The Week in Quotes

"If you win it, it's special. It's the most important thing in a footballer's career. But I would lift a coffee cup as well, if that would be the trophy. It's all about the symbolic character, it doesn't matter what kind of trophy you lift." FIFA World Cup™ winner in 1974 Sepp Maierpays tribute to the late Silvio Gazzaniga, creator of the World Cup Trophy, in a piece with Goal

"A lot of people were coming in at half-time with their mouths open like this . They couldn't believe it; they were all congratulating him, but it was only half-time. At the end of the game we could all say, 'Well done, Ollie'. It's so rare. We have some special players and you do see the odd crazy thing, but nothing like that has ever happened in training. We've had two now with Mkhitaryan. Don't know who will be next. Those two goals were up there with the best I have ever seen." Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi reacts to team-mate Olivier Giroud’s scorpion kick goal in the Gunners’ 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League, speaking with the club’s official website

"What most impresses me about her is that she's always capable of making use of all her qualities when required. From her speed to her technique and her reading of the game, she always finds a way to produce her best at the right time. When you're on her side, you just watch and say to yourself, 'Oh, yes, that was the right thing to do'." Sweden defender Linda Sembrantgives insight into The Best FIFA Women's Coach nominee Pia Sundhage and The Best FIFA Women's Player nominee Marta

“Messi is my compatriot and I had to choose him, but I don't think this affected my decision. He's the best player I saw in the last year. We're speaking about the whole performance. He gave everything to lead Barcelona to the domestic double. That also applies for Argentina, where he did everything possible to win the Copa America, but he wasn't lucky. Ronaldo won titles also, but I don't think his performances were good enough to be the player of the year. Performance won't be in his favour, it's just the titles that would help him to be in the nominations. You can say I chose Messi for several reasons, not just because he's Argentinian.” Egypt coach Hector Cuper reveals to Goal that he believes Lionel Messi should be voted The Best FIFA Men’s Player


"I take a lot of inspiration from (Cristiano) Ronaldo. The way he has stayed on top for so many years, it’s nothing but down to hard work. I have heard he is the most hardworking footballer in the world and that’s why he is where he is. Messi is a freak, but this guy is giving him a run for his money because of his hard work." *Cricket mega-star Virat Kohli gives his views on a couple of The Best FIFA Men’s Player award nominees

“There are people who sometimes say to him that ‘there is another player who is better than your father,’ but he knows how to deal with that. He is a smart boy, like me. I often tell him ‘be yourself and be polite’. I know that he will go through periods of adversity, as there are jealous people out there, but I see him as a happy child. Of course, I would like it if he became a footballer. I know that it is a challenge and that it isn’t easy, but he can be whatever he wants to be, as I won’t pressure him. I might be pushing him a little in the direction of becoming a footballer but not to be a goalkeeper, as I want him to be a forward.” Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo tells ON TV in Egypt about his hopes for his son

“It was a bit of a weird summer with the return of Florentino Perez as president. And then all the new signings arrived. Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso all came to Madrid for a huge amount of money. We were told that the club would be able to make some money on me, if they sold me. But I initially did not want to leave. I had possibly my best pre-season ever, but I still did not get a chance, so I had to make a decision. There was contact with Bayern, but it was a difficult decision, the most difficult one of my career. Bayern were not among the European elite at that moment -- like we are now -- and it was a step back for me. I went for it in the end, because the club did everything within their power to sign me. And the presence of Louis van Gaal obviously played a role as well. I am a real Bayern man now, I am into my eighth season here and I have become a part of this club." Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben talks with Fox Sports about his summer move to the German club from Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009

"I admire him a lot. When I was younger, I was watching his videos, the way he was playing. I love big players, but there are some players who have something extra. On the pitch you have 11 players, in the squad, 22, and you see only one or two. You always see him doing something special, the way he’s playing, it’s beautiful to see. Ronaldinho was the same, these are players who have something special – he has that. I was always watching him. The ball was in one place, but I was always looking for Zidane." France and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba talks about his admiration for Real Madrid coach and The Best Men's Coach 2016 nominee Zinedine Zidane, in an exclusive interview with

“He would never do that. It’s up to him what he wants to do. If he’s good enough, he will get the chance. He’s promising, for sure, but there’s more pressure on him than on any other 19-year-old here in Sweden. In the first part of this season, he was fantastic, but when things don’t go so well, he gets a little too much stick because he’s my son. But he’s strong enough to handle things.” Former Celtic great Henrik Larsson tells FourFourTwo that his son would never join the Scottish club’s rivals Rangers

"Messi is ahead of everyone. He does different things and the sum of those parts lifts him to first place.This doesn't mean the rest aren't any good, and I don't know why some people get angry because of it. If you aren't the number one, who cares if you are number two; it's out of your control if one guy is born better than you are. Cristiano should be happy and proud to be second in the world. Cristiano has better abdominals, a height advantage, and he heads the ball better. There are things that Cristiano does better, but Messi beats him in technique, ability and vision, and that's that. He should be happy and proud to be second in the world, there's no more noble thing in sport than to recognize the quality of your rivals."

  • Former Spain coach Javier Clemente gives Cadena SER his opinion on which The Best FIFA Men’s Player candidate is better*

"It’s difficult to believe! Eusebio, Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, myself have won top awards and maybe Fernando will too. Benfica and Porto have won European titles and Portugal won the EURO. A little country with a view of the Atlantic, it’s incredible. Our passion is perhaps our secret." Manchester United manager Jose Mourinhospeaks exclusively with in an interview about The Best FIFA Football Awards™ that take place in Zurich on Monday

“I think it would be perfectly reasonable for someone else to win it. I've only just arrived, this is all new. I have to keep working and show an awful lot more and that would be perfectly reasonable to me."

  • Real Madrid coach and The Best FIFA Men’s Coach nominee Zinedine Zidane gives a humble response when asked about the award in a news conference*

“I was 11, but playing a year up in Jack’s team. He was captain, but I remember us having so many arguments because he was so greedy, even though now everyone thinks of him as a creative player! We called him 'the wriggler' because he used to get the ball from the centre-half and just dribble the ball as far as he could, going past four or five players. We played in a tournament in Genk and players like Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley were there, a lot who have made the grade. We got to the final and Jack was favourite to get player of the tournament - but he got sent off in the first ten minutes! That meant they didn’t give the award to him, so he cried the whole way home. I was lucky enough to get top goalscorer, ahead of some good players.”

  • Bournemouth forward Benik Afobe tells the club’s matchday programme about a memory from his and team-mate Jack Wilshere’s Arsenal youth days*

"I’m very happy to win it. Honestly, it was between two big players. It is never easy to win a big award like this. I’m very happy and very pleased; as I just have to keep going. The next thing after this award is the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. My team will try to do good things there. It is not going to be easy in Africa, but it will be good maybe to win the title. It is never easy to win - even one game. , we just have to see if we emerge as winners." Algeria and Leicester City winger Riyad Mahreztells Goal he is targeting CAF Africa Cup of Nations glory with his country after being named African Player of the Year

"You only have to say hello to Leo to realise what a good kid he is. A lot of people don’t know that, because he doesn’t like to show it on TV or in public. He’s just an ordinary guy, though. He’s a good mixer and he cracks jokes just like any Argentinian. He gets on well with everyone and he’s as normal as they come.” Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguerospeaks with about team-mate and The Best FIFA Men's Player 2016 nominee Lionel Messi