World Football

The Week in Quotes

Sweden's forward and team captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates

“Zlatan was calling us fishermen. Yes, we are fishermen, for fishing belongs to our culture. What he earns per minute or per day, we barely make in a year. We finish our jobs at around 4pm and practise in the evening; he is a professional. We are already a small enough country. Why he feels the need to put us down even further, it’s just weird. Zlatan likes to point out how much money he earns. He’s also on a level that everyone else can only dream of – he’s among the best three players in the world. He should be very happy. Why is he so angry? Why does he need to trash-talk? Why does he need to behave the way he does?”
Simun Samuelsen on Zlatan Ibrahimovic following the Faroe Islands’ 2-0 loss away to Sweden

"If Argentina beat Brazil in the World Cup Final, I'll kill myself! They have Messi and the pope – they can't have everything!"
Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro

"I damaged Spanish football by being the coach who ended Barcelona's dominance. Real Madrid won in Barcelona, Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey, Real Madrid won the championship – a historical championship as it was the one of 100 points and 121 goals. I hurt them.”
Jose Mourinho

"Pep has been as always – obsessive. Four hours every day, like a madman. Only a stubborn dog does this. It is absurd! As you meet your brother for lunch, the guy is talking German continuously with his teacher!"
Pere Guardiola on his brother learning German

“I have never seen a team play with such precision at such pace. Spain are even better than Pele’s Brazil."
Giovanni Trapattoni

“I already apologised and said I’ll pay for the camera. However, it’s not right to ambush people. My reaction might be criticised, but the violence I suffered was worse. I won’t accept someone filming me in secret and then ambushing me. In that context, I would indeed do it again.”
Enrico Preziosi, Genoa’s president, on kicking a journalist who was filming him and smashing his camera off the ground

“Unbelievable. The best crowd I’ve played in in the United States, without a doubt. From all the players, a big thank you to everybody who was here, to everybody in the city who makes this a special night for us, because people don’t know what a difference it makes when you play in an atmosphere like this.”
Michael Bradley after USA’s 2-0 win over Panamna at CenturyLink Field in Seattle

"Juventus have the strongest midfield in Europe. Pogba is an extraordinary talent. And then there's Vidal, who is already a real champion. He can become even better though and develop into a phenomenon. I hope that one day Vidal will be mentioned among other Juventus legends, because he certainly has the ability to achive that."
Edgar Davids

"Les Bleus? I prefer watching a western."
Louis Nicollin, Montpellier president

"I can promise the fans discipline. The players must understand they should work hard in every single training session. What matters to me is to fight to win, to do everything to win. I want to teach the players to constantly strive for excellence. That's why I want to see less talk and more work. We must be focused when we're working, so the players don't need to use their phones and Facebook so often."
Hristo Stoichkov after his appointment as CSKA Sofia coach

“English football must change. We do not know how to play football. We just boot the ball up the pitch and it gets us nowhere. We don't have the kids coached the same way – the right way – from a young age. As a result we have a senior team that is greatly underachieving. Look at the so-called 'golden generation' of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole etc. Man for man, there wasn't a country on Earth that could match that on paper. But together they never produced because we just hoofed the ball forwards and hoped for the best. In international football, you can’t just hit and hope because you give the ball away. It's all about possession, retaining the ball, controlling the game. We need coaches who believe in that ideal."
Harry Redknapp

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