"The Netherlands are second in the FIFA rankings and we are 32nd - there's no doubt who the favourites are. I like to day-dream from time to time though, and in my head we've played a number of matches against the Netherlands – and won them all!"
Erik Hamren ahead of his Sweden side’s trip to Amsterdam

"England and Germany own 50 per cent of my heart, and I really love both countries. As I haven't played for Germany at senior level, it's all open. I'd like to play for Germany but in football, everything is possible. I would definitely listen to [Capello]. I would never say no to a conversation.”
Lewis Holtby on his international future

“I’m happy to win as a striker after winning as a defender last season.”
Samuel Eto’o has a dig at Jose Mourinho after hitting a hat-trick in a 4-0 defeat of Twente

"Among the top six teams in the standings, three are coached by Italians: Chelsea by Ancelotti, City by Mancini and WBA by Roberto Di Matteo. It shows we are not bad at the job.”
Gianluca Vialli

“I want to continue to be available to play for England. That’s all I can do. I am passionate about playing for my country. Ever since I was a little kid all I ever wanted to do was to play for my country.”
David Beckham to FIFA.com

“I don't think I’ve changed my style. It's true that before I never passed the ball, but I never pass it now either.”
Mauro Zarate of Lazio

"He's not used to working. When you're face to face with the person, he listens. But even attentive, receptive players, when they go out in the street they meet people who tell them, ‘you’re the best, you play for Real Madrid, you don't need to work'.”
Laurent Blanc on Karim Benzema

"I am impressed how Lukas leads the boys. In the hotel before the game he jokes around with them as a friend, but on the pitch he is entirely professional."
Michael Meier on his Cologne captain Lukas Podolski

“There’s a lot of pressure involved with being Italy coach, but it doesn’t scare me - I see handling that pressure as a challenge. Not everyone gets the chance to do this fantastic job, so it’s a real privilege.”
Cesare Prandelli to FIFA.com

"I hope I don't miss the return match as the Velodrome has an exceptional atmosphere. I have already told team-mates to forget about Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, St James' Park - the Velodrome is unique."
Didier Drogba on Chelsea’s game away to Marseille

“I only moved my family from Romania to settle in Spain two months ago. But how could I refuse an offer like this from Steaua?”
Marius Lacatus after assuming the Bucharest giants’ reins for the third time

“Playing England in Cape Town was an incredibly enjoyable experience. First, because I’d never seen such an amazing stadium; second, because we held our own against one of the best teams in the world in an indescribable atmosphere.”
Adlene Guedioura of Algeria to FIFA.com

“You can’t buy success with one or two individuals. We proved that with the introduction of Samuel Eto’o, who even worked as a fullback for the team. It is the team unit that earns victories.”
Dejan Stankovic on AC Milan

“That was the best goal I have scored in my career because of the way I connected with the ball. It’s a magnificent feeling to help my team like that.”
Michel Bastos, a serial scorer of wonder goals, on the swerver that helped Lyon win 3-1 at Hapoel Tel Aviv

"We should not be afraid of Argentina. It would be wrong to go out there with an all-defensive frame of mind. We have to take the game to them.”
Alberto Zaccheroni, Japan coach

”Two weeks ago I’m thinking [it was] the end of the world when I get sent off and I’m watching my team play a man down against one of the better teams in the league. And then I get this call. Soccer is very up and down. I didn’t think I’d have a chance right now. This definitely feels good.”
Brek Shea of FC Dallas on his USA call-up

“It is an unbelievable night for us. We showed that other teams should be scared of us, and if we play like we did we don’t need to be scared of anyone in the Champions League. Inter Milan will be amazing to play against. We fancy our chances.
Luka Modric following Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Twente

“I’m disappointed with the way we performed. The victory over eventual winners Spain was historic, one that will never be forgotten, but it was still only worth three points. And if you only win one group game, you can't expect to progress any further.”
Ottmar Hitzfeld on Switzerland’s South Africa 2010 campaign

“We knew that Shinji Kagawa was a really good footballer. We did not know that he would adjust this quickly. The boy is 21, he's left his family at home and his only companion is his translator, yet he has already written his name into the history books.”
Jurgen Klopp on his Borussia Dortmund new boy

"I used to watch the Champions League at home in Mexico. It is one of the most important tournaments in the world and to score in it, so early in my United career, is a dream come true.”
Javier Hernandez after scoring the only goal for Manchester United at Valencia

"I know that there are great forwards in the squad, like Forlan and Suarez, but there is also a substitutes' bench and I believe I had enough talent to be there [in South Africa]. I still believe I have enough talent. I want to be in the team for the Copa America.”
Santiago Silva

“We came here with hope and ambition, but Chelsea are on another planet.”
Didier Deschamps after Marseille’s 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge

“It has happened so fast I have barely realised it. I want to reach 500 like Xavi. There are a lot more things I want to achieve: another championship, the Olympic Games, to win the treble all over again.”
Sergio Busquets after making his 100th appearance for Barcelona

“It is much more physical in the tackle, the attackers are rougher and the games are more intense. I do a lot of weight training to strengthen me.”
Laurent Koscielny on English football

"My biggest obstacle to becoming a goalkeeper was my height. When I arrived at Atletico [Paranaense] as a 13-year-old I was only 1.65m - my team-mates of the same age were as tall as I am today. If I hadn’t have passed an exam to prove I was going to grow sufficiently, I wouldn’t have been kept on.”
Neto after receiving a Brazil call-up

“We share the Home Depot Center with them and you see them day in and day out. I don’t ever want to lose to those guys.”
Jonathan Bornstein of Chivas USA on Los Angeles Galaxy

"It's nice to know that Prandelli relies on me. The national team is one of the most important things for me. It always has been. I want to be a protagonist in EURO 2012 and then at World Cup in 2014.”
Mario Balotelli