The Week in Quotes

"For me, there is no heir to Messi. There will never be one. There will be very good footballers, but nobody at Messi's level. To be at the top for so many years, winning so many individual and team trophies, will be impossible to surmount. In the future, everything will be more equal amongst the best players. Though now they try to sell the story of the battle between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, those of us who know football, know there is no comparison. When Messi ends his career, there will be Neymar, Eden Hazard and five or ten players at a similar level, but none with the unquestionable superiority of Messi." Former Spain international Xavi gave Sport his opinion on former team-mate Lionel Messi


“If they said I could fix the team, I'd grab it and do it for nothing.” Argentina great Diego Maradona put his name in the hat to coach the national team for a second stint; speaking with the Associated Press

“So now with Jose in there, he knows what he wants and how to get it, he knows how to win titles. I think that is what Man United definitely need to get back to and they need to get back to being feared again. Because we were always a club -- and are still a club -- that when teams come to Old Trafford, they know they are going to be up against it and they know they are probably going to lose. So that is what we need to get back to." Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham backed manager Jose Mourinho to bring the 2016/17 English Premier League title; in an interview with Sky Sports

“I want to be dependent on Neymar. What coach in the world would not want a Neymar in his team? They say it’s not good to be dependent on Neymar, but I do not agree: I would always have a Neymar in my team." Brazil's Olympic Football Tournament head coach Rogerio Micale told Agence France-Presse that he would be relying on Barcelona star Neymar to bring the country their first gold medal at Rio 2016

"The clause in his contract was a novelty at the time and it scared a lot of clubs off. The three who were really interested were Inter, Lazio and Glasgow Rangers, who followed negotiations all the way. The offer from Glasgow Rangers was incredible. They told us he didn’t have to play on a Saturday in the Scottish League. They were desperate to win the Champions League and were going to allow him to play in European matches only. But Inter had followed him from when he used to play in Brazil. Barcelona reneged on a new contract and Inter were the first club to meet the release clause so he went there."* *Former Brazil forward Ronaldo's agent Giovanni Branchinirevealed to the Scottish Daily Mail how close the striker came to signing with Rangers**

"Did we win the game?" *Those were Demba Ba's first words in hospital according to medical staff after waking up from his horrific leg break which he suffered playing for Shanghai Shenhua against Shanghai SIPG*

“This is a really bad injury but I know I can overcome it. I won't call time on my career, that's for sure.”* In an interview with Radio Monte Carlo, Senegal international Ba said he had no intention of retiring despite suffering the serious injury*

"I want to thank the leaders, my team-mates and Claudio Ranieri for this fantastic season that saw us winning the title of England. Their confidence and also the fans' will forever remain in my memory. And I again thank you all." France midfielder N'Golo Kante wrote a farewell message to Leicester City fans on his personal Instagram account after his transfer to Chelsea was confirmed

“He frustrates me, but I do have so much affection for Mario. He is infectious to be around. When I used to see him walk into training for Italy, he would have this big smile on his face - and I would just burst out laughing - and start wondering what is he thinking, what is he up to? Mario should not just be a character the media write about for good stories. We shouldn’t forget what a special player he is. I have played with some of the best strikers, and I can tell you Mario has all the attributes to be one of the best strikers in the world. By now I thought that is where he would be, that is where he should be. He has no more time to waste.“ New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo on former Italy team-mate Mario Balotelli; in an interview with the Mirror

"When I completed the switch from BVB to FC Bayern in 2013, it was a conscious decision and one that I do not wish to hide from today. Three years later, and now at 24 years of age, I am able to see the decision I made back then differently. I can understand the fact that many fans were unable to understand my decision. Nowadays I wouldn't make the same choice again! If I am now to return to my hometown club, then I want to try to win everyone over – especially those who do not welcome me back with open arms – with my performances. My objective is to get back to playing my best football. For all of us, the club and the BVB fans." *Mario Gotze *spoke with Borussia Dortmund's official website on his return to the club

"The best suits are the suits by measure. That's better than going to a shop and buying a suit that might fit you or might not. The players are the same -- no two are the same. My decision with Zlatan is down to two hours of study of him, with my coaches, even though he came out of the Euros before others. The mind and body must adapt. At training level, we try to do suits by measure -- it's perfect for the person." Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho explained at a press conference in Shangahi why he left new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of the club's tour of China PR

"Liverpool fans are the best fans in the world, if you hear Liverpool fans singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone', then your spine will start tingling or you are medically dead inside." Liverpool supporter and comedian John Oliver joked in a video for LFCTV, promoting the club's pre-season tour of the USA "I'm a guy who can't sit and have one or two glasses. I have to drink until I fall over. They said to me: 'If you keep going with this life, you will die'. And I had an encounter with Jesus after 18 caipirinhas and 14 long necks ." Former Real Madrid and Roma defender Cicinho revealed to ESPN Brasil his battle with alcoholism

*Canada's women's football team pulled a prank on head coach John Herdman for his birthday*