“We spent so much time talking about football. It helped the days go faster, or should I say the nights, because it was all dark down there! Football kept us alive.”
Franklin Lobos, a former footballer, on how the sport helped him survive 69 days trapped in a Chilean mine

“The players didn’t even need a shower after the game.”
Andrea Agnelli, Juventus’s president, criticises his players’ effort in their 2-0 loss to Lecce

“I think Ferguson will stay as the manager - after that there will be more problems. Today, he is like Gandhi on the game side. With Manchester, I prefer to say, to think, to realise that Ferguson is a kind of genius.”
Eric Cantona

"I would have killed for Jose Mourinho, for the motivation he gave me and for how he used to stimulate me.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

“Is it XL?”
Claudio Borghi makes fun of his own excess weight upon receiving an official tracksuit during his presentation as Chile coach

“Don’t be daft. Absentees are not an alibi, because there are no lack of alternatives. Who let Daniele Paponi jump unmarked in the box? I’ll tell you, it was Antonio Nocerino, who is no youngster just out of the academy.”
Maurizio Zamparini, Palermo’s president, responds to being asked if absentees were the cause of their 1-0 loss at Bologna

“At the end of the day, I’m German, so I’m 51 per cent for Bayern and 49 per cent for Inter.”
Andreas Brehme to FIFA.com on which of his former clubs he’d like to win their UEFA Champions League tie

“Is he a winger? No, because he is also a goalscorer and when you are a winger, how many goals do you score in a season, half a dozen? I think that he is the mixture of both [a winger and a striker]. He has everything.”
Jose Mourinho on Cristiano Ronaldo’s position

"He first came to train with the first team a good while ago, and I immediately realised that he was a demon. Erik is a player with lots of ability, and besides that he is in great physical shape and he uses his arms well. You don’t see many players like him."
Paulo Ferrari on teenage River Plate team-mate Erik Lamela

"It is always difficult in any job to work with your father. But we are both professionals. I think I should have no special treatment, nor do I want that. I am here to do a job to the best of my ability and my dad is here to do the same.”
Jason Culina after joining a Newcaslte Jets side coached by his father, Branko

“I want to help Japanese football grow like every industry in Japan keeps on growing. And I want to help Japan qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and fight for the top spot there.”
Alberto Zaccheroni

“Whenever there are fewer players in the street, Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the player of the future. He and Messi are the two best players in the world. Messi is more talented, but unfortunately we are running out of Messis. Cristiano is the player of the future: physically powerful and more complete.”
Joaquin Caparros, Athletic Bilbao coach

“I believe another Jay-Jay is out there. But the most important thing is to ask a pertinent question: do we have the structure in place to be able to produce another Jay-Jay Okocha, another Taribo West or another Sunday Oliseh? I think we should try and restructure Nigerian football to be able to find those talents, which are surely there and only waiting to be discovered.”
Jay-Jay Okocha to FIFA.com

“Should [Schalke] go through I would like to see them face Real Madrid. It would be a good way to do a tribute for Raul at the Santiago Bernabeu, to recognise that he is the Di Stefano of the modern era.”
Michel, Real Madrid legend and Getafe coach

"Serie A is inferior to the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga.”
Giuseppe Rossi

"This is not a record attempt. If we believe that Thomas Schaaf is no longer the right option, we should go our separate ways. Thomas and I have a friendly and trusting relationship, but that does not mean that he has an automatic protection from dismissal."
Klaus Allofs, Werder Bremen’s sporting director, on the prospect of dismissing a man who has held the club’s reins for 11 years

“If I was a president, I would hire Mourinho first, certainly because of his experience. However, I believe that Pep is a guy who has been touched by a magic wand, make no mistake that he is a hard worker. If Mourinho had the time that Guardiola has had [in Spanish football], things might be more equal.”
Diego Maradona