"It's sadder than dancing with your own sister."
Luis Enrique on playing behind closed doors [Colgados del aro]
"There was a tingling sensation because it was starting again."
Thomas Muller on the Bundesliga's return
"Ronaldo stood out in training. He was the best. There will never be another Ronaldo 'Fenômeno'. Not Neymar, Cristiano or Messi – Ronaldo is unique. I think in our generation it was harder to score goals. It was more physical back then and attackers were less protected. But Ronaldo could do everything."
Roberto Carlos [Goal]
"That was amazing. Even though I didn’t play I felt like I deserved the medal. The staff made us feel like part of the team from day one. It’s not the 11 players or the 14 players who’ve played that win the silver medal – it is everyone."
Netherlands international Inessa Kaagman [The Guardian]
"I have found similarities between playing football and music. Being a goalkeeper requires responsibility because you are guarding the net of the team. It is an important place although you often spend the majority of the match watching the backs of your team-mates. It is similar as a drummer. It is the singers who receive the ovation but as a member of the band, a drummer should focus on playing and doing the job well. It also requires responsibility."
Former China PR goalkeeper Zhao Lina [FIFA.com]
"Success is important. But it is just as important that people remember you."
Athletic Club striker Aritz Aduriz [The New York Times]
“I don’t have to be mentally strong to get through an injury. There are people without houses, wondering where their next meal will come from, and there are people who are born disabled. I don’t know why we have to make injuries and these kinds of things so big. I have a family, I have a house. If I start worrying, it will be an injustice to the people who really have genuine hardship."
India defender Sandesh Jhingan [FIFA.com]
"I think that Mbappe is better than Neymar because he’s more consistent. The future belongs to him. He’s a truly unique player. He was an unstoppable striker and was only 18 years old. That year, we faced them in the semi-finals. Now he’s 21 and he’s already a world champion. Allure, technique, instinct, he doesn’t miss anything. He’s a player who exudes something, who is a priceless masterpiece."
Giorgio Chiellini [excerpt from his autobiography]
"Cristiano was very competitive. When you’re staying in his house for a day, it means he challenges you at any time. He had a swimming pool, a tennis court and ping-pong table. Sometimes, it’s just competing to see who knows who’s telling the truth, or who is right about something. Every time, there was a discussion to see who was right or who was better.
"The only time we were not playing was the night time, we’d sit on the sofa talking and Cristiano would just disappear [to bed]. We’d learn because me and Ando would be very tired when we woke up. He’d already been up two hours earlier, checking the news and would say, ‘Ok, let’s go’. He was the only one who had a car then, in the beginning, so we had to be ready to go with him. Fantastic moments and great memories we have."
Nani [UTD Podcast]
"He was the zero in 4-2-3-0. What I do is talk to the players, find out what their strengths are and make them the protagonists. I tried to find the hidden capabilities of these players. At the time, I had the zero in front, who was Totti, who’d create spaces and make sure he always got away from the opposition defenders. He was a master in occupying the space."
Luciano Spalletti [Sky Sport Italia]
"He was the player that caused me the most problems on the pitch. Sometimes I have nightmares about [Pedro] Munitis. In my office, I don't have many football pictures, but I have one of Munitis. I think it's important to cultivate humility. Munitis taught me humility."
Lilian Thuram [Libero Magazine]
"Becks [David Beckham] had that ability to ping-pong a ball across a field, and he would land it on your chest where your tie would be."
Mikael Silvestre [The Athletic]
"You can’t expect a manager to come in and win a World Cup. That was the aim, but it’s not easy at the elite level and we just fell short. England haven’t won a tournament since 1966 and haven’t been the best team in the world for decades. Phil [Neville] had a big impact - ok, we had played in semi-finals before but for me, he is one of the best managers I’ve played for. He was great for me."
Jill Scott [The Telegraph]
"Probably 10,000 times! It was really special: I was back in the team and it was all very emotional. That qualification came at the ideal time, and everything worked out like I’d dreamed."
Jefferson Farfan on how many times he has watched the goal he scored that secured qualification for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™ [FIFA.com]
"If he [younger brother Hugo] listens to those who want to help him, he is going to be successful. He does things I couldn't do at his age. He has everything to do well and reach the first team. For his age he works a lot."
Joao Felix [BTV]
"I always tell my players: we never lose, we either win or learn."
Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini [The Guardian]
"We have to stop comparing women’s soccer with men’s soccer, first of all. It hurts when I hear this. We see people saying: ‘Marta won the trophy for best player in the world six times, but she never won a World Cup.’ Well, you have Messi and Ronaldo winning the same title, but they also never won a World Cup. But the way that they mention it is different."
Marta [The Telegraph]