World Football

The Week in Quotes

Wesley Sneijder
© Getty Images

"I could have become like Messi or Ronaldo. I simply didn’t feel like it. I enjoyed my life, maybe I had a glass [of wine] at dinner. Leo and Cristiano are different, they have made many sacrifices. And that’s fine with me. My career, however, was still amazing."
Wesley Sneijder [Sky Sport]

"Football can show the way to the rest of society how we should behave. We speak a lot about racism now. Football is based on merit only — not on who you are, where you come from and how you look. That’s a good way to teach the world how we should behave. Sport, in general, is a great leader in that way."
Arsene Wenger [The Athletic]

"I give you my opinion: I don't know what other players say but he is a midfielder that has everything. An NBA athlete with Brazilian feet and the combinations of a Spanish midfielder."
Ander Herrera on Paul Pogba [The Athletic]

"If Lionel Messi is talking and giving you advice, you take it as he is by far the best player in the world. If he gives advice, you listen. Sometimes he says you have to be deeper or to the side – small things but it makes the difference."
Frenkie de Jong [BBC Radio 5 Live's European Football Podcast]

"The power of what is happening at the moment is that people are standing together and these observations, these deeper-seated issues are rightly leading to the broader debate on opportunity, on privilege, and it's important people speak out. People have spoken brilliantly over the last week. A lot of that will be uncomfortable for white people, in particular, but they are critical voices to be heard. It's also important to hear from white voices because ultimately they are going to be in the positions to open up opportunity. We are the ones who have to be educated."
Gareth Southgate

“I don’t like it, but only because Magda’s so annoying as a defender! Honestly, once we’re on the pitch, it’s not an issue. I forget about the fact she’s my girlfriend, and she’s the same. She definitely doesn’t hold back!”
Pernille Harder to FIFA.com on playing against her partner Magda Eriksson

"Leo is the best player in the world and the best of all time. I'd always pick the team asking Messi who he wanted next to him, in his team. Every team in the world wants Messi. Then, you have to give him support. He can't run like a 25-year-old kid anymore, although he does sometimes. What we have to do as Barcelona fans is give him the best team in the world to keep enjoying him. He has to play until he's 70 so that we can enjoy him more."
Samuel Eto'o [MARCA]

"Thirty years have passed, and naturally the period of the World Cup is always present in my eyes and my mind. From nothing, I became one of the most important players in the world."
Toto Schillaci on Italy 1990 [Sportsmail]

"It’s an important message. It’s a campaign that’s really dear to us, and the best way we can demonstrate our support further is by committing our prize money towards it and helping those in need."
Emma Hayes on Chelsea Women donating their £100,000 WSL prize money to domestic abuse charity [The Guardian]

"Absolutely incredible. What an experience. My family and I attended many of the games as well as the Final. I have never seen South Africa and all its people come together as a country like that and sadly not again since. The atmosphere was simply amazing and I thought we did a superb job as hosts."
Gary Player on South Africa 2010

"I remember going to Hong Kong before the tournament, when I was at a stage with my alcoholism that I knew if I picked up a drink, I wouldn’t have made the tournament. All the guys wanted to go out and because I had this mask of the captain and the leader, I felt I should go too but I knew if I’d picked up a drink, I don’t know if I could’ve stopped and would’ve missed the tournament. So I locked myself on the 15th floor of the hotel and all the lads went out and had the infamous dentist’s chair while I was in my room, crying my eyes out and scared to death because I knew at that point, after I’d had five or six months trying to moderate my drinking, nothing had worked. But I knew that I could abstain from alcohol while I was playing football, as it was the only thing I had at that moment."
Tony Adams [The FA]

"If this happened to your mother or your sister or your father, you can feel like you want to die, you don't want to go to work, you don't want to do anything, so people have to take this seriously and know that this does not have to happen again."
Allan Saint-Maximin on the death of George Floyd [BBC Radio 5 Live]

"Julian [Nagelsmann] is a driven man, a perfectionist. He can't lose – and it doesn't matter whether it's a competitive game or a casual duel in table tennis, a round of Mikado or a duel with me on penalties. Very good is not good enough for him – that became clear at a young age. So, it is no surprise that he is probably the most exciting coaching talent in Europe today."
Lutz Pfannenstiel [DAZN]

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