The Week in Quotes

"After 21 incredible years, I have decided that now is the right time to finish my career as a professional footballer. Whilst I have received a number of exciting offers to continue playing at home and abroad, at 38 I feel now is the time to begin the next chapter in my life." Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard announces his retirement

"I have respected him as an opponent as much as I have enjoyed his presence as a team-mate. His time in Manchester was brief but I got to witness first hand what makes for a true champion. I particularly remember setting up a few drills for myself. It was a dark, windy, rainy, Manchester day and everyone had ran in, as training was finished. I started off my session but here came grandpa, looking to join in. His ability as a player is beyond discussion but what left me inspired here was the relentlessness, commitment and desire to improve from a player who had done it all. Simple things that separate the greats from the masses." Manchester City captain Vincent Kompanyposts a congratulatory message on social media praising former team-mate Lampard

"When Totti plays, even in training, he's the Muhammad Ali of football, always looking to land that knockout blow - to swing the punch no-one else can see. If he's on the pitch, it's a good idea to give him the ball. The more they get him on the ball, the more they'll get back in return - you get more back from Totti than the bank. He's the one who brought the fans back into the stadium from the car park last year."

Roma head coach Luciano Spalletti praises club legend Francesco Totti after the captain scored a 97th-minute penalty against Cesena to reach the Coppa Italia semi-final*

"The first person to call me after that game was Ferguson. He said, ‘Son, get back to Manchester, you’ll be fine.’ And that gave me strength to actually get through probably the toughest time in my life." Former England captain David Beckham speaks on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs about Sir Alex Ferguson’s support for him after Beckham’s sending-off in a last-16 defeat against Argentina at France 1998

"You never know. It's like a watermelon. You have to open to see if it's good or not." Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gives his take on Gabriel Jesus after the Brazilian scored his first goal for the club

"We used the analogy beforehand that if beating them was like getting to the moon, doing so after going behind would be like getting to Pluto." Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley reflects on the non-league side’s 3-1 come-from-behind win over Championship leaders Brighton & Hove Albion in the English FA Cup fourth round

"It was an amazing dream to get that jersey and see my name with the Canadian crest on it and then getting the debut against this day I’ve said it, the moment I stepped on the pitch, it was the best thing ever. It was better than an orgasm." Canada’s all-time leader in appearances and former captain Julian de Guzman reflects on his first-ever cap at a press conference to announce his international retirement

"I have signed because the manager is a winner and everyone believes in him. I believe in what he does, and everyone inside the dressing room believes he will take this team to titles -- that is why I signed a new contract and that is what we want to do.'' Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho speaks with PA Sport on signing a new contract at Anfield

"I saw Dele Alli’s goal last year and it looked like a goal I would like to score – there is just no explanation for goals like that. It’s thrilling to inspire someone to score such a great goal; I can barely put it into words." Speaking exclusively in the March 2017 issue of FourFourTwo, Brazil legend Ronaldinho says he would have liked to score Alli’s goal against Crystal Palace

"The gaffer was there with us." Watford captain Troy Deeneyspeaking with BBC Three Counties Radio at Graham Taylor’s funeral, the day after a 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal

"I had a feeling that I was going to save the final two penalties. When we went to the shoot-out, our 2006 title win crossed my mind." Egypt's 44-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadaryreveals to the BBC he envisioned that he would save the two penalties that sent the Pharaohs to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2017 Final

“I knew it was my time, it was just the exact time I was unsure of. My body is okay, it’s just my mind—my mind is ready. It’s fatigued. It’s been through a lot with this career. I have two bronze medals, two great Olympics, and why not go out on that?” Speaking after a training session before her final match with Canada on Saturday, Melissa Tancredi reflected to Sportsnet on her decision to hang her boots after an illustrious international career

"I was in high school, and he was a philosophy teacher. I was not interested, and he could see my mind was elsewhere. So he stopped the class and said, ‘hey, Mr Mourinho, what’s going on? No attention, no concentration, I am speaking to the walls.’ I told him, ‘I want to be a football manager, not a philosopher.’ He told me, one day you���ll realise that philosophy will be as important as physiology, biology, statistics…you ignore psychology, you don’t respect my classes. Don’t forget this.’ And he was right. Now, I think managers understand this. But I understood it 25 years ago." Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaks exclusively with GQ about the importance of having a well-rounded knowledge of life

"I must have been 13. It wasn’t the best time for the club but having him there was incredible. We’d stay behind to watch him scoring one, two, three, four free-kicks, one after the other. I remember a game where Sevilla were playing badly, there was a corner and someone threw a ball of tin-foil at him. He controlled it, juggled it and volleyed it back. He completely changed the crowd’s mood: from ‘son of a bitch!’ to Olé!’ in a fraction of a second." Former Arsenal and Cameroon defender Lauren speaks with the Guardian about being at Sevilla as a 13-year-old while Diego Maradona was with the club

"I was under a lot of pressure to pull that out, I don't think I've actually done it in club football. It was a bit rusty but it was a nice feeling to score and bring it back for nostalgia purposes."

  • Stoke City forward Peter Crouch talks with Sky Sports about bringing back his famous robot dance to celebrate his 100th Premier League goal*