"Van Gaal's problem is not that he's God, but that he's God's very own father. Louis was already there before the world even existed.”
Uli Hoeness, the Bayern Munich president, on their former coach
“Massimo Moratti called me yesterday and said: ‘Hello, Lucescu?’ I replied ‘No, it’s still the other guy. The president is fantastic.”
Andrea Stramaccioni reveals he was wound up by his club’s president about rumours Mircea Lucescu is set to replace him in the Inter Milan hot-seat
"I have told him if he manages six by the end of the season, I'll give him £50 for a new haircut!"
Sir Alex Ferguson challenging Rafael to double his goal tally before the end of 2012/13
“We might believe in survival if we had men as players rather than papier-mâché figures.”
Maurizio Zamparini, Palermo president
“I only ended up going to English football in the first place because Bryan Robson was determined to try and play a more technical style. When we were in negotiations, they sent me a video of some of Middlesbrough’s matches. I watched it and all I thought was, ‘My God! How am I going to play there?’ The ball was just being booted from one end to another. Then Robson said to me, ‘Right, did you see the video? That’s exactly why I want to bring you here, to try and change that.’ He wanted more technical, more skilful players – he wanted to keep the ball on the ground. In fact, when I first arrived there were one or two whose technical ability wouldn’t even have got them into Sao Paulo’s youth team. Everything was based around brawn and discipline.”
Juninho Paulista to FIFA.com
"Working with him is spectacular. There is something special about him. He is a winner and a leader who I had a lot of fun with in training. His trophies speak for themselves. As a player he makes you feel important. He has a lot of charisma. That is not something you can learn – you either have it or you don’t."
Hernan Crespo on Jose Mourinho
"I don't think the vote should be in any question. [Luis Suarez] IS the Footballer of the Year. This award is for the player of the season, not for a player of the last two months. That should rule out Gareth Bale, who has been sensational, but only since Spurs drew at Norwich. Robin van Persie has scored only once in the last nine games after an explosive start to his time at Manchester United. Suarez has been Liverpool's Mr Incredible: consistently brilliant, with 29 goals in 39 games. He is playing with a team still developing and has dragged them through the season. Can you imagine where Liverpool might be without his goals and his explosive performances?"
Jamie Redknapp on who should win the Premier League’s player of 2012/13 award
“He's on the same level as phenomenons such as Messi and Ronaldo."
Pavel Nedved on Zlatan Ibrahimovic
"Are we overpaid compared to the public service people, the army that serves our country? I'd say definitely. But we don't get paid as much as athletes from a lot of other sports – the golfers, tennis players, basketball players, the baseball stars – they get paid ridiculous money compared to what we get paid."
"I am delighted with the signing of Pep Guardiola. Pep is the best coach in the world. With his arrival, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will want to come. One would play on the left and one on the right!”
Boris Becker on Bayern Munich’s contracting of the Spaniard
"Playing a World Cup at home and going down in history tempted me back. The only coach who has won two World Cups was Vittorio Pozzo, in 1934 and 1938. I want to be the second. Italy lost a World Cup at home, France and Germany as well. All three, however, have also won one at home. Now it's our turn.”
Luiz Felipe Scolari on why he returned to the Brazil reins
"His contribution to the team and the club has been amazing since he arrived. He scores a goal a game on average. This is incredible. I have been watching football since I was three and never saw anything like that. When Ronaldo is on the pitch, you know you are going to score. It is an incredible advantage."
Emilio Butragueno on Cristiano Ronaldo
“I do miss Mario Balotelli, actually. He was crazy, he liked to be the centre of attention, and it was like having a 12-year-old in the dressing-room at times. You had to keep him busy. We did a Christmas event for some children at the ground, and Mario had to wait about half-an-hour to do his bit. We were thinking, ‘What can we do with him? He’s going to be an absolute nightmare.’ He ended up sitting in on an interview with Joe Hart for 20 minutes! Then someone gave him an iPad to play Angry Birds on.”