World Football

The Week in Quotes

Real Madrid's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho speaking during a press conference

"I never acted professionally. I was never an athlete. I did not sleep properly. I did not eat like a sportsman. I was always late to training. I didn’t put in the effort in training sessions every day. But I still scored 1,002 goals. If I had not gone out so much [partying], I would have scored 2,000 goals. But 1,000 is still good, right?"


"I’m a mediocre coach? OK, I respect everyone’s opinion. Zeman? I don’t know who he is. Where does he play? Ah, he is a coach. Sorry, I didn’t realise that. Now that I am on holiday I will look him up on Google to find out who he is and what he has won."

Jose Mourinho responding to criticism from Roma coach Zdenek Zemen

"Portugal have a national team called Cristiano Ronaldo and a group of players who run after him."

*Carlos Queiroz*

"After the Pope, the biggest religion in Italy is that if you’re 1-0 up, it’s impossible for your opponent to equalise!"
Michel Platini

"Benzema's the king of the jungle. Karim is one of the best players in the world today, and I’m one of those fortunate enough to see him every day and know that there’s nobody else with his intelligence for the game."

Alvaro Arbeloa

"Neymar reminds me of Mané. I see Neymar emerging with the same tricks, the same dribbles. Not to the extent of Mané, because I’ve never seen anybody give as much happiness to the people as he did. But Neymar is producing beautiful, happy, gracious football. It’s football art, and Neymar has got it mastered. It reminds me of Garrincha."
*Elza Soares, Mané Garrincha’s former wife*

"Some say it is 4-4-1-1 rather than a 4-4-2. I say it is more 4-4-1-1-12. It is not about the team; it is about the squad. We don’t just have options 1-11. We have options virtually 1-23."
*Terry Venables on England*

"Before I was a hero. Now I am only Van Marwijk's son-in-law. Age has nothing to do with it. If there is a hole between our backline and our midfield, it is not because I am strolling around the pitch and not putting the effort in."
*Mark van Bommel

"Great memories #Italia90 and so, so close. Gazza's tears, Bobby Robson, Platt's volley, Cameroon pens and bloody Germans! #haveawordwithhim"
*Gary Lineker on Twitter*

"I feel really bad for Harry, especially as my biggest success in football turned out so unlucky for him. He deserved Champions League football. That's why I'm still shell-shocked by what's happened. I have some mates who are Spurs fans and they are desperately disappointed. They remember how they were rock-bottom when Harry came in. Then, all of a sudden, they're playing in the Champions League and competing at the top. He's done an amazing job. He certainly didn't deserve to lose his job."
Frank Lampard on the sacking of his uncle Harry Redknapp by Tottenham Hotspur, who finished fourth in the Premier League and would have qualified for the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League had Chelsea not won the 2011/12 final

"I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked. I know that it’s been innumerable, definitely over 1,000. My response is always the same: I wanted to shoot. Me and Cafu always talked about this, trained it with Rogerio Ceni and the other goalkeepers. I went for goal. Obviously I didn’t want to place the ball exactly where it went, but it was a shot at goal."
*Ronaldinho on his free-kick against England at Korea/Japan 2002*

"Of course he meant it. I only said to him that the goalkeeper was used to staying off his line [on free-kicks], but the ability to put the ball where he did was all down to him. The credit is all his, but after the game he came to me and said, “Thank you, captain’."
*Cafu on Ronaldinho’s aforementioned goal*

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