World Football

The Week in Quotes

Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets emotional during a press conference
© imago images

"Vincent really cried when I left him. But now it's okay.

"I have two little ones at home who kick the ball, my wife asks me to tell them to stop but I say, 'No, we can buy new things if they break them.'"
An emotional Zlatan Ibrahimovic on how his children feel about him playing for Sweden again

"It's a difficult feeling to describe because I didn't know how to celebrate it. It's very strange, but, well, my team-mates are happy because we deserved more. Two years ago, I came close to scoring here with Girona and that memory came back to me, so I could go up with the manager's permission. The goal fell to me and I am very thankful."
Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine 'Bono' Bounou (Sevilla's website)

"I hope the trophy goes to Munich more regularly in the future. The first moment I received the World Footballer trophy, I didn't really think about what it meant. Now I sometimes walk by the room, take a quick peek, look at the trophy and think, 'Oh, wow. You really did it.' That makes me very proud."
Robert Lewandowski (Welt am Sonntag)

Robert Lewandowski of FC Bayern Muenchen receives the FIFA Men's Player 2020 trophy by FIFA president Gianni Infantino
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"He is a great player, he's at a spectacular level, he has an admirable physical strength. He's one of the best No9s in the world and will define an era. I'm a bit more in favour of Haaland, but Mbappe is at a great level."
Luis Suarez on Erling Haaland, speaking to Gerard Romero on Twitch

"I’m aware that this could be the end of my career as a coach, but I have no regrets and don’t wish to have any. The world I’ve been a part of for my whole life probably isn’t right for me anymore – I no longer see myself in it. I’ve certainly changed, but the world is moving faster than I thought too. That’s why I believe the time has come for me to stop being swept along, stop for a while and rediscover my true self once again."
Cesare Prandelli resigns as Fiorentina coach

Head Coach of ACF Fiorentina Cesare Prandelli looks on 
© Getty Images

“This is bigger than the sport. He is my absolute world. I’d kept things pretty quiet [with the team] because I wanted them to stay focused on making sure we had a strong finish to the end of the season. As we know, it’s been very up and down. They knew Matt had surgery and everything so they’ve been amazing in terms of messaging us both and making sure that we knew that they are here for us. They’ve been perfect."
Rhali Dobson (Australian Associated Press)

"Facing Messi, I had to suffer. He goes out to assassinate the goalkeepers. The goalkeepers, the defenders - he's going to kill [them]. And killing means scoring as many goals as possible. He doesn't care if you know him, if you're Argentine or if you're a friend. He'll talk to you afterwards, greet you and everything else, but in those 90 minutes he's on a mission to hit you with goals."
Willy Caballero (90min)

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona scores the opening goal as Willy Caballero of Malaga CF attempts to save 
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"It would be amazing to play for Wales in a World Cup - that is the dream for me. We need to give it a really good go and give everything for the country. It might be the last time our generation has the chance to qualify for a World Cup. It is massive for us and we want to try and take this opportunity to qualify. We haven't done that for a long time."
Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale of Wales warms up during a Wales Training Session
© Getty Images

"I've never had a depression and I hope I never do but I came close. I don't believe it is given the importance that it has. When your head doesn't work well, you are your worst enemy. During those times, it doesn't matter what you do, you are always fighting against yourself. Depression is an illness just like breaking your ankle. Just as we train in the gym or on the pitch to improve our technique and our tactical abilities, I believe the mind is something you also have to train. You have to be ready and that [seeing a psychologist] helps you a lot. Even for my generation, in recent years, it wasn't seen as something normal to see a psychologist. But inevitably, it has to be something normal. Today it is more common and there will be a day when it will be compulsory. There are people that go through difficult times."
Alvaro Morata (El Mundo)

Spain v Greece - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
© Getty Images

"Since the 2002 World Cup was in Japan and South Korea, before smartphones began to pop up, it was hard for us to visualise exactly what our games meant to the Brazilian people. So Felipao had an idea. Before the final against Germany, he showed us a video in which an indigenous village in Brazil was watching one of our games and celebrating the goals. They were going crazy! It was incredible. And that fired us up. We had been on the road for 50 days on the other side of the world. We were missing our families and friends. Now we were hours away from being able to win the World Cup. When we left that meeting, we felt certain that we were going to bring the trophy back with us to Brazil. Which is what happened — and which is something I will never forget. When the final whistle blew, we all just ran around like madmen. And I remember a camera came over to film me. I was very emotional, and I was thinking about how my family would celebrate. I was like, “Mom, I’m coming back! As a WORLD CHAMPION!”
Gilberto Silva (The Players' Tribune)

"My favourite player [in the England squad] was Jack Grealish; top man! He is a naturally gifted footballer and for me, he is a joy to watch. If I could watch any player play, it would be him. He can do everything - he is exciting and tries to make things happen."
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Super 6 Podcast)

"My role model was always Xavi Hernandez from Barcelona. He was never the biggest, but he played with vision, technique and [superb] passing, always bringing others into the game. He impressed me and that's how I wanted to play. I got to know him during a training camp in Doha and it was a really cool moment!"
Joshua Kimmich (Bild)

"I don't think anybody is going to discuss rocket science with the guys from NASA, but everyone around the world thinks they can discuss football with one of the most important managers in the game." 
Jose Mourinho (Game on with Mourinho event organised by Tottenham Hotspur's sponsor AIA)

Jose Mourinho, of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during a Premier League match
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