The Week in Quotes

"Napoli want to always be beautiful, but sometimes being a bit ugly is a good thing. You can't always be Brad Pitt, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Sometimes you have to be a bit ugly, like me." Gennaro Gattuso (Sky Sport Italia)

"Football has kind of saved us all in this pandemic. Without football, I don’t know what we [players] would be doing. The first lockdown was really tough, when we didn’t really have each other to lean on at training, but now we’re fortunate enough to still be able to work every day and see each other. I feel for all those people who don’t have the opportunity to have friends around because, over the first lockdown, I did find that really difficult." Sam Kerr (The Telegraph)

"Let me explain something about Polish people, and then maybe you will understand. Before the ceremony, I knew I’d had a great year with Bayern Munich. I knew I might win the award. Perhaps I even deserved it. But in Poland, we have this inferiority complex. We’ve never had anyone named the world’s best player. When you are a kid, you have no superstars to follow. The scouts always say things like, 'He’s pretty skilled ... for a Polish kid.' So we have this feeling that no one is ever good enough — that none of us is ever going to make it to the top. Kids from Poland are not supposed to be the best in the world. It’s just not supposed to happen. So when I received the trophy, I couldn’t believe it." Robert Lewandowski (The Players' Tribune)

“Last season, I was feeling the joy of playing football at a time when the world was facing a tough situation because of the new coronavirus." Kazuyoshi Miura, who signed a contract extension with Yokohama which will see him play past his 54th birthday

"We write to each other. He is an idol for me, as hardly anyone in the world can do what he does. When he speaks highly of me, it makes me work even harder the next day in training, because I am so proud. I really hope he returns for international duty with Sweden at the Euros. It would be wonderful for me and all of Sweden. Come on, Ibra!" Dejan Kulusevski on Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sky Sport Italia)

"He’s been world class for over a decade – and what a leader he has become. His ambition and will to win is amazing. I would say he's the world’s best defender from my generation." Mesut Ozil on Sergio Ramos

Mesut Ozil of Real Madrid celebrates with Sergio Ramos (R) after scoring Real's second goal during the La Liga match between Getafe and Real Madrid at Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium on 3 January, 2011 in Getafe, Spain.

"Gallardo is a better coach than me, and his players are more experienced. Our first-leg performance, in which we were the better side, is what got us through to the final. Here, they were superior. We have to be humble and recognise that. It was the best defeat of my career." Palmeiras coach Abel Ferreira

"He's a machine. A hurricane that blows you over. For me he's sensational at 20 years of age. At some point he will play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. But I hope that Dortmund and the Bundesliga will enjoy him for a few more years. What he does with his size, dynamism, strength and passion on the pitch is madness. Technically, too, he scored two goals in an outstanding manner. He's a machine. Wow." Lothar Matthaus on Erling Haaland (Sky Sport)

"Lukaku and Shaquille O’Neal make physical power their greatest strength. But Romelu is also so much more. Even in training, we need two or three players to stop him. He’s a force of nature." Nicolo Barella (DAZN)

"I have talked to Ada (Hegerberg). I hopped on a phone call with her actually a few weeks ago. She was telling me about Lyon and we were talking about how we want to become a really strong duo and just take the team to a new level. I think we’re both just very excited to play with each other. She said how she’s excited to play with a very smart player, which was very flattering to hear from one of the best in the world." Catarina Macario

"When you start to play it's just football, there's no sun, wind, rain or snow. When the ball moves, it's football. When you play football you forget about everything, when the ball moves it's total happiness." Diego Simeone

"Something like this happens perhaps once in a lifetime." Holstein Kiel coach Ole Werner after defeating Bayern Munich on penalties in the DFB Pokal

“He was an amazing athlete, and I got those genes from him, but I am excited to be Trinity Rodman and not just Dennis Rodman’s daughter. I am excited to pave my own path and get better throughout this journey.” Trinity Rodman

"You can't even describe how good they are. They are definitely wonderful players. It’s a great chance to play against players like them. This game made me think about more and more what I need to make up for and which things I am short of. I was like, am I playing against a wall?! Sule is physically very, very good. In the league, it was not that hard to compete with the opposing defenders, but with Niklas it was definitely another thing." Lee Jaesung on Niklas Sule (Goal)

"To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club." Wayne Rooney becomes Derby County manager and confirms retirement from football (Derby)

"He is still one of the best in football history. He's great, has incredible quality and he can play wherever he wants, whether it is as a number nine, 10 or 11. I can only enjoy it every day, and I hope to support him for a long time to come. I grew up watching him and when I got here thinking about playing with him and [Paulo] Dybala thrilled me. They are players of a higher level. We have an excellent relationship even off the pitch. I will tell my children that I played with them." Alvaro Morata on Juventus team-mates Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala (Sky)

“It was a joke. it was like defending against robots. They're so fast, they're just so good, it's so hard to defend, to control. Just that experience of playing against that sort of player is good for me.” Dijon's Jonathan Panzo on defending against Neymar and Kylian Mbappe