“I think it has. It certainly puts things into perspective. Not that I ever take stuff for granted but it reiterates what is important – family and health. That’s all that matters. You’ve got to enjoy life while you can and try not to get too down. But it’s been difficult for everyone because of the virus. Hopefully we can see the other side very soon but a lot of people are struggling, a lot of people have died, and it’s affected us all. All me and the other lads [his fellow club captains who worked on the crisis fund for the NHS] tried to do was help make a difference.”
Jordan Henderson on whether 2020 changed him (The Guardian)
"I would like to play in the United States and experience life and the league there, but ultimately come back to Barcelona in some capacity."
Lionel Messi (La Sexta)
"We'll see if my son will become a great footballer. Sometimes he drinks coke and eats crisps and it irritates me, he knows that. Sometimes I tell my son to take a dip in cold water to recover after a run on the treadmill and he says: 'Dad, it's so cold there'. That's fine, he is only ten years old. I always tell him that it takes work and dedication to have success. I won't pressure him to become a footballer but I would like it. The most important thing is to become the best in his field, whether it is football or medicine."
"Karim Benzema is the best of his generation by far, he's very complete. I like his finishing, his way of participating in the actions of his team, in their creation. He is not only there to score goals, he is there to bring the offensive animation of his training to life. His longevity at Real Madrid is incredible. In such a club, where it is not easy to stay or settle down, he arrived, he imposed himself when he was in competition with very great players. He evolved his style by putting himself at the service of Cristiano Ronaldo. It may seem simple, but he had the merit of curbing his pure goalscoring ambitions to create harmony with such a star, over time."
Jean-Pierre Papin (L'Equipe)
"I have to say, for me, the three best in the world are Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk and Kalidou Koulibaly. The three are good, strong and intelligent."
Erling Haaland (VG)
"Naturally people in successful environments sometimes resist change, and it was inevitable that not everyone would welcome a high-profile former footballer coming in and talking about improvements, but a sporting director has to be objective, to drive standards and have the courage to have new ideas."
Eniola Aluko on first year as Director of Women's Football at Aston Villa (The Guardian)
"I knew Eden before I signed for Chelsea. I used to play against him when I was at Marseille and Nice, and he was at Lille. So, in my first session at Chelsea, he arrived on to the training pitch with his laces undone and welcomed me. I asked him: ‘Are you really going to train like this?’ He said: ‘Yes, no problem'. I felt like going into a Chelsea training session that the intensity would be very high because it is such a big club and I put pressure on myself to perform at 100 per cent. So, when I looked at Eden... He didn’t defend well in the session either, he gave away the ball and, at the end of training, I asked: ‘You train like this?’ He was like: ‘Don’t worry, I am the boss'. But not in an arrogant way, as he can be casual when he speaks. Then, along comes the first game for Chelsea and I am on the bench against Swansea City (September 2014). Diego Costa scored a hat-trick, so Jose Mourinho brings me on and I scored a debut goal, but only after Eden danced around the box with the ball before giving to Oscar to set it up. I was so happy in the dressing room afterwards. Then, Eden came up to me and said: 'Now you see who is the boss!' And he was the boss in his own eyes because he made everything look easy. He is such a genius of a player."
Loic Remy (Goal)
"Woof! I was lying on the pitch. He’s one of the strongest players in the Premier League, so it was very painful in my arm, in my stomach, but it was fine. We win the game, so everything’s fine. I feel very well. It was just when I hit Traore it was painful, I can’t breathe, but it was fine."
David de Gea on running into Adama Traore accidentally
“This team is capable of defining an era. Our task is to support them and do everything we can to play attractive, successful football."
Hasan Salihamidzic (Bayern Munich's official website)
“On the pitch he was a poet, a great champion who gave joy to millions of people, in Argentina as in Naples. He was also a very fragile man. I have a personal memory linked to the 1986 World Cup, the one that Argentina won thanks to Maradona. I was in Frankfurt; it was a difficult time for me, I was studying the language and collecting material for my thesis. I hadn't been able to see the World Cup final and I only learned the next day of Argentina's victory over Germany, when a Japanese boy wrote 'Viva l'Argentina' on the blackboard during a German lesson. I remember it, personally, as the victory of loneliness because I had no one with whom to share the joy of that sporting victory: loneliness makes you feel alone, while what makes joy beautiful is being able to share it. When I was told of Maradona's death, I prayed for him and sent the family a rosary with a few personal words of comfort.”
Pope Francis on Diego Maradona (Gazzetta dello Sport)
"He plays for a phenomenal team, the best in Europe. They're the only team not to have lost a match and they've conceded the fewest goals."
Gheorghe Hagi on his son Ianis playing at Rangers (GSP)