"Beautiful young eggs – eggs that need a mum, in this case a dad, to take care of them, to keep them warm during the winter, to bring the blankets and to work and improve them. And one day we'll arrive in a moment when the weather changes, the sun rises, we break the eggs and the eggs are ready to go for life at the top level.”
Jose Mourinho on his Chelsea players

"Messi is now the number one, but he does not have the determination Maradona did. Nobody could do what Diego did with Napoli. They had a good team but were not championship material, yet he took the team on his shoulders and made them winners. Nobody else could do that. Maradona is, was and forever will be the most decisive and best player in history.”
Claudio Caniggia

"Is Falcao the most difficult player I have had to mark? Frankly, no. In fact, he's quite easy to mark. There are far more difficult players in Ligue 1. Ibrahimovic is a genuine poison. Bafe Gomis and even Brandao are also very hard to mark."
Lamine Kone

"I know some will think that I'm mad, but I still dream of the Ballon d'Or. I'm convinced it's still possible. I still believe that one day I'll be the best player in the world. In 20 or 30 years, I want my name to be mentioned alongside those of Platini, Zidane, Pele and Maradona.”
Hatem Ben Arfa

"Dortmund scare me. They are like a monster with three heads. They are an extraordinary team who play good football and are very personable.”
Aurelio De Laurentiis, Napoli owner

“Three years ago this seemed like science fiction.”
Pepe Mol on his Real Betis side playing in Europe

"There were three of us [centre-backs], but the coach would pick the Italians even though I was clearly the best. I was told clearly that nobody could force out Maldini because he was a godfather in the club. Because I had a good relationship with Massimo Moratti, I called him to tell him what was going on. He told me that at AC Milan this was a normal thing. No-one could take the place of Maldini. I was in shock. At the time they told so many lies about me because they wanted me out. During the four games I played, I was always the best player on the field, yet my contract was not renewed."
Taribo West on not being able to get a game at Milan ahead of Maldini and Billy Costacurta

“Hamsik is a player who could win the Golden Ball. It’s probable that he’ll win it soon. Marek is worth more than €100m.”
Gino Corioni, Hamsik’s former president at Brescia

"If you criticise the team too often, it becomes less effective. I'm in favour of occasionally criticising things to make sure nobody is getting carried away, but the situation at Bayern doesn't merit any criticism at the moment. The people at Dortmund are laughing their ar*e off. You almost get the impression that we have to apologise for a sovereign 2-0 win.”
Uli Hoeness reacts to sporting director Matthias Sammer’s displeasure at a 2-0 win over Hannover

“My relationship with Dani [Alves] goes much further than him taking my old No22 shirt. When I had to undergo surgery, he offered to donate his liver. Our relationship goes much deeper than friendship.”
Eric Abidal

"He deserved to get booked and even though the Palace player stuck his leg out, Ashley wrapped his leg around it. I don't want my players diving. I'll be speaking to Ashley [Young] about it."
David Moyes takes gives an admirable view on his Manchester United player’s antics

"Ronaldo and Bale or Messi and Neymar? Ronaldo and Bale for me. They give you more options in games when things aren't going to plan. They're very fast."