World Football

The Week in Quotes

Lionel Messi and Ivan Rakitic celebrate a Barcelona goal
© Getty Images

"I was speaking to Messi and said, 'You have won it all, have scored all these goals', but I told him, I have won a trophy you'll never have... You'll never win the Europa League."
Ivan Rakitic (LaLigaTV)

"Neymar has matured a lot. Before, when he was at Barcelona and in my early days with the Seleção, he was a player who would be out on the wing, would score goals, had pace, would dribble, do individual plays. Now he’s expanded the area in which he plays and, as well as being a goalscorer, he creates plays for others. He’s now what we call a ‘bow and arrow’ – he can set things up and finish things off. He’s increased his arsenal."
Tite (FIFA.com)

Tite: Neymar has become a bow and arrow

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Tite: Neymar has become a bow and arrow

"The best team in Europe is Bayern Munich because they won everything, they are the best. In England the champions are Liverpool, they are the best. The crown, if you want to take it, you have to win. In February, March no one is champion."
Pep Guardiola

"Mbappe can become my heir, and I'm not kidding. I can see a lot of myself in his ability to play with speed. He's an attacker who thinks quickly. When the ball arrives, he already knows what to do, he already has in his mind where to go and how to guide the game to find the best solution. These are important characteristics in today's football."
Pele on Kylian Mbappe (La Gazzetta dello Sport's Sportweek)

"He has the potential. He lacks nothing but time. We cannot speed up the process. I think he's already among the best in the world. It will take time for him to flesh out his CV, to get the recognition he deserves and will get."
Mauricio Pochettino on Kylian Mbappe (Agence France-Press)

Mauricio Pochettino hugs Kylian Mbappe
© imago images

“I don’t even have many words to say how good he is. Do you know what makes him even more amazing? In the time I was there, I never saw him hit a free-kick in a training session. I swear he never did. We always did long shots in training, but Messi never took a free-kick. For him it is simply something natural. They say that practice makes perfect, but with him there is no training and it is still perfect. He’s an incredible player, I can’t explain it. For the free kick against Liverpool, I was right behind him. In one of my first games at Barcelona, ​​he received the ball, passed three, four, five players ... I found myself on the pitch thinking 'how does this guy do this?' He makes good players look bad.”
Nelson Semedo on Lionel Messi (The Telegraph)

"We have to use all of the tournaments that will come in the next few years. We need to show more on television. Here in England, there is the FA Player where you can watch all of the games for free. You don’t have anything like that in Germany. They just show one game per week. I think we just need to start by improving the basics, and then people can see women’s football and change their mind because many people just view it in the same way as it was 20 years ago. It’s really changed since then. It’s a lot more physical now."
Melanie Leupolz (DW)

Melanie Leupolz of Germany speaks during to Germany Press Conference
© Getty Images

"I think with the talent this group has and the depth we are getting in each position, I think this team can make a deep, deep run in the next World Cup. I see a lot of people say 2026 is going to be the big chance for USA considering where it is and everyone having the chance to develop at the biggest clubs, I do believe that but our focus is on the next World Cup, making sure we qualify and get those experiences under the belt. I think it’s going to be huge. This squad has so much quality, playing at some of the world’s biggest clubs, making huge impacts. It just gives motivation to a lot of the young guys to keep going."
Reggie Cannon on the US men's national team (The Guardian)

"My friendship with Pirlo goes a long way back. In practice, me, him and [Gennaro] Gattuso knew each other going back to 1993 … When you have the fortune and the ability to share a journey like winning the World Cup, I really believe that sealed our relationship. Not our friendship. You don’t judge a friendship by winning World Cups, but it sealed a bond. It gave us a shared understanding that can never be broken."
Gianluigi Buffon (The Guardian)

Interreligious Match For Peace
© Getty Images

"I remember perfectly that Cristiano wasn't at the club and Sergio Ramos, after training, was taking free-kicks like Cristiano. He was doing it as a joke. But when he came to the club, Sergio didn't do that anymore."
Royston Drenthe (El Chiringuito)

"Richarlison is a modern striker, a complete striker, because he works really hard. His physical statistics are really high, like a midfielder — but he has speed and he is really clinical in the box. He is fantastic with the head and clinical in front of the goalkeeper and his movement without the ball is really good. I think he can be one of the top strikers in Europe. I'm sure he can because he has all these kind of qualities and he has not a specific position on the pitch. He is really complete."
Carlo Ancelotti on Richarlison

Richarlison exclusive on James, DCL & Everton's targets

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Richarlison exclusive on James, DCL & Everton's targets

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