“When I get home from training, she’s there, in my face. She’s there 24/7. I don’t know where she gets her knowledge from. At first she wouldn’t come to the games, but then she saw how much I liked it and really got into it. Now she thinks she’s Jose Mourinho! Some of the stuff she’s telling me, the manager is telling me as well. She really knows about the game and how to play, what to do.”
Raheem Sterling on his mother

"The idea of wearing this suit and bow tie was mine. I wanted to surprise and be different."
Lionel Messi on his much-discussed choice of suit for the Gala

"Not even God can please everyone. I always try to be a good person who the majority of people like. But showing too much humility is a flaw. People either hate me or love me.”
Cristiano Ronaldo

"The name of Balotelli never came into my thoughts. He is a rotten apple and could infect every group where he goes, even Milan."
Silvio Berlusconi on reports linking AC Milan with Mario Balotelli

“Balotelli is not a bad apple. He is a cherry.”
The player’s agent, Mino Raiola, responds

"I’d love to give everyone an award like this, but there’s only one trophy... so I’ll keep it!"
Pia Sundhage on becoming FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football

"I talk to him personally, on and off the pitch. I've been in that moment like him. I'm always keen to help him and keep him going through these kind of moments, so he doesn't make the same mistakes that I did in the past."
Carloz Tevez on ‘mentoring’ Mario Balotelli

“I will no longer take penalty kicks for Ghana. My mother advised against penalties, and since she is no more, I have to heed to her advice.”
Asahmoah Gyan to FIFA.com

“For her to get up and sing in front of this kind of crowd, she's got a lot of guts to do that. That just shows she's herself no matter who is around, and that's why I love Pia so much."
Abby Wambach on Pia Sundhage’s musical contribution to the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala

"You take away [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo and Van Persie is probably the best player in the world. He is a joy to watch and a pain to play against.”
Joe Cole on Robin van Persie

"I prefer to play in midfield. The way I understand the game is very participatory. I like to combine, make passes and in the middle of the football field that is possible. I have not felt that playing at the tip that I do more damage, but it is more decisive."
Andres Iniesta explains why he would like to play a deeper role

"It's not any particular individual but a team, especially after the rough Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup Finals – Napoli. When I am faced with Napoli, something goes off in me."
Claudio Marchisio on who he dislikes in football

"In the six years we had him, you just saw his game grow all the time, and he was a fantastic player. Now you see the complete player. His decision-making, his maturity, his experience, plus all the great skills he has got, they all make him the complete player."
Sir Alex Ferguson on Cristiano Ronaldo