"Some people do not like Ronaldo because he is a great player, good-looking and has sex with all the ladies. People get jealous. The only bad thing about Ronaldo's life is Messi. If it was not for him, Ronaldo would have been the best player in the world for five years in a row now."
Luiz Felipe Scolari

"Muhammad Ali in his pomp, you couldn't out-box. No-one could. Now no team on this planet can out-football Barcelona. Madrid have tried, Manchester United tried, but you cannot do it. Ali, though, was beaten by Frazier because of his aggression and refusal to give in, and those are the qualities Chelsea will need to stand a chance of reaching the final."
Glenn Hoddle

"I told Mario [Balotelli] that if he’d played with me ten years ago, I’d have given him a punch to the head maybe every day. I don’t speak with him every day because otherwise I would need a psychologist!"
Roberto Mancini

"Rijkaard did not believe in me. He wanted our game to be based on a superior physical level. He believed that it was the only way to be at the same level as the top clubs in Europe. Four or five years ago, I was deemed terrible and useless. I was Barça’s cancer! A player 1.70m tall was simply worthless."

"The current Brazil team is rubbish. It will be tough to even get past the first round of the World Cup."

"Raul played himself into the hearts of the Schalke fans in two years. But in terms of [retiring a jersey], I would say players like Ernst Kuzorra, Stan Libuda, Klaus Fichtel and Klaus Fischer are more deserving. They are players with real Schalke roots. They have a real cult status at Schalke. To compare this with Raul's two years at Schalke... well, for me that’s going too far."
Olaf Thon, Schalke legend, on the club’s decision to retire the No7 shirt worn by Raul

"I am a right-back, [but] not full-stop. In the Brazilian school, the emphasis is on attacking, but that doesn't mean I'm not a fullback. Take Gareth Bale, a player I love. He's a fullback in the Brazilian mould. In Europe, Tottenham play him as a winger, but in my team he'd always be a fullback. People get scared and play attacking fullbacks as wingers. They think they will attack more, but often they attack less and less well. It happened with Roberto Carlos: as a winger, he was less effective, he needed to start his run sooner. Bale is more skillful and good as a winger, but at Barcelona he would be a fullback."
Daniel Alves

"I'll choke on my beer if Chelsea win the Champions League and we finish fourth! But the rules are the rules."
Alan Pardew dreads the possibility that his Newcastle United side are denied a 2012/13 UEFA Champions League place due to Chelsea winning this season’s competition

"I watch Iniesta and realise that, even at my age, I could be learning new things. We all have to be less arrogant."
Juan Roman Riquelme, 33, on the 27-year-old Barça midfielder

"I live life as I did when I was a kid, like a video game - there will always be another level to overcome."
Alessandro Del Piero

"Seeing players of the calibre of Romario and Bebeto up close had a real impact on my future. I was able to learn from them, look out for the small details, how they trained, how they found their focus. Romario used to boss me about, getting me to fetch his boots and his coffee, as if I was a youth-team player! But he’d always treat me with respect, that was just the pecking order in the side."
Ronaldo to FIFA.com on the importance going to USA 1994 had on his career

"When I went to Liverpool, I admit it was more of a culture shock than coming to France."
Joe Cole

"This is a final where you kill or be killed. The team needs to give their lives on the field. We want to go to the World Club Cup, we want another chance. The goal is to return to Japan and remove the spine that has been struck in our throat."
Jesus Zavala of Monterrey ahead of the CONCACAF Champions League final against Santos Laguna – Los Rayados lost their FIFA Club World Cup quarter-final on penalties in December

"I was lucky enough to officiate matches in magnificent stadiums, but I never refereed at the Bombonera. I have watched some of Boca Juniors' matches and the atmosphere in that stadium is intense. That is a stadium where I would have liked to have refereed."
Pierluigi Collina

"Mario Balotelli is like Marmite - you either love him or hate him. Me? I’m in between."
Joe Royle