celebrate football [in Brazil]. It’s going to be sensational and it’s going to be a different story for Mexico, that’s for sure. Why not choose Brazil as the place to make history, like Brazil once chose Mexico?”
Miguel Herrera to FIFA.com

George Best was the best player I ever attempted to kick. The fella was just superb. There are a lot of skilful players out there today, but he was in a different league. Years ago you could tackle from behind; football was a really tough, physical game. But now, if you give someone a bit of a kick, or a whack, the media make a real song and dance over it. Best would have a field day if he could see what it was like today.”
Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris, Chelsea’s iconic hard man

“I think she needs to keep her temper in check when we play. She needs to be more careful when she opens her mouth because she can upset people sometimes. We argue a lot on the pitch. When it’s your sister you tend to say things you wouldn’t to others. Sometimes I just switch flanks to avoid arguing with her.”
Pilar Garrote on her identical twin sister and Spain U-17 team-mate Nuria

“In 2005, when I was 18, Bruce Arena asked me to come to camp and train with the United States team in Scotland if I wanted to be part of it. It was flattering and amazing to get called up, but my dreams were to be a part of the Italian national team. It was how I was brought up. All my family, except me and my sister, were born in Italy. Growing up I used to watch the Serie A every Sunday morning. When I thanked them and said no, I knew I was turning down a big national team. But Italy was where I wanted to be. I made my decision, it’s where I love to play.”
Giuseppe Rossi on turning down the chance to play for his country of birth

“This year we have missed him. Not only on the pitch. When he is there, the focus is on him. It helps us feel like we are on our holidays! I feel like I am an orphan of Joey!”
Jose Abigo on Joey Barton

“I think a lot of people saw me as almost a certainty, but if you look at the last squad it was almost all players from top-eight clubs bar Caulker, who wasn't meant to be in it but for Jagielka's injury. I don't think it really matters how well you're playing – it's who you play for. It's a fact, isn't it? If you look at the last ten squads: Southampton have been playing well, they're in the top eight, and the rest are Everton, Tottenham, Man United, City, clubs like that. All my caps came when I was at City. Sometimes I wasn't even on the bench at City but I was still in the England squad. Now I'm playing more and I can't get a cap. It's just a fact. It's not me being sour. Some of the players, if they weren't playing for the big clubs, wouldn't be anywhere near it.”
Adam Johnson, the in-form Sunderland winger, on not making England’s latest squad

"Compare him with any other footballer in the world – only Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are ahead of him. It's priceless to have a player so good at finishing in this kind of form."
Juan Antonio Pizzi on his 20-year-old Valencia striker Paco Alcacer