World Football

The Week in Quotes

The electronic scoreboard shows Italy's Paolo Rossi as man of the match at the end the 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-final against Poland in Barcelona.
© Getty Images

“We always got on so well with Paolo. We had a fantastic relationship. He was so kind.”
Italy 1982 FIFA World Cup-winning captain Dino Zoff (Gazetta dello Sport)

“I was born on 5 July 1982 but my father started talking to me about you from that day on. As I grew older, he told me more and showed me more pictures. I think I was born under your star. I believe in fate.”
Italy 2006 FIFA World Cup winner Alberto Gilardino

"It was a pleasure to share so much with you. Alejandro was a great person, aside from being a model professional who shaped my career and helped me learn much from him. We enjoyed together some of my favourite footballing memories during qualification for the World Cup and in the World Cup itself. My condolences to all his family and friends."

"So much sadness. Thank you for all the trust you had in us. For knowing how to motivate us and pass along all of your wisdom. You were much more than a coach, thank you maestro, thank you Sabella."

"I give thanks to life for having allowed our paths to cross. Fly high, maestro."

"I have always had a very cordial relationship with him (Messi). I shared 12, 13 or 14 years of award ceremonies with him. I never saw him as a rival. He always tries to do what is best for his team and me too. I always got along very well with him. But we know that in football, for the press, for the show, a rivalry is sought, but I have always gotten along well with him. I see him as always."
Cristiano Ronaldo after Juventus' 3-0 win over Barcelona (Movistar+)

"I have a soft spot for Lionel Messi, he is a guy that every time I see him play football makes my life better. I hope if he comes to Manchester it's to my club and not the other."
Juan Mata (Laureus Sport)

“I’m one of the top five strikers in the world. I can’t do anything wrong from a tactical point of view or even the movements. If Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi or Lewandowski have exceeded their limits, why can’t I do it too?”
Romelu Lukaku (France Football)

“It’s fantastic that these two players have been so long at this top level in the world. They are the best players, in my opinion, in the last 10-15 years. Being successful all this time is incredible. It’s a great compliment to those players. They are different, but they have incredible stats about scoring goals, hat-tricks, about winning prizes. It’s not nice to say who is better because both are incredible, I admire both players because they gave us so many nice evenings with great goals, with great titles."
Ronald Koeman

"We don’t need (Erling) Haaland until we have Lewandowski, but he’s an animal, he’s scoring lot of goals, he deserves the Golden Boy."
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Tuttosport)

“I’ve been a lucky guy to share a season [with Ronaldo]. Training with him was like a war because I didn’t think about anything other than winning everything, including the little games we played. Cristiano was a good kid who increased the competitive atmosphere of the team, At the Christmas parties we organised the players had a great time, but he was always very professional. I never saw him even take a drink. He took extreme care of himself. You’d come to training and he’d already be in the gym. Then, he’d stay for extra work after training to work on his finishing, before going swimming and then returning the gym. He was determined to be the best."
Dimitar Berbatov (Diario AS)

"I don't want to become just a good American player. I want to consistently be one of the top 10 players in the world."
Giovanni Reyna (The Players' Tribune)

"I feel like I've been here different generations. I played against (former Milan defender) Paolo Maldini and now I'm playing with his son, Daniel. Hopefully I can play with Daniel's son also, that would be a miracle."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (BBC Sport)

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