World Football

The Week in Quotes

 Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan
© Getty Images

"I remember [Sir Alex Ferguson] was the first British manager I met. We had breakfast. I'm not sure how much he remembers but I remember because for me this moment was like meeting the Pope. It was absolutely great and from that first season we clicked. I didn't think at this moment I would have a trophy in my hands named after him."

Jurgen Klopp

"I have to say Cristiano Ronaldo. [For] everything he has achieved in his career. He has been at plenty of clubs and won many trophies. I believe he is a real icon of football, the Michael Jordan of football."

Jesse Lingard on who is the Michael Jordan of football [Sky Sports]

"To use a football analogy, I'm getting Lewandowski-level chances but I'm converting them at a Firmino level, and for those that don't watch football, that's pretty bad."

Magnus Carlsen [Chess24]

"It’s OK to not be OK, and I think back in the day it wasn’t – it wasn’t OK to have a problem. I made a mistake, you know, I made a mistake in ‘98 and the reaction at the time was pretty brutal. Times have changed. If social media was around when I was going through that time in ‘98, it would have been a whole different story."

David Beckham

"It wasn’t intentional missing a penalty but at the same time people make you feel like that, so I think it’s important we have that kind of awareness and to have that kind of conversation within teams for the younger generation coming up, to go ‘Right, OK, social media is a great thing for a lot of things, to promote campaigns, build people’s profiles, but at the same time it can be quite hurtful, and sometimes you don’t realise people do read a tweet or an Instagram post and actually it stays with you for a long time’."

Steph Houghton

"I see Leo [Messi] playing as long as he wants. On a physical level, he's quick, strong, a competitive beast, an animal physically. I don't doubt he'll play at Qatar 2022."

Xavi [MARCA]

"In 2017 I became a regular on the first team. The year after I scored eight goals in MLS games and was named the Whitecaps player of the year. Then Bayern made an offer for me. And when Bayern want you, you can’t really say no. By the time I left the Whitecaps in November 2018, I was completely different from the shy kid who had turned up there more than four years earlier. I knew where I was going. I knew what was happening for me. When I got to Bayern, I wasn’t too nervous. I just wanted to show people that I could play at this level. And since I had come such a long way, I wanted to play with a smile on my face. I still remind myself of that. Since then I have won two league titles, two German cups and become the Bundesliga Rookie of the Year. So yeah, I’m still smiling."

Alphonso Davies [The Players' Tribune]

"I just hope all those people that I told before the tournament that we're 200-1 odds and [to] stick a $100 on us took me up on my advice. If they did, congratulations and spend your money wisely."

James Clarkson on his Houston Dash side

"Cristiano is the modern athlete, who shows everyone that success always comes to those who are dedicated and love what they do. Also, I would like to congratulate my fellow Brazilians Douglas Costa, Alex Sandro and Danilo. Great work winning the Serie A title, Juventus."

Pele [Instagram]

"I feel like enough is enough, and I'm among a load of people who have had racial abuse and I've had racial abuse all my life. But it's a thing where for right now, I've got a platform where I feel like if I can make a change, I'll try."

Wilfried Zaha [CNN]

"We have the quality to become champions but talking alone is not enough. Bayern have distinguished themselves by their incredible consistency. We have to continue our development in the second half of the season and we want to be even more successful next year.”

Erling Haaland [Sport Bild]

"I don’t want to show too many emotions because I’ve already been crying before the last game. They saw that I felt the emotions. Especially also leaving Mo, my good friend. It was something special but like I always said, it’s just the beginning of a big friendship, even when we’ll be far apart. He knows he can always call me for whatever reason, I’m always here for him. It’s not just Mo, it’s all the people at the club – the staff, medical staff. We’ve been like a big family, and this is why Liverpool is so big: because we care for each other. I wish everyone good luck and I want that they stay healthy. We will always be in touch."

Dejan Lovren [LiverpoolFC.com]

"The toughest opponent I've faced in my career is this Liverpool from last year and this one."

Pep Guardiola [DAZN]

“I’m like Benjamin Button, except I’ve always been young, never old!"

Zlatan Ibrahimovic [Milan TV]

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