"I’m very surprised to see him with Conte as a manager. I think of Conte centre-backs, the last few years in Italy with Juventus, very solid, know how to play in a zonal system, dependable, and I think David Luiz is obviously a big talent. But I would have never of put those two together. There’s something bizarre about it. It’s a bit strange. I’m trying to think of an analogy to describe it. It’s a bit like me with a Miss World."*
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville explains his confusion to Sky Sports at Chelsea's decision to re-sign defender David Luiz*
"If I’m not happy you can see it on my face from the other end of the Jersey Turnpike, and at the moment I am not happy. At all. I am 21 and I have just been cut from the U.S. U-21 team by a coach who told me straight out that I wasn’t national team material. My dream is to play for the U.S., and if I can’t even make the JV, what’s the point? So I am seriously considering finishing up my time with my team at Rutgers, getting my degree and calling it a career. I always thought it would be cool to be an FBI agent. Maybe I can do that. I am as adrift as a piece of flotsam in the Atlantic."*
FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Carli Lloydreveals she almost quit the game altogether, in an excerpt from her book "When Nobody was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World*
“Without Leo we all lose. Football loses.”*
Barcelona coach Luis Enriqueon Lionel Messi's groin injury in a post-match news conference following Barça's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou in La Liga**
“I couldn’t hold them back,” he explained afterwards, having regained his composure. “It just got too much for me. I’ve never scored before and I realised there and then that we’d won the match."*
Azerbaijan goalkeeper Rovshan Huseynli speaks with FIFA.commoments after his* *historic 13-8 extra-time win over Thailand in the Round of 16 at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016*
“What Deeney did against West Ham was a great goal. Only a few players can do it and one of them was Maradona.”*
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri compares Hornets striker Troy Deeney's superb goal against West Ham to the skills of Diego Maradona
"This position is so difficult to play. You need leadership. It's about working with your [midfield] partner, understanding each other. I do like N'Golo Kanté, but whether he'll be better than me at it I don't know. He needs time to learn the position, to learn more about the game. He's a young player I like, but I hope he doesn't get to be better than I was!"
Former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele*speaks with UEFA.com about comparisons made between himself and new Blues signing N'Golo Kante
"Yes, it's true that my mother has a go at me when I don't track back. We are very, very close and she demands a lot from me, which is great. She only praises me if I have done something worthy of praise. I am really happy to have a mum like that, who really cares. She always tells me the truth and her sincerity helps me a lot."
Manchester City and Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus tells the Guardian about his close relationship with his mother
”He talks a lot on the pitch, but he talks a bit like a robot, kind of like Terminator. It's sort of in slow motion. You can see his influence on their team. He'll tell a few of the players that are rushing past him to just calm down and relax on the ball. 'You can see straight away that he has the respect of everyone at the club.”
Northampton defender Gabriel Zakuani gives a unique insight into playing against Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the BBC World Service following his side's 3-1 defeat to United in the EFL Cup
“I pictured my career going in a different way, but it didn’t. So I’m going to make the best out of the rest of my career and do the best I can. There are many goals I have set myself over the years. Many things I have said and been killed for. I actually don’t regret saying I want to be the best striker in the world, because that’s what everyone wants. It’s just that no one wants to say it. It has haunted me. I was very young and I might have said it too early, before I’d proved I was in that category – or could get in that category. But I’m here now and I want to reboot, and get back to just playing. I am not saying I have never done anything wrong, because I have. But I know football makes me happy whatever level I play and I think I’ll play football all my life."
Denmark international and Nottingham Forest forward *Nicklas Bendtner *speaks with The Mirror ahead of his meeting with former club Arsenal in the EFL Cup, which the Gunners went on to win 4-0 at the City Ground in the EFL Cup
"These goals are of no real value; they are just helping me to improve my record. If I was able to change everything I did in this tournament, including the goals, and be able to trade it to become world champion, I would in an instant."
Brazil futsal legend Falcaotells FIFA.comhe would trade all his goals for another world title, following his nation's shock exit from the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 after defeat on penalties to Iran
"I consider myself half Spanish. I miss not just the club [Atletico] but Madrid and the country. Since the first minute, I fell in love with Spain -- the people, the way of life, the food. I have kept up the late dinners, the siesta, and most of the television I watch is Spanish. When I left Spain I had it very clear in my mind that I would return one day. I have a contract with Chelsea for three more seasons. In 2018, when I begin my last season, I will have to evaluate if it's better to renew or to leave."
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtoisspeaks with Marca about his love for the country
"Neymar is an extraordinary player. He won the Olympic Games after being criticised in Brazil after the two first games. He has found in Barcelona the right place to express his talent. Everyone has their own style and their own way of playing. He has been criticised, even in his personal life. He enjoys himself, sings, dances... and destroys teams. They can keep criticising him, the kid responds where he must respond."
Atletico Madrid coach *Diego Simeone *defends Barcelona star Neymar at a news conference ahead of the two sides' La Liga clash at the Camp Nou, which ended in a 1-1 draw
"I listen to my coaches and my team-mates, the people around me, and I don't really listen to what a lot of people out there are saying because a lot of it is rubbish. I have to focus, work hard, of course, and I've done that throughout my career. I've worked hard and tried to do my best for the team. That's football, I think. We don't win in three games and, of course, everyone is going to talk about it.”
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooneyresponds to his critics speaking on the club's official TV channel