“When I turn 100, I want all my friends there [in the Maracana] with me. If I’m well physically, I’ll even play for ten minutes. But it has to be in the Maracana.”

“They didn’t get angry because I was booked for taking my shirt off, but they saw my physique and got jealous!”
Mario Balotelli after he was booked for taking his jersey off after scoring against Germany

“It was a very emotional moment when I scored [the golden goal] in the final of the EURO, because I didn't play much with the national side then. But this was even more special. Not only does it mean that River return to the top flight, but I'm also swollen with pride.”
David Trezeguet after his double earned River Plate a 2-0 win over Almirante Brown and a return to the Argentinian top flight

“Mario is crazy talented. But he infuriates me when he scores and doesn't celebrate. How can you be 21 and be unhappy at certain times? But if he scores against Spain, I will celebrate in his place!”
Gennaro Gattuso

“After watching the [England-Italy] game, I think that Rooney only understands Scottish. That's because he only plays well in Manchester, where Sir Alex Ferguson speaks Scottish.”
Fabio Capello

“Hart looked very confident in himself, so I thought we had to bring him down a peg or two.”
Andrea Pirlo after scoring a Panenka-styled penalty in the shootout victory over England

“Modric is an outstanding footballer. I know that Manchester United and Chelsea want him, but in the Spanish league he could be much brighter, because it’s more physical in England and therefore more difficult for his qualities to show. I believe he can win the [FIFA] Ballon D’Or if he moves to Spain.”
Darijo Srna

“Until a couple of days ago my daughter was saying she wanted Italy to lose so I’d come home. But she came here and had fun with the Azzurri shirt, the face paint and the atmosphere. She’s supporting us now!”
Daniele De Rossi

“Cristiano Ronaldo had been struggling for form at international level for years. The world's best player, along with Lionel Messi, seemed frustrated and petulant when playing for Portugal. Luckily for him, Portuguese coach [Paulo] Bento has brought in lass Pepe in defence, Chelsea's [Raul] Meireles in midfield, and Manchester United's Nani, giving him free range up front. After a superb couple of games, Ronaldo started playing - scoring three goals and bringing Portugal to an unexpected semi-final. It is always great to see the best in a superstar. He has shown his countrymen that he does deserve a monument in Lisbon.”
Diego Maradona

“I like Balotelli – he’s crazier than me! He can score a winning goal and then set fire to the hotel.”
Goran Ivanisevic, former tennis player