“After my first training session with Rangers, I went to shower, came back into the dressing room, and there was a foul smell in the room which was coming from my belongings. I took my boxer shorts out of my bag and saw that there was something heavy in them. Paul Gascoigne had c*****d in my underwear! Gazza is a madman who loves to make jokes. He’s crazy. This is just the way he is, but I wasn’t happy that I had to drive home without pants on!”
Gennaro Gattuso

"I cried. When you're a kid and you start to play football, you dream of one day wearing the OM jersey. Finally I achieved the dream of my life. If I must die on the field for OM, I will "
Fabrice Apruzesse, a 27-year-old perennial reserve, on his reaction to being summoned from the bench by Marseille coach Elie Baup to finally make his Ligue 1 debut against Bordeuax

“If I was to look back on my whole career that would possibly be the highlight, just for me emotionally, for the fun and for the excitement – it was amazing. I went to many Celtic games when I was growing up and it’s your life. I think that’s why it hits you more profoundly than something like standing at a Hollywood premiere. It brings back everything you were steeped in: your history, your passion, your family’s passion and all those memories you have in that stadium, the times where you’re literally about to explode with excitement, passion, anger or joy. All you and the thousands around you wanted to be doing was to be out on that field playing. To be on that field, playing, warming up, shouting to the crowd and then kicking off and playing that game, it was indescribable. All I could think at the time was ‘be cool’, but I knew I was taking the experience to the grave.”
Gerard Butler, the Hollywood actor, to FIFA.com on playing in a charity game at Celtic Park alongside some club legends

“We haven't always gotten along, especially in the beginning, but he's a good person. Forget about the soccer part – I've grown a lot as a person since he's been here, and I've watched him closely with all the things he does and his leadership ability and how he handles himself. It's been an inspiration for me.”
Landon Donovan on David Beckham

“We’ll call the police.”
Roberto Mancini on how Manchester City planned to stop Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo

“During my time at Milan, he set the tone during training. He wouldn’t give anything away, whatever the exercise. If you lost and he caught you with a grin back in the locker room, he’s throw you the evil eyes – ‘Taiwo, you you kidding or what, don’t you want to win?’ He can be nasty, but in a wise way.”
Taye Taiwo on Zlatan Ibrahimovic

“If [Le Tissier] had got the break for England and was allowed to spend time there, he could easily have been as good as the Messis and Ronaldos of this world. He scored goals as good as those two and could hit a free-kick like nobody’s business! To play for Man United at that time, he would have elevated his game and would have got more praise. It would have been the right financial and career move, but as a Southampton fan it was amazing to see his loyalty. He was enjoying his football, it wasn’t about the money and his family were happy so I think it was very honourable.
Craig David, the pop icon, on Matt Le Tissier, who repeatedly turned down the overtures of English giants to spend his entire career at Southampton

"It is quite amazing when you think that he has won the FA Cup and the Champions League. The biggest disappointment for me is that in two weeks' time they are going to the world championship. You would have thought they would have waited to give the guy a chance to win it. Rafa Benitez is very lucky because on his CV, in two weeks' time, he could have two world championships to his name – and has had nothing to do with the teams. Jose Mourinho won the treble with Inter. Benitez took over and won the world championship without having to do anything."
Sir Alex Ferguson on Chelsea’s sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and appointment of Rafa Benitez

“He is the director, the playmaker. Having Pirlo on the field is equal to playing with 12 men.”
Gianluca Vialli

“Between him and me there is appreciation and professional respect. Clearly not everyone in the locker room is my friend, and outside there is almost no relationship between us.”
Xabi Alonso on his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo

“To experience a match in a Turkish stadium, with these supporters, is the ultimate for any football fan. Football is like a religion there. The night we won the title, they completely closed off a six-lane road in front of my house – just to party! Can you imagine that?”
Toni Schumacher, the former West Germany goalkeeper who spent three years at Fenerbahce, to FIFA.com 

“I love watching [Liverpool] every time they play. Whenever I get a chance, [I go to Anfield]. I’m usually away but I never miss a game. I either have it on the radio, or the Liverpool, website radio, or watch it online. I watch pretty much every game regardless – Europa League, Premier League, wherever they are playing. If I’m on the course, I’ll have my phone on with updates. It’s a bit of an obsession.”
Laura Davies, the women’s golf great, to FIFA.com 

“I didn’t see the opening goal. I was talking to the cycling legend Eddy Merckx, there was a queue of people and I couldn’t get back to my seat in time. I didn’t see Pato’s goal either, as I was already hiding in the locker room! Basically I didn’t see anything! To be honest, I didn’t see the Anderlecht goal as whenever they put a dangerous cross in, I turned away and got my son to give me commentary!”
Adriano Galliani on Milan’s 3-1 win in Brussels

“His touch and his vision is just a joke. He can beat people, he has a great shot. He never gives the ball away. There was one point when there were three players around him and he just dribbled out of it. He is a dream to play with. He is a different class, up there with the best [in the world].”
Jack Wilshere on Santi Cazorla