“Messi has taken a tough decision and people should understand. He is not accustomed to defeats and disappointments, not even finishing second. Missing a penalty does not make you a bad player. It hurts to see Messi in tears and I hope he returns to his country, because he needs it.”
Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo offered his support to Lionel Messi after the five-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner recently announced his retirement from international football.
“After 29 seasons at Manchester United as a player and assistant manager, I know winning is in the DNA of this club - giving youth a chance, and playing attacking and exciting football. It’s healthy to have high expectations, it’s right to expect to win. Manchester United expects, deserves, nothing less. This is why it is a huge decision for me to step away from the club that has been my life since the age of 14. It has not been a decision that I have made lightly. I'll take away so many special memories as well as a lifetime of experiences that will, I hope, serve me well in the future.”
Ryan Giggs said ‘farewell’ to Manchester United, a club he has been with since the age of 14.
“We always had a few scouts who claimed they were the one who discovered Giggsy. They probably did, but they never acted on what they saw. It was actually a steward who first told me it was a disgrace that this Manchester United fan was training down the road at City. You knew right away, the way he ran across the ground, that he was something else. He was like a Cocker Spaniel chasing a piece of silver in the wind. His feet never seemed to touch the ground and that was the start of it all.”*
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson reflected on Giggs’ career.*
“It is an important game for Antoine, for the team, for the fans. But it is not something other than that. I don't think about football with what happened. I try not to think about it at all.”
France forward Antoine Griezmann’s sister, Maud Griezmann, reflected on her experience at the centre of the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks before France defeated Germany 2-0 in the UEFA EURO 2016 semi-finals.
“He told me: 'I do go on holiday to Wales. We take our caravan from Basingstoke, and on the way down we pick up our grandmother in Caerphilly, and then on to Tenby. And that struck a note, obviously. I said: 'Does your grandma live in Caerphilly?' He said: 'No, she was born there,' and that's how it came about.”
Ex-Wales coach Brian Flynn revealed the unlikely story of how striker Hal Robson-Kanu came to represent Wales.
"First I must meet my players. I know them from TV but I must speak with them, hug them and kick their asses. I have an idea but I need time. As a player, one of my dreams was to play here. That was not possible but now my dream has come true as a coach. The atmosphere is wow. I have also come to learn. I am curious to learn about England.”
The *Pep Guardiola era got under way at Manchester City.*
“He said bring the umbrella! Yesterday I couldn’t believe it was raining at the training ground so it was great advice. The second advice was to bring my typical bottle of wine because now we are going to have many occasions to be together. He is at the Euros so I cannot see him this week but when his summer holidays are finished we will have lots of time to meet each other. He is always welcome to the training ground and we will have time to share a lot of our personal stuff.”*
Jose Mourinho held his first press conference as Manchester United manager and revealed what advice Sir Alex Ferguson gave him upon his arrival at the club.*
“We are pleased to add Murphy Malone to our roster. Murphy’s experience, dedication and love for soccer and Toronto FC are truly inspiring and we believe he will make a great addition to our team.”*
Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko commented on the club’s signing of 11-year-old Murphy Malone to a one-day contract. Malone has been recovering from multiple heart surgeries and his love for football and Toronto FC have gone a long way in helping him during the recovery process.*
Gary Lineker had a humorous take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal against Wales in the EURO 2016 semi-finals.
*Republic of Ireland fans were awarded with the 'Medaille de la Ville de Paris' by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo for their good-natured support in France during EURO 2016. Supporter Jamie Monaghan was presented with the award on behalf of the supporters.*