The Week in Quotes

17 Jul 2021

"Hi Hernan! Obviously I heard your story and I think it's crazy that you're recording your goals like that. I want to send you a big hug and thank you for the work you do, for keeping track, and I wish you all the best. See you soon!" Lionel Messi to a 100-year-old fan who keeps a handwritten record of every goal he scores

“This England side... they spend the whole game with their a** in their own box while having so much quality in the squad. It's sad.” Rafael van der Vaart “For someone who is mostly in control of their emotions, I was extremely emotional the moment I stepped foot back on the park. For the entirety of my eight-minute appearance, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Emotions quickly turned into pure adrenaline. I told myself I wouldn’t go too hard but the moment you step foot on the field you lose all control. See ball, get ball. My brain was working faster than my legs and I got tumbled over a couple of times but I had the time of my life. It was incredible to be back out there, to be back in my happy place.” Rebekah Stott [Beatitbystotty blog]

“It’s a different kind of happiness, incredible. It’s difficult to describe the sensation. Against Brazil, in Brazil… we couldn’t believe it, we were shocked. Leo [Messi] was very emotional. He was the one who needed it the most.” Sergio Aguero [F90]

"Neymar convinced me before signing for PSG. I have been talking to Neymar for six or seven years now. Despite the fact he played for Barça and I played for Madrid, we have always had an extraordinary friendship." Sergio Ramos [Diario AS] "For Messi, the misfortune is that he was the replacement for Diego Maradona. And it is very difficult to overshadow Diego, with the worship that he’s received around the world. If he wants to be better than Maradona, he is not going to achieve it even if he wins four World Cups in a row. He still hasn't won the World Cup. No matter how many titles he wins, or what he wins, it can never be compared to what Diego did." Mario Kempes [ESPN]

“I didn’t celebrate because I didn’t realise we had won. I was already down after Jorginho’s missed penalty and I thought we had lost, but instead I had to continue. Now, with VAR, they always look at your feet because you can’t be in front of the line, so I turned to the referee to see if everything was ok. Then I saw my team-mates coming towards me and everything started from there. I didn’t understand anything!” Gianluigi Donnarumma [Sky Sport Italia] “The first two games in the World Cup qualifiers were pretty decent with a back four, then he changed to a back three. Why? Low wanted to integrate Kroos. "If we had played with Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Thomas Müller in midfield, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane on the wings and Kai Havertz upfront, we would be in a completely different position today. I'm 100 per cent sure of that. I like Kroos, he was world-class in the past, but his way of playing is completely done. He no longer fits in with today's football. We are 1-0 down against England in the last quarter of an hour. Kroos no longer crossed the halfway line. He played sideways, then sideways again, until the opposing defence had organised themselves Uli Hoeness [Sport1]