2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™

12 June - 13 July

2014 FIFA World Cup™

The World Cup group stage in quotes

Mario Balotelli of Italy looks on
© Getty Images

With 48 of the 64 games at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ now in the rear-view mirror, FIFA.com takes a moment to look back over some of the most memorable quotes from the group stage.

Group A

"I don't think Neymar has even started his World Cup yet." Brazil midfielder Willian after A Seleçao swept Cameroon aside 4-1

"That was just frustration as a result of how the game was going. They're not bad guys – on the contrary, they're friends. They're always having fun together." *Cameroon defender Stephane Mbiagives his insight into the altercation between Benjamin Moukandjo and Benoit Assou-Ekotto at the end of Cameroon's 4-0 loss to Croatia

*"We're too good to go home so early." *Croatia midfielder Sammir ahead of his team's meeting with Mexico – and their subsequent elimination

  • "Of course I know that save; I've seen it loads of times. I know it's considered the best save in history and it's a real honour that people are saying mine was similar. I genuinely feel very flattered." *Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoareacts after his stunning save against Brazil was widely compared to Gordon Banks' stop to deny Pele in 1970

Group B

"It was a crazy game. We could have scored five… Oh right, we did score five, but we could have scored six, seven or eight." *Robin van Persie following the Netherlands' 5-1 dismantling of Spain

"Eras end with defeats and this was a painful defeat. We haven't been able to maintain the same levels of conviction, of hunger. The success, the happiness of before is gone. We lost our solidity." *Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso 

"We've seen that we're capable of hurting any opponent. I think we're the best Chile team of all time." Chile midfielderArturo Vidal *"We came up against three of the best nations in the world. People were saying we weren't going to score a goal. Our aim was to ensure that, in four years' time, people will fear us before we go on the pitch as much as they fear us on there now." *Australia coach Ange Postecoglou

Group C

"The group is standing by them and I think that with the choice they made, Yaya and Kolo have shown that they are doing the same for us." *Sabri Lamouchi on the decision of Yaya and Kolo Toure to stay with the Côte d'Ivoire squad after the death of their younger brother

"My mind was clear. I kept my focus and just tried to put it in the back of the net. I've done it thousands of times in training and a few times in matches. If you think about it, it makes no difference if there's one person watching you or thousands in a stadium." *Georgios Samaras on his decisive penalty for Greece against Côte d'Ivoire

  • "It's an honour for me to be here. In claiming this record, I'm a person who embodies Colombian football and Colombian football history." *Colombia goalkeeper *Faryd Mondragon after becoming the oldest player to feature in a FIFA World Cup game at the age of 43 and three days*

"I think the culture of Japanese football and the special characteristics and technique of the players can cut it on the world stage, but physical strength is what is lacking." Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni

Group D

"If we beat Costa Rica I want a kiss, obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen." *Italy striker Mario Balotelli *"I'm going to do anything in my power to win this game. I'm being serious. It's do or die. It's a World Cup." *Forward Daniel Sturridgeahead of England's meeting with Uruguay

"[Uruguay] beat us four years ago in the play-offs, so we have history with them. They beat us and then went on to the semi-finals of the World Cup in South Africa while we watched from our sofas." *Costa Rica captain *Bryan Ruiz in the run-up to his side's 3-1 victory against *La Celeste

"When that vital goal went in, I felt something explode within my chest. Uruguayan players never forget the passion they had in their childhood and the feeling of being a supporter. They did what they've all dreamed about." Uruguay coachOscar Tabarez after his team progressed by downing Italy 1-0

Group E

"I love myself all the time. It's a little arrogant, but even in difficult moments and moments of joy I don't like to criticise myself. There are things I could maybe have done differently, but the 'Pat' of 2010 and the 'Pat' of 2014 – I love them both." France defender *Patrice Evra

"I had the idea even as a young coach that I would retire at the right time, and I'm happy to have made the right decision to enjoy this tournament and retire afterwards. I now have a huge target to meet with Switzerland. My dream is to write a new page of history – and you write history from the quarter-finals onwards." *Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld

"This is something I've dreamed about since I was a kid, when I was out in the countryside selling milk to buy football boots. Luckily for me, now it's coming true." *Ecuador forward Enner Valencia

"I have just now made the decision to step down. I don't know what the federation's officials have in mind, but I want to work elsewhere. We said before the tournament that we needed to wait to then see what everyone wanted to do. Today, I have the impression that my work has come to an end." *Honduras coach *Luis Suarez after his side's third straight defeat *

*  Group F*

"Thank God El Enano [the Dwarf] rubbed the lamp at the end. It was a difficult, hard-fought match, but we knew it would be." Argentina goalkeeper *Sergio Romero lauds Lionel Messi after the latter struck late to see off Iran 1-0

"We have waited so long for this victory. I'm so happy for the country, our fans, the team. It was maybe one of the hardest three points in my career." *Nigeria striker *Peter Odemwingie reflects on the Super Eagles' 1-0 success against Bosnia and Herzegovina*

"We can now go home with our heads held high. We wanted to leave a good impression, but we're not satisfied because we think we could have done more. I'm not being arrogant when I say that, but if we'd played a bit better against Nigeria and had a bit more luck, I think we would have made the Round of 16." *Safet Susic reflects on his Bosnia and Herzegovina side's campaign following their 3-1 win against Iran

"The fact is that Messi can change games just like that. He kept looking and looking and, in the end, he got his reward." *Iran coach Carlos Queiroz reacts to his team's 1-0 loss to Argentina

Group G

"For me, it's the easiest game ever. Regardless of what happens, I can only win. My only wish is that nobody gets hurt." *Prince Boateng, father of the Boateng brothers ahead of the match between Jerome's Germany and Kevin-Prince's Ghana

*"We have many young players and we are trying to build for the future. I've been criticised, but after a defeat you don't expect people to praise you – and in Ghana, we have 25 million coaches. At the end of the day, the players performed better [against Germany] than against USA." *Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah

"I would like to be 110 per cent fit but I am 100 per cent fit and that should be enough to help the national team." *Portugal talisman *Cristiano Ronaldo

*"Welcome to the club, Klose. I can only imagine your happiness! What a great World Cup!" *Brazil legend Ronaldo congratulates Miroslav Klose on Twitter after the Germany man equalled his record of 15 goals scored in FIFA World Cup play

*Group H

"The Belgium defence – they're not all Ferraris there, you know. They have some Skodas too. If we can play an exceptional game, anything is possible in modern football." Algeria coachVahid Halilhodzic *"I take responsibility for the result. I've done my best – my World Cup objective was to not have any regrets at the end. I'm going to take a little bit more time before deciding on my future." Korea Republic coach* *Hong Myungbo speaks shortly after his side's elimination following their 1-0 loss to Belgium

"If Belgium win the World Cup, I will cut my hair." *Belgium midfielderMarouane Fellaini

"In my career, I've never seen a World Cup at this level. The quality is absolutely incredible, the pace is so intense. It's without doubt the best World Cup of all." Russia coach Fabio Capello**

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