World Football

The Week in Quotes

Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team's second goal.
© Getty Images

"I was like Baresi, Maldini and Beckenbauer in one!"
Dimitar Berbatov jokes about the rare time he had to fill in as a defender on a live Q&A on Instagram

"Football is like boxing because you have to know when it is time to attack. At Atletico, we know the virtues we have as a team."
Diego Simeone in an interview with Sergio Goycochea for the Argentinian Football Association's website

"Words could not do justice to say how touching that trip was. Why should me missing a chance in the first five minutes of a game make me go, ‘It’s going to ruin the rest of my weekend?’ Or me having an argument with a team-mate on the training pitch? I don’t have any time for that because life is very short."
Nathan Redmond talks about a trip he made to Ghana last year in an interview with The Guardian

"I was basically eating cardboard and trying to bite chunks out of the wall for the first three days, as I can’t cook anything. Fortunately, I then managed to get food delivered."
Mario Balotelli tells former team-mate Alessandro Matri about the struggles of life during lockdown in an Instagram Live chat

"When France won the 1998 World Cup, I wasn’t even a professional. I was still in Guadeloupe, watching on TV. And eight years later there I was. I was telling my mum in 1998, ‘You will see me in that team.' It shows why you should never quit."
Pascal Chimbonda to The Athletic on making the France squad for Germany 2006

"He was big, strong and if he did a turn he had a real burst of pace. Vision and goalscoring as well. He was just a brilliant player. Probably the one who when I joined Real Madrid, I couldn't stop watching in training. I just thought he was God in many ways."
Michael Owen talks about Zinedine Zidane on the BBC podcast Savage Social

"Before this situation, I hardly even knew I had flowers in my garden. When it is over, I believe I will look at my flowers all the time. I’m talking symbolically. We can look to the little things, not just to the big things."
Rio Ave coach Carlos Carvalhal on the COVID-19 pandemic in an interview with The Guardian

"This has been a wake-up call about our human obligations to one another. You should lend a hand if you’re able. According to your situation, there is always a place for an act of solidarity."
Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri writes about COVID-19 in The Players' Tribune

"I took that decision to go to Barcelona and it was the right one for me because I played a lot of games for their first team. And to train with Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta… brutal. Leo is the best. Andres is an example for me. I couldn’t wait to learn from them and play with them. Messi trains how he plays. He loves to win: in every session, he has to win. But at City, I trained with David Silva and he is right up there. You guys in England fully appreciate Silva’s brilliance but in Spain I am not sure everyone realises how amazing he has been. Silva has reached the heights of Xavi and Iniesta. I cannot speak with authority about City’s entire history but Silva has, without question, been City’s best player for the past decade."
Denis Suarez to The Athletic

"One university student had a father who was a soldier involved in the civil war, so he had a very traumatic background. He joined Football United and within a year he was working for the program and was soon doing an advanced course. He was then in a position to meet and greet new participants and for him this was the first time to meet students from other ethnic groups. He had the opportunity to work together, eat together and live together. And, because of his background, he said, 'Before I would have hated them, but now having met them, I see things differently’."
Dr Tun Aung Shwe talks with about Football United in Myanmar

"I was even a witness at the wedding of a German guy I met in Stuttgart."
France super fan Clement Tomaszewski speaks with about close friends he's met while following his team at World Cups around the world

"None of them [Diouf and Drogba] can come and say that they were at my level or better. And it's not the fact that I say it, it's a fact, it's something that is there. I wanted to be number one and I have been throughout my career."
Samuel Eto'o responds to former Senegal international El Hadji Diouf's claim that he was the top striker of African football

"My advice to the ones who will come after me is that they need to be leaders. That doesn’t mean you come in here and call all the shots. A leader works with people. A leader works alongside team members with expertise that will address the needs of the company. You need to be able to work with people who are leaders in their own right. She/he should be able to encourage and empower those he works with. She/he must have the vision and wisdom to show others the way. She/he should not micromanage people. You need to trust that the people you have around you do their work and not check on them every so often. It’s like on the pitch, there are 11 leaders who have to work with each other."
Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung answers fans' questions celebrating the club's 50th year of existence

“We were away in pre-season and I think they were close to announcing him and giving him a number, but I think he ended up changing his mind at the last minute and signed for Barcelona. It’s strange because in that pre-season tour we were playing against Barcelona, so we were all excited - ‘Ronaldinho, what a player’. He was coming from PSG and we all thought he is going to bring something special – almost like what Cantona brought to the team – and the next minute, three days later we are playing against him in Seattle and everyone is trying to kick him! We tried to boot him because he didn’t sign for us."
Paul Scholes on Ronaldinho to BBC Radio 5 Live

"Sometimes in training, it is like he is training with kids. The way he runs, the way he moves, he leaves you behind him. It looks like we are kids, 12 years old, and he is Usain Bolt. And when he is in front of the goalkeeper he has the capacity to stop and be cold and to score a lot of goals. That's not easy."
Ander Herrera on Kylian Mbappe in an interview with ESPN

Recommended Stories