The Week in Quotes

"I recently met a famous brain surgeon in New York and in his brain, when it comes to intelligence, there are definitely 80 per cent more light bulbs alight than in mine. But what happens? He started to stutter because he is crazy about football and this person from LFC was suddenly standing in front of him." Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in an interview with German magazine Stern

“He’s a true athlete. He’s a good friend of mine. I’ve been talking with him a long time. He messaged me on Instagram a good while back because I was wearing his underwear on the Brandao fight.” UFC Featherweight champion Conor McGregor tells BT Sport about his friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo 

"I had a great relationship with van Gaal. He always demanded perfection from me. He has done a lot for me. He always showed me videos together with his assistant, even when I had scored a double. He pointed out the things I had done wrong. Sometimes it was annoying because you expected to be shown the things you did well, but I knew it was for my own good." *Anthony Martial gives an insight into his relationship with former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to L’Equipe*

Germany’s Lukas Podolski announced his retirement from international football earlier this week

"It's all about ambitions. Money is not something that can move me from Rome to Chelsea because I will get money in Chelsea. I get money in Rome, so that's not a difference – at another team I can get more money but this amount doesn't matter. What's more ambitious, a player who wants to win the Champions League in Real Madrid, or one who wants to win the league in Rome? Roma never won a lot of titles. In 90 years, we won three. It's been hard. I think a great ambition could be also to try to win something nobody ever won. It's more difficult." *Daniele de Rossi tells Sports Illustrated about his decision to spend his whole career with Roma*

"We played several pre-season matches, against PSG, Barcelona… Messi and all of the players congratulated us for the title. It was really touching coming from such big names. It is also through that that you understand just how much Leicester has touched the rest of Europe." Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrezon winning the Premier League, in conversation with France Football

"They wanted to bring in young players, to build something new. I was thinking to myself, this takes time to work. It takes two, three, four, maybe even ten years. I didn’t have that time. I was 27 years old. I did not have time to wait. I wanted to win. Here we are five years later and they are still trying to build – around the same position in the league as when I left. It was presented as if I was a traitor. It was not like this in the discussion(s). Liverpool could not admit they were doing something wrong with the whole team. They had to find a guilty one." *Fernando Torres on his departure to Chelsea from Liverpool, reports the Liverpool Echo*

"It could have been the best moment of my life but it turned into the worst. After you sign a contract like that, you think all the people will be behind you and help you. And you see the opposite. Then the stress comes. I was down and, when it’s like that, of course, the injuries come too. It was a bad moment. It was something that made me very down, very disappointed." Valencia’s Portuguese winger Nanion his five-year contract at Manchester United that he signed in September 2013, under then-manager David Moyes, in an interview with the Guardian

" has been in this position before, he was dropped two or three seasons back, and then when he returned he played some of the best football of his career. The ability is there, we know he has that, but just as importantly he has character - and that is one of the most important qualities you can have as a goalkeeper. He has consistently over the last 5 or 6 seasons shown he is among the best goalkeepers in the world. De Gea and Neuer are the two outstanding goalkeepers right now, after that there is not anybody who is on an obvious higher level than Hart. He has many years of being a great goalkeeper ahead of him - no matter if they are at Manchester City or anywhere else." *Gianluigi Buffon on Joe Hart, in conversation with*

"Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez - they are seen as the elite players in world football. Philippe has certainly got the talent, the work ethic and the hunger to get into that bracket. He's a fantastic player for us. I've seen him develop as a player during his time at Liverpool and he's still only 24. Hopefully it won't be long before people do regard him alongside the Messis of this world." *Jordan Henderson tells the Liverpool Echo team-mate Philippe Coutinho has the potential to be among the world’s best*

"Real Madrid is the best place for me to continue my career. It was a good decision to stay at Madrid. I believe in the club and I believe in the coach. I have spoken with him a lot and he has faith in me. Zidane's presence is one of the reasons behind my decision to stay." Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane reveals to reporters that manager Zinedine Zidane was a factor behind his decision to stay at the club

"It's a great feeling to test myself against players like Neymar. The game will be a bonus, we'll try to enjoy it. I think the whole stadium will be against us. We'll try to give our best and if we have a good day, it's possible for us to win." *Lukas Klostermann, the German Olympic team’s left-back, speaking to ahead of the gold medal match against Brazil*

"If we are talking about the Ballon d’Or, I think he will win. He is the most competitive. But I don’t think that he has been the best this year. I think that Griezmann is among the best. Griezmann had a fantastic year and if he shouldn’t be one of the nominees, that would not seem fair to me at all." Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone tells that Antoine Griezmann should be among the nominees for the 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or