“I’d definitely start getting a few Hollywood actresses in there! But if you’re talking about sitting down at a dinner table then Mandela, Muhammad Ali, JFK, Sinatra to add a bit a spice to it and Jimmy Reid to cause trouble – it would be a fantastic table. I’d have to serve pasta – Sinatra wouldn’t sit down unless it was pasta.”
Sir Alex Ferguson on who would be his dream guests for a dinner party

“Once after I scored against Milan, a fan told me he wanted to give me a race horse as a gift! Sometimes I have to leave the training session locked in the boot of my car!”
Ezequiel Lavezzi on his popularity at Napoli

“To see him close up - his acceleration, explosiveness and technique at pace - was a real eye-opener for me. The control he has of the ball at full pace is amazing. It reminds me of the Scalextric I used to play as a kid – those cars going flat out from a standing start. What’s surprised me about him more than anything, though, is what he means to people in India and Bangladesh, for example. It’s incredible. It’s the same in Venezuela, and Colombia was something else. He means so much to people. They idolise him and they’re crazy about him on and off the pitch. It’s unbelievable.”
Alejandro Sabella to FIFA.com on Lionel Messi

“If I buy a Fiat Uno, I read that a guy like me is better suited to a Ferrari, but if I choose a Ferrari, they write that I should keep my feet on the ground and buy a Fiat Uno. If I laugh then I am unprofessional; if I don’t laugh then I’m the sulky rich guy who cannot enjoy even the best job in the world.”
Mario Balotelli

“I was too nervous to take it any longer. I went outside. I knew that if he Petkovic scored, everyone would run out into the street celebrating. I waited, hoping, but the silence lasted ages. I thought he had already taken it and missed, but then came those screams, everyone running into the street. That’s when the nervousness turned to euphoria. I screamed like I have never screamed in my life. It was the greatest happiness. It was a wonder goal from Pet - there’s no way I will ever forget it.”
Jose Aldo, who will defend his UFC featherweight title in Rio de Janeiro tonight, on the last-gasp free-kick Dejan Petkovic netted to snatch Flamengo victory over Vasco in the Campeonato Carioca 2001 final

"The whistles at Cristiano Ronaldo? The people in the crowd are the ones who pay, and they are always right. If the spectators demand from the players that they do their utmost and score goals, the players shouldn't question this.”
Alfredo Di Stefano

"I am more interested in the women than the food!
Bastian Schweinsteiger
reponds to being asked for his thoughts on Indian food upon his arrival in New Dehli

“If Neymar wants to be CR7, he should to go to Madrid. If he wants to be like Messi, he should sign for Barça. The best of all was Pele, who was a mixture of Di Stefano, Maradona, Cruyff and Leo Messi."
Cesar Luis Menotti

“I've played with some great defenders like Thuram, Cannavaro, Pique and Puyol, but Thiago Silva is on another level. At the moment, Thiago Silva is the most complete defender in the world. When I see Thiago play, I see myself - but as a defender.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

“I rate him very highly, even if now and again his brain stops and he needs a shock. At times he doesn’t touch the ball, he doesn’t chase opponents… he just watches the match.”
Claudio Ranieri on Mauro Zarate

“It is very important that Messi wins a World Cup with Argentina. But although Argentina have not won a World Cup with him, we know we have one of the best players in the world. We are proud of Messi, not the other way around."
Julio Grondona, AFA President

“The Bundesliga is a stronger competition than the English and Spanish leagues. In Spain there are only two strong teams, and in England there are only four. There are several strong teams in Germany that can all beat each other.”
Thomas Muller

“Nobody would have put a penny on us. We were in a very tough group that included France, Uruguay and Denmark. But being among those big teams meant there was no pressure on us. It improved our fighting spirit and we weren’t scared of anyone. We were determined to upset the odds. After our opening victory against the defending champions France, the lads felt ten feet tall.”
Bruno Metsu to FIFA.com on his then Senegal side’s run to the Korea/Japan 2002 quarter-finals

“It was a dream, a story you'd tell a young kid. He was already a legend here. Now he's added just a bit more to the whole story.”
Arsene Wenger on Thierry Henry rising from the bench to score a late winner against Leeds United in his first appearance since rejoining Arsenal

“In Italy they called me ‘Gladiator’, and here it’s ‘Pitbull’. Not bad, eh? The problem is that a lot of people see the ‘Pitbull’ nickname as a negative thing, as if I was all running and no touch. That’s not the way I see myself because I know I’ve got skill, I’m a good passer of the ball and I don’t make many mistakes. While I agree that I’m a pitbull, I think I’m a pretty stylish one!”
Felipe Melo of Galatasaray to FIFA.com

“We'll see them on the pitch!”
Marco Reus, who recently joined Borussia Dortmund despite being coveted by Bayern Munich, responds to taunts from the Bavarian club’s employees Jupp Heynckes, Holger Badstuber and Franck Ribery

"In Europe I want to play for Barcelona. I feel very comfortable and loved. But before I retire I am absolutely certain that I want to play in Argentina. It is a dream and I am going to make it come true."
Lionel Messi