"He has that amateur spirit of wanting to play forever. He is ambitious, he loves training and is a great guy. He’s also so self-critical. It hurts him to fail. He’s the best player in the world, notably better than the rest. The second best is never going to catch him.”
Pep Guardiola on Lionel Messi

“People love football in Turkey and that was one of the reasons that attracted me here. It’s a way of life for them.”
Guus Hiddink to FIFA.com

“I am in the same high level of form I was in at Barcelona. I felt like I deserved to be at the World Cup. It would be great if I'd be able to play at the 2014 World Cup. I'm even thinking about playing at the 2018 World Cup. My age is not a problem. I've played with Paolo Maldini, who only retired when he was 40. I'd like to be like him.”

"I told him clearly that Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira are in front of him at the moment. Every player must recognise that there is a point at which he can no longer give a top-class performance. Whether Michael Ballack will be able to perform at EURO 2012, when he is 35, can only be determined after he recovers from his injuries.”
Joachim Low

“To beat Napoli would be like having a huge sporting orgasm.”
Giampiero Ventura on how it would feel to guide Bari to victory over his former club

“I am experiencing everything I’d envisaged about Arsenal and the English league. The atmosphere in the stadiums, the open and attacking football and the standard of the team are just amazing. I’m so happy.”
Marouane Chamakh to FIFA.com

“Real Madrid have a great name, but Bayern are better and, at the moment, we are the more successful club.”
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

“I’m waiting for Riquelme to return [from injury]. If it goes well, I’ll talk to him about a call-up. I’m currently playing with a 4-3-3, but I could change it to accommodate Riquelme.”
Sergio Batista, Argentina coach

“Zlatan is an amazing player. He’s one of the top three strikers around, along with Messi and Drogba. It’s an honour to play alongside him.”
Ola Toivonen of Sweden to FIFA.com

“It was an incredible moment. The last ten months have seemed like an eternity. Now I am going to enjoy every game and training session as if it were my last.”
Ivan de la Pena of Espanyol on returning to action last weekend

“I don’t know if they hit it harder, but the Brazilian Roberto Carlos and Norway’s John Arne Riise aren’t bad either. I don’t think power is something you can work on - it’s innate. Hitting the target is something else, and that’s something I still need to practice (laughs).”
Taye Taiwo when asked by FIFA.com if anybody strikes the ball with more power than him

“It’s always nice to go back home. I always have and always will be a Real Sociedad supporter, but for 90 minutes we will be rivals.”
Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid

"I'm so happy, lost for words. We gathered in a huddle at half-time and promised each we wouldn’t give up. The last two days we practiced corners and free-kicks, and thankfully it's paid off. It’s hard to believe what’s happened!”
Charlotte Rohlin after her two late headers snatched Sweden a 2-2 draw in Denmark and a place at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“A lot of things have got to come together to score a goal like that. Luck also plays a part. In theory, that is precisely how I wanted to score, but for it to actually come off is a rarity. For the ball to go in like it did was absolutely perfect.”
Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich on his stunning volley against Roma

“The coach showed us a video of Inter beating Barça. But we did not play like Inter, we played better. It’s not every day you score twice away to Barcelona – it’s a dream come true. The whole of Paraguay is talking about this result.”
Nelson Haedo Valdez after inspiring a 2-0 win on his Hercules debut

“Obviously I was born in England, to get a free trip home would be unbelievable. To go and see your family and to be playing in an Olympics would be... words can't even describe how happy I'd be if that came true.”
Scott Neville on the prospect of playing at London 2012 after being called up by the Australia U-23s

“We know that relegation is still an issue, but our goal is to win the title. We have players that are performing fantastically at the moment. The plan is to win every game. We will give it everything.”
Ariel Ortega of River Plate

“Every new project needs time, and Mourinho's Real Madrid will need it. People always want results at once, and that's not easy.”
Rafa Nadal, the world’s top-ranked tennis player, after watching Los Merengues beat Ajax

"Obviously he is not in love with me, because I told him the exact same things as his wife but he didn't understand me! I am delighted he has chosen the right road, because champions like Antonio could not miss out on a great career because of such nonsense.”
Fabio Capello on Antonio Cassano crediting his wife with getting his career back on track

“With the level I have reached in my career, a club like Paris Saint-Germain will not be able to tempt me. But to please Roger Milla, it’ll cost me nothing to say I’ll play my career’s final season at Montpellier. Money will not be a problem.”
Samuel Eto’o

“He loves this club. People doubted that but I never doubted that. I like the way Cesc gave the ball to Vela instead of trying himself for a hat-trick, because that reflects the attitude of a leader. He is a fantastic influence.”
Arsene Wenger on Cesc Fabregas following the Spaniard’s masterclass against Braga