“I don’t even think tomboy’s the word – I was a boy. One day we were going to the zoo, and I shaved my legs and put nail polish on – that was the day I decided I wanted to be a girl! My mom was like, ‘What!?’ But I knew that I alwayswanted tattoos. So I made this bet with her: if I score ten goals at nationals, can I get a tattoo? My mum goes, ‘Of course, it’s only four games.’ I ended up scoring 13 goals at nationals, so she had to take me. But she said, ‘It’s got to be something you love’. I said, ‘I love soccer’, so she said, ‘Get a soccer ball’. So I got a soccer ball, in flames, on my back! It was terrible! But at the same time I thought it was so cool, because I was 14 and I had a tattoo. I don’t know another parent who would go through with that bet!”
Sydney Leroux

“It’s been an insult to the fans and the entire football community in Simitli. They simply didn’t play seriously in the last few matches. Enough is enough. I’ll be coaching the team for the next game.”
Apostol Apostolov, the major of Simitli, on appointing himself coach of the Bulgarian town’s second-flight side FC Septemvri

“Dani Alves offered me his liver. He was serious, but I could never have accepted it. He also has a family and a career. It is a massive operation and it was too much. The risk that my cousin Gerard took was huge. He saved my life. It is as simple as that. I did not have chemo but the transplant had its own complications. My immune system had to accept the new liver. I was in hospital for 42 days. I was in awful pain. You do not forget that you have cancer. It is always there, in your mind, and physically I felt so weak. The support I received was amazing. One time I was at home and a package arrived from the Far East. I opened it up and thousands of butterflies flew out around my living room. It was different and beautiful. It was so humbling to think that these people cared so much.”
Eric Abidal

”I’m not the smartest guy to choose countries and clubs. I could choose another club in another country where to be champion is easier. I took a risk. I was champion at every club I coached. I came to Inter, Real Madrid and Chelsea. To win the title in Spain with 100 points against the best Barcelona ever was a big achievement that I enjoyed so much. Maybe in the future I have to be smarter and choose another club in another country where everybody is champion. Maybe I will go to a country where a kit-man can be coach and win the title.”
Jose Mourinho seemingly takes a swipe at Pep Guardiola

“I didn’t get recognition until 2008, when I’d been in the team for ten years. If I skip through reports from years gone by, it makes me laugh: they said I was obsolete, that Edgar Davids made me look good, that I only moved the ball from side to side. They called me ‘The Windscreen Wiper’.

“I’d let David Silva have sex with my wife.”
Musician Noel Gallagher when asked who is his favourite Manchester City player is

"He behaves and moves around on the pitch like a youth player. He just stops moving when he loses a duel. This is the behaviour of a child. It's time for him to grow up."
Franz Beckenbauer on Mario Gotze

"I still think I'm the best coach in the Premier League.”
John Carver after his Newcastle United side lost their eighth consecutive game

“He’s spectacular, incredible, a competitive animal. He’s playing further from goal and he’s still scored 40 in the league. If he played in goal he’d score 25!”
Thiago Alcantara on Lionel Messi

"It was difficult for Madrid to play with ten men. Gareth Bale gave them nothing. There was a lack of confidence, he kept making the easy decision. His team-mates can't be happy with him. He took the easy option every time. I'm angry with [Carvajal] and I'm not even involved. It was schoolboy stuff – they should lynch him."
Roy Keane on Real’s defeat by Juventus