World Football

The Week in Quotes

FC Barcelona's Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona) celebrates her team's first goal 
© imago

"First of all, more than 60,000 people at the ground, it's a 'brutal' number for women's football! I have been in women's football for many years and I have been to grounds with 20, 30 or 40 people, with the parents and four friends watching the game. And to be able to coach at a stage like this is a big reward that we should all enjoy."
Barcelona women's coach Lluis Cortes speaking after his side defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0 in front of a world record crowd for women's club football of 60,739 fans at the Wanda Metropolitano

"I have a lot of respect for [Zinedine Zidane]. He was my idol. Thanks to him I began playing. But for the wins achieved with [Roberto Martinez], I choose him."
Asked to compare the Real Madrid coach and his own for Belgium, Eden Hazard had kind words for both

"It’s true there was a lot of negativity at the time – maybe too much – but I always believed I could help improve things. Now the stadiums are sold out for national team matches again, and that hadn’t been the case in the last few years."
Speaking to, Ronald Koeman divulges the key factors behind the turnaround he's spearheading for the Netherlands

“I remember one training session. Because we were both strikers, we were never on the same team and, at one point, there was a 50/50 challenge. He went full-on against me! That is why he changed me. It was an eye-opener. The guy had to fight to be in the position he is in.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic taught Romelu Lukaku a valuable lesson while at Manchester United, the Belgian forward told the club website

“He’s absolutely incredible. When you go to the market level and age is also a factor, he’s the most valuable player in the world in this moment. Hypothetically, he’s the most expensive transfer in football now.”
Jose Mourinho gushes over PSG starlet Kylian Mbappe for beIN SPORTS

“It’s such an exciting time. [Gareth Southgate] is in for a great ride with these young kids. I just see so much talent there, the future looks amazing. I think we are on course to win a European Championship or World Cup in the next eight years. There is a big competition in this group of England players.”
Building on their semi-finals appearance at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes England can reach the summit with their current squad

"It doesn't surprise me for what it is, it surprises me because he's still at this level. I believe there is also a Messi effect, the infinite challenge, this desire to always outdo himself. At 34 and after so many successes, Cristiano still finds surprising motivations."
Brazil World Cup winner Kaka offers La Gazzetta dello Sport his theory on how Cristiano Ronaldo stays on top of his game

"I still consider myself one of the best in the world, even though the Spanish press want to kill me. I feel strong, I'm calm, playing well and training well."
Under increased scrutiny at Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois maintains his self-confidence

"Yes, [Lionel Messi] could be cloned using current techniques. It would be like if two twins had been born and we froze one for 20 or 30 years. This individual would have the same potential as Messi, but genetics is only one component. It's up to us to complete the job."
Lionel Messi is one of a kind, said renowned genetic scientist Arcadi Navarro on Cadena SER

"[Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] is a special man! I think he’s done an incredible job with United. They have to give him the job permanently. You can feel the pride and passion he has for the club and its history, and see the players honoured to wear the Red Devils crest under him."
'The Notorious' UFC megastar Conor McGregor urges Manchester United to remove the caretaker label from their head coach in a wide-ranging interview for

"It's a close group. It's a group that has one goal and that's to win games and to go to the Gold Cup and win it. I believe we can, and everyone is motivated and excited. We've stepped up a level of play, even from last year, and I think everyone is committed now.”
Canada forward Cyle Larin shares with the high hopes he and his team-mates have for 2019

"You’d literally be playing out here and getting scraped up off the floor. There'd be scars all over your knees. But we loved it."
Montserrat international Bradley Woods-Garness speaks with The Guardian about playing in London

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