World Football

The Week in Quotes

Angel Di Maria (R) of PSG celebrates his goal with his teammates
© imago

"You've spent the last few years fighting like a warrior, just like you always did on the pitch. Impressive! You'll be missed."
Netherlands team-mate Rafael van der Vaart paid tribute to Fernando Ricksen, who passed away this week after six years battling motor neurone disease

"I hope I leave with the players and the fans that it is possible to be a ruthless competitor but also try to be a good person. And that it's cool to work hard – I think I've always given it my all, there's no secret about that. You know that I'm leaving my heart out there, and that's something to be celebrated."
FIFA Women's World Cup™ champion Heather O'Reilly will retire at the end of her season with North Carolina Courage

"When you look at Messi, he does everything and more that [Diego Maradona] could do. He's the best dribbler I've ever seen; he's as good a passer as I've ever seen. And then you take into account the longevity that Messi has done it in."
Gary Lineker breaks down the sustained excellence of The Best FIFA Men's Player finalist Lionel Messi for talkSPORT

"I have to keep going and help my team in the best way, and I think the best way is to score goals and make it easy for everybody. To score goals is easy – you just have to be like Zlatan."
The ever-quotable Zlatan Ibrahimovic shares his secret to goal-scoring success after netting a hat-trick for LA Galaxy

"He will be a proper player. He's a talent, dynamic, good with both feet. Super exciting player, good signing."
The Best FIFA Men's Coach finalist Jurgen Klopp expects big things from Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, whom he brought to Borussia Dortmund in 2015

“The quality he possesses is unbelievable. He's one of the best, if not the best, number nines in the world. We wouldn't swap him for any other player. You'd struggle to name a better link player. Obviously there's Lionel Messi at Barcelona, but he's out of this world. If you're talking about the Premier League I think Bobby is the best and he is still so underrated for what he does for the team."
Roberto Firmino is irreplaceable for Liverpool, team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold told the club's official matchday magazine

"All three are wonderful players. I think Messi and Ronaldo have won this award five times each. Van Dijk just won the UEFA Award and based on the success of Liverpool last season it may be his turn. As a Manchester United fan, I would probably vote for Ronaldo!"
Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt shares his thoughts on The Best FIFA Men's Player finalists during a wide-ranging interview with FIFA.com

"I think we made them weak. Running so much, pressing so hard and doing our passing – we know they struggle a lot trying to recover the ball. I think that was the most important thing we did. We trained for these past two days and it came out perfectly. This is the most important thing and we are very happy about that."
Missing Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria told ESPN how PSG were still able to score a convincing UEFA Champions League win over Real Madrid

"The kind of football I’ve always liked and will always want to implement is the same as when I was a five-year-old – playing in a way that puts a smile on your face. And how does this come about? By enjoying having the ball. I want my players to keep it on the deck and move the ball about. I think that they enjoy playing this way rather than sitting back and trying to win games that way."
Matias Almeyda has spearheaded a turnaround in his first season as head coach of Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes

"Yeah, it's exhausting under Pep, there is no doubt about that. But it's what we have to do. If you want to go for all the trophies season after season you need to have someone who pushes you day after day."
Bernardo Silva tells the Daily Mail how the teams of The Best FIFA Men's Coach finalist Pep Guardiola maintain such a high level throughout the season

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