World Football

The Week in Quotes

Michael Rensing of Cologne
© Getty Images

"I have tried everything, but the best trick is to wear a surf suit. You pee in it with 15 minutes remaining and then go straight to the shower. Other keepers like Gregory Coupet do it too.”

*Jeremie Janot on how he wets himself to keep warm while playing in goal for Saint-Etienne


“I gathered the whole squad together and declared, ‘Guys, let’s die for our country, like that group in Japan. They would have fought until they died if they were up against their enemies. Let’s do the same as them, the Kawazakis’. Actually it was the Kamikazes! It was something that went down in my life. It was a mistake, but it was beneficial because everybody burst out laughing and it helped relax the squad.”

Ricardo Rocha of a motivational speech he gave to his Brazil team-mates ahead of the USA 1994 Final

“It feels like you're going back to the first day of school, so yeah, everyone will be looking at you and judging you - I better clean my boots and comb my hair!"

*Ryan Nelsen, the 34-year-old who had been at Blackburn Rovers for seven years, on joining Tottenham Hotspur


“It would be a sad excuse to say that we are tired. The tired are those who work every day, for 12 or 14 hours. We are privileged – all we have to do is play for 90 minutes on a Wednesday and a Sunday.”

*Javi Venta on Levante’s poor form*

"It was looking good for us for so long, but then we conceded the equaliser. Then came the customary FC Cologne syndrome and we just fell apart."

*Michael Rensing explains how his side, who were 1-0 up at home to Schalke after an hour, ended up losing 4-1


"His English is better than my French, but he’s very quiet off the pitch. To help I dug out the dictionary from my old French O-level. However, my French often comes out in a sort of South Korean accent — it's the only time Ji understands me!”

*Martin O’Neill on how he succeeds in communicating with Ji Dong Won when he’s trying to make himself understood to Stephane Sessegnon


“Mourinho is the best coach in the world. He has the ability to adapt to every culture. The Mourinho we saw at Chelsea was a completely different coach from the one at Porto. And the Mourinho at Inter was, again, another type of coach. Now we’re seeing yet another different type of coach at Madrid. Mourinho would make an ideal coach for Barcelona.”

Vitor Baia

"We could sell ten players, then what would we do? Set up a pizzeria?"

Didier Deschamps on why Lucho Gonzalez was the only player he let leave his small Marseille squad during the transfer window

“Eight months ago, Falcioni made me run all over the place alone like an idiot and I said nothing. Out team has an obligation to start playing better football, because luck can’t last forever.”

Juan Roman Riquelme reignites his fued with Julio Cesar Falcioni by slamming his coach’s tactics, despite the fact they helped Boca Juniors cruise to the Apertura crown in December

“I watched Milan last night and I had doubts that some of the players were not my age.”

Arrigo Sacchi, AC Milan’s 65-year-old former coach, after watching them beat visiting Cagliari 3-0

“I think a transfer would have been possible, so I called Munich and asked if there was an interest. Bayern refused, they simply would not have Robinho. Back then I did not understand it. But everyone has seen what has happened to Robinho. Although he plays for Milan, he is nothing special. He has nothing extraordinary, he is a normal footballer. And a normal footballer cannot take Bayern to the next level."

Paulo Sergio on how, when working as a scout for Bayern Munich in 2005, he tried to get them to sign Robinho

“For the amount he cost, Pastore should have been an international star. But he is not a Waldo, a Susic or a Ronaldinho, who were established international stars [when they came to France]. Pastore, he is a substitute for Argentina, who are not even the best team in the world.”

*Bernard Tapie, the former Marseille president


"Two goals will stay with me forever. The one I scored for Brazil against France from a free-kick - the strike was fantastic. And the one I scored from near the corner flag for Real Madrid against Tenerife."

*Roberto Carlos names his legendary banana strike at Le Tournoi in 1997 and his miraculous swerver in La Liga the following year as the best goals of his career


"All I saw of Cristiano Ronaldo was the back of his shirt."

David Pizarro on what he recalls of his last visit to Manchester in 2007, when the Roma team he was part of were humiliated 7-1 by United

"This is a critical moment for Korean football, and I just felt it would be detrimental to the development of our football if I played before an important game. I don't think it's appropriate to put my personal matters ahead of the World Cup."

*Ahn Jung Hwan, who recently retired, on why he won’t be making a farewell appearance for Korea Republic in a friendly against Uzbekistan – a match that will be the nation’s last before their crucial Brazil 2014 qualifier against Kuwait


“I have lived Jose's availability when we were out of Chelsea, and I know how many clubs came knocking on our doors. So a manager of Jose's [quality] and the number one in the world will always be an attractive target for any club. By making himself available to return to his beloved England, he’s sure to have caught the interest of City, United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal. So in that sense, we are all under pressure, from Mancini to Ferguson to me to Dalglish to Harry Redknapp.”

*Andre Villas-Boas on whether he feels his position in the Chelsea hot-seat is under pressure from Jose Mourinho


“What I’m looking for is a team that does not let itself be influenced by anyone or anything. I’d like a perfect machine, with a ferocious determination to reach its target and a strong moral core.”

Claudio Ranieri

"They remind me a little bit of the Netherlands [in the 1970s]. They always play beautiful football, but ultimately suffer elimination in beauty.”

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Joachim Low’s Germany side

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