World Football

The Week in Quotes

Brazil's Pele directs his header towards the England goal in the 1970 FIFA World Cup Final, forcing an iconic diving save from England goalkeeper Gordon Banks 
© Getty Images

"I scored so many goals in my life, but many people, when they meet me, always ask me about that save. While it was indeed phenomenal, my memory of Gordon is not defined by that – it is defined by his friendship. He was a kind and warm man who gave so much to people."
Pele offers his lasting memories of England goalkeeper Gordon Banks, who passed away this week

"Liverpool are my favourites to win the Champions League – they have the most complete team, and they're ready to win the trophy."
Lothar Matthaus pens for FourFourTwo an explanation of why he's backing The Reds in the UEFA Champions League

“I think African teams are really getting better. The last Cup of Nations was of real quality. Teams have buckled up, prepared hard, trained hard and it was pretty difficult.”
In FIFA.com's interview with Asisat Oshoala, the Nigerian forward details the improving quality of African women's football

"Messi, unfortunately, has not yet managed to win any trophy or tournament for the national team and the Argentine fans are very demanding. I was Leo's colleague, I know what he feels about the country and how much it hurts when things don't go as he would like. The most important thing is to trust that everything will go well, and I believe that the next World Cup will be for Argentina."
Lionel Messi's former team-mate Javier Saviola backs the Argentine superstar to become a world champion in 2022

"I think [Luka Modric] is one of the most complete midfielders in the world. He has fantastic pace, he has a vision for the game that is amazing. I played against him at an early age, when he was a young player. I'm happy that he won all these things, because it's not often that a player like that gets that credit. Normally it's a striker or somebody that has been 'wow'. But this year, let's say last year, was his year.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic backs Luka Modric as deserving of the accolades from his 2018 campaign

"Finally, Major League Soccer is very close to the others. I believe that now, baseball, in my country, is for the older generation. Young people don't watch much baseball. American football [NFL] also has issues with security and health. Basketball [NBA] is in a good phase, but MLS is really growing. In five, ten, 15 years, I believe we will be the third, second or first sport in the country."
Major Arena Soccer League side San Diego Sockers' Landon Donovan speaks with ESPN Deportes about the growth of Major League Soccer (MLS) in the USA

“I’ve always wanted to be a professional footballer, to make people watch me and say ‘whoa', like how I used to watch Ronaldinho. Hopefully, I can reach that level one day, and players will look up to me. My role model was Ronaldinho. The reason behind that is how he just beat people with ease and did things that no one else was doing at his time."
Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho reveals to DAZN what inspires him on the pitch

Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy waves at fans after the MLS soccer match against Toronto FC
© Getty Images

"Del Piero was good, But I think what [Diego Castro] has done for four years speaks volumes. For me he's the best player to play in the league."
Perth Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy crowns Diego Castro as the A-League's all-time best

“It's only normal that [Kylian Mbappe], who is 20, thinks of me as a father figure or even a grandpa. But I think that's nice. I've experienced so many wonderful things in my career. Firstly as a young, adolescent, cocky player who was surrounded by older players and my mission then was to be accepted by them. Then as a young man, and lastly as an older man who meets a young man who was just like me when I was the same age.”
Gianluigi Buffon tells CNN what it's like to be a grandfatherly presence at PSG for Kylian Mbappe

“Yes I got the tattoo in Elvish from Lord of the Rings, but funnily enough I haven't watched the movie. I just did it because I liked it and they told me it was from the movie. So I did it. But I've never watched the film, it might mean anything. But I don't know.”
Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero solves the mystery of his forearm tattoo for fans

"Leaving Madrid has never crossed my mind, I trust myself more than any other person and there is no reason to leave. If that happens, they can pay me and everything will be fixed. I trust in myself, in my work, but if the day comes when Madrid do not want me, I'm going. I'll be sad, but I'll go, though I'm sure that I'm not going to be offloaded."
Marcelo affirms his desire to stay in Madrid to Esporte Interactivo, but issues a caveat

"We've got Chelsea and Liverpool in the next two games so whoever feels sorry for themselves will not play the next game. Don't feel sorry for yourselves. This is a level up from what we're used to."
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's message to his players following their Champions League defeat to PSG at Old Trafford

"[Dortmund] know if they slip up they've still got to come here, so they're under pressure too. We always are [under pressure]. I think we're going to maintain a high level and I think it's Dortmund who are under pressure."
Bayern Munich are ready to mount their Bundesliga title challenge, James Rodriguez told the official league website

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