The Week in Quotes

19 Jun 2021

"We spoke with him this morning via videocall and we saw his smile on the screen. Then he said, 'How are you all? I think you are worse than I am. I feel like going out to train right now.’ He always thinks about others before himself.” Kasper Hjulmand on Christian Eriksen [press conference]

"I thought I would come here and play with a cigarette in my mouth. instead I’ve learned it’s a tough league.” Gonzalo Higuain on MLS [Bobo TV]

“We all watched that game. We were just freaking out when Gascoigne scored that goal. Wow. Honestly, there is no German player who is not a fan of Gazza. Then the celebration when Teddy is squeezing the water bottle – it was fantastic. But that game, England versus Scotland, it is one of the most intense experiences you can have as a neutral. It's like the Boca Juniors-River Plate. I went to that game and thought, "I might never get out of this stadium!". The whole place was shaking. That is like England and Scotland in ‘96 – two sets of amazing fans, pure excitement, pure entertainment. And then you have Paul Gascoigne on the field, that just takes it to another level.” Jurgen Klinsmann on watching Scotland-England with his Germany team-mates at UEFA EURO 1996 [Sportsmail]

“I was told he was cheering. Fortunately he doesn’t know what an own-goal is. He thinks, ‘The ball in the net is always good’.” Mats Hummels on his three-year-old son’s reaction to his own-goal against France [Bild]

"The moment has come, one of the most difficult in my life, to say goodbye to Real Madrid. I arrived hand in hand with my father (bursts into tears). It's impossible not to get emotional. Thank you, Real Madrid. I will always carry you in my heart. It's the end of a wonderful, unique period in my life.” Sergio Ramos

“A lot of football clubs have offered me contracts. But I have to get in football shape, because football shape is a little bit different from MMA shape. If a club makes me an interesting [offer], I'm going to accept it. I watched football all the time growing up. I think winning the World Cup is better [than winning a UFC title]. I remember watching my first World Cup Final – it was 1998 in France. It was the best thing I've ever seen in my life. Football is on another level.” Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC legend

“That’s Italy! Our country has 60 million coaches and it’s impossible to slip away from them. But at the same time it speaks for how deeply involved Italians are with their national team, especially when it comes to final competitions. Italians love football so much, and that’s fantastic.” Roberto Mancini on the pressure of carrying the hopes of a football-crazy nation []

"I am not that aware of him. It’s an old player working in the studio?" Alexander Isak when told of praise from Gary Lineker in his post-match interview

"One day we met in the morning and everyone was, ‘Where’s N’Golo? We’re starting the meeting.’ Normally he was always on time. Eventually he arrived and everyone started clapping. Antonio [Rudiger] said, ‘What’s happened?’ And he was telling us that he's had a car crash and some people couldn't believe it was him and they were taking pictures and he wanted to be polite. His car was all damaged and the wing mirror had to be taped back on, but he still stopped for photographs, even though it made him late!" Cesc Fabregas on N’Golo Kante [The Telegraph]

"Ronaldinho did things at ten years old that professionals can’t do now." Andre Jardine []

“I think the first two games were easy. You still have to beat what’s in front of you, but I still have doubts they can go to the end. I believe that they lack intensity, power, pace.” Patrick Vieira on Italy's UEFA EURO hopes [ITV]

“Playing against Roberto Carlos was a disaster. He runs so much, he has two or three hearts. After ten minutes, I said, 'Roberto, give me five minutes, please!'” Andriy Voronin [Goal and SPOX]