"Coaching Messi would give me more joy than all the titles I have earned as a coach. I always say my outstanding accounts were to coach Maradona and Messi. I would have liked to share experiences with Maradona, beyond the fact I've been able to catch big players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldo or Figo, who were fantastic."
Luiz Felipe Scolari (Super Deportivo Radio)
"He's a magical man. What he knows how to do is extremely difficult for me to try [to copy] and I’ve already given up, but I have genuine admiration for what he does. Interpreting the novel decisions that he incorporates into a game is already a way of falling in love with football."
Marcelo Bielsa on Pep Guardiola (DAZN)
"Toni Kroos is incredible, he is a legend. Nobody can play like him. He has a lot of class."
"It’s (coaching) strengthened my compassion because I would say that my strongest attribute as a person is my compassion. When you’re learning the stories of 25 young men, you develop more compassion. You grow to really love them as people and you treat them like they’re your sons. That’s really helped me grow as a person. What I’ve learned about myself is that in order to be successful, I have to be really intentional about what I’m doing every day. When I first started last year, as you would expect, a lot of things were happening on the fly and I was reacting to things because I didn’t have the experience. Now I’m anticipating things before they happen. When I show up every day I’m very intentional about how I act, what I say, things I do, but in a very authentic way. The number one attribute of being a leader is being authentic. If you’re not authentic, people see right through it."
Landon Donovan on coaching (FIFA.com)
“No, in Bayern, you cannot learn this. You have to build it up with experience and self-confidence when you win and win and win. But this winning identity of the club, in the period I’ve been playing for the club, has maybe exploded a bit. Bayern was always good in the past. Bayern was always a contender, but since 2010 we were in the Champions League final in 2010, 2012, 2013, then with Pep [Guardiola] in the semi-finals 2014, 2015, 2016. So we always had this feeling that we are the best team on the pitch before the game starts. After the game, it could be the other way around! But to feel like the underdog, I cannot remember. Okay, I always try to have this feeling that we can beat every team we play against. Maybe sometimes that’s very subjective, and maybe it’s a trick I play on myself, to play that well. Because what is your advantage when you think you are about to lose? I don’t know. I don’t think there is an advantage. So I try to think that we are the best in every single game, but I know that we have to do it with a lot of work. You don’t have to think everything is going automatically.”
Thomas Muller (The Independent)
“The celebrations were amazing, but I spent most of the night going up and down in a lift! Our party was on this rooftop, and I kept getting messages to go down to reception to let members of my family in. Then word went around that if you said, ‘I’m Jamie Carragher’s cousin’, you’d get into the party. I let loads of fans in but I didn’t mind – it meant they got pictures with the trophy.”
Jamie Carragher on the celebrations after winning the 2005 Champions League with Liverpool (FourFourTwo)
"Obviously I was upset, of course, I want Mexico and USA to qualify to the Olympics."
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez on the USA failing to qualify for Tokyo 2020 (ESPN)
"I'm someone who always gives absolutely everything for my club, and I think the fans felt that too. The atmosphere in the stadium sometimes gave me goosebumps. Once the fans created a giant Dragon Ball Z banner! I totally celebrated this because Dragon Ball Z was my childhood favorite along with Prince of Bel-Air. In order not to miss them, I even ran home from school! And suddenly you are in the stadium years later, playing top-level football and see a huge Dragon Ball Z banner. Then you connect all of this to your childhood and your dream. Unfortunately, I won't see the fans again because of the coronavirus, but I won't forget it."
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Spox)
"I’d have my ashes scattered in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. I don’t really have any deep connections to London other than Tottenham so that’s as good a place as any!"
Eric Dier (Evening Standard)
"I used to get the bus to the town centre. One of the boys' dads let us use the multi-storey car park attached to his business to train on after dark. At least we did until we broke too many of the lights. It wasn't a reflection on our training by the way, it was just the lads trying to break the lights… But they are brilliant memories of being in a team for the first time and playing for a league and playing every Sunday. They helped to shape me. I fell in love with the game watching the FA Cup final and World Cups on television but when you are playing and feel part of a team with the kit on, it's really special."
Gareth Southgate (Sportsmail)
"He would have been about 13 or 14 and like most boys that age, they want to be a number 10. And I remember, we sat down with him and we said, ‘we think you’re doing yourself a disservice, we think you can do all of it. So we came up with, ‘we think you can be a 22.’ His eyes lit up and we knew had hooked him from then on in! We said we thought he could be a holding midfielder, or a four. We thought he could be a box-to-box, which is an eight and we thought he could be a scorer and a creator, so a 10. And from the age of 13 onwards he has held on to that all the way through and you can see that in his game. He made his debut at Birmingham City and he said, ‘I want my squad number to be number 22’ and said the same thing at Dortmund. So what I am hoping is that kids are going to look at that and go, ‘I am going to be the next 22’ and he sets a trend off in terms of being able to do everything. I genuinely think he can do everything; I think depending on the tactical needs of the game, he can play in all three positions and I think that is what makes him so unique."
Birmingham City's head of academy Mike Dodds on why Jude Bellingham wears number 22 (talkSPORT)