“I threw myself to the floor and started crying. I remembered everything I went through in life to get to this moment. I lost my mother when I was very young. Many times I had to wait three hours to catch a bus to training. But I always stayed positive and had faith in God. God is so wonderful to me.”
Cortes, who was playing for Carioca minnows Nova Iguacu in April, on being called up by Brazil just five months after joining Botafogo

"Totti is more of a showman than a player nowadays. I might invite him to play guitar with me!”
Massimo Cellino, Cagliari president

“Real Madrid change coaches like people eat chocolates.”
Royston Drenthe

“Maradona is the greatest in history, without doubt. I didn’t see Pele play, but I don’t miss it.”
Lionel Messi

“I’ve only been a professional footballer for a few years. I used to play on Sunday mornings with friends. Playing against Juve is something that I never thought would happen. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for us at Notts County. It’s incredible to think that I’ll be on the same pitch as Del Piero.”
Neal Bishop, a 30-year-old who was playing non-league football four years ago, before representing Notts County against Juventus in the inaugural match at the Turin giants’ new home, the Juventus Stadium

"We have a healthy self-confidence, almost at the point of arrogance - this brings trophies. Sides are scared of facing us, just like it used to be. Finally we do not play the football that is stereotyped as typically German. We're now playing football that is similar to FC Barcelona.”
Paul Breitner on Joachim Low's team

"There are many people who will start to get bored of Barcelona’s football. It is true that their cycle is going well, and they have made fools out of [Real] Madrid, but I think this is the year when Madrid begin to displace them.”
Angel Torres, Getafe president

“I would have liked to join Manchester United. It would be crazy to suggest otherwise. I don't know why my move never materialised. Maybe they never really wanted me."
Wesley Sneijder 
"Europe is still the leading light in football. The last [four] Club World Cups have had European winners, and the last two national teams to have won the World Cup are both European.”
Michel Platini

“Sir Alex Ferguson is my second dad. Just because I play in Madrid I'm not going to miss speaking with the old guys, so when I have an opportunity I speak with Sir Alex Ferguson. I'll never forget who really helped me.”
Cristiano Ronaldo

“Anyone who is not interested in Mario Gotze is clueless.”
Jurgen Klopp, Borussia Dortmund coach

“It’s true that I’m on an assist bonus. I think more clubs could use this assist clause in future.”
Mauro Zarate, the notoriously selfish attacker, on his Inter Milan contract