World Football

The Week in Quotes

Cristiano Ronaldo's exploits in 2014 have earned him another FIFA Ballon d'Or nomination. We look back at his best moments throughout the year.
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“For me the game was fun, but it stopped being like that when I joined Real Madrid’s youth academy aged 11. As a youngster I lived with 300 other boys and 85 per cent of them did not make it. All of them sacrificed their adolescence for nothing. You would watch those who were disgarded going off with their backpacks. It was like the X-Factor, only there was no public there to save you. At Real they give you the best salary, a house, a car and a luxury watch. I had other offers, but none which gave me the opportunity to live in such a nice place [as Florence]. Maybe people appreciate me because I do my shopping in the local supermarket, tidy my children’s room and go round the city like any other tourist. I’m privileged. There are people working 12-hour days and we train for three. We must stop treating players like stars and take away this myth surrounding our work.”
*Borja Valero *

“Einstein tried to explain the universe using theories. In my 40 years in football I’ve tried to explain it and failed. Not that I'm trying to compare myself to Einstein, because I'm much smarter than him, but some things you simply can’t explain. It was an epic game.”
*Levir Culpi after his Atletico Mineiro team produced an unbelievable comeback to eliminate Flamengo in their Copa do Brasil semi-final *

"I see in myself what people saw in Di Stefano. I want to be the best of all time and I will try and make that happen. I'll get there.”
Cristiano Ronaldo

“The potential of having Mia on the board of Roma to me was a no-brainer. What she’s forgotten about football over the last 30 years I still have to learn.”
James Pallotta *on Roma’s decision to appoint women’s football legend Mia Hamm as the club’s new director

"My vote goes to Guardiola, although we all have to admit Simeone had the biggest achievement Real, Barcelona and Bayern have Ferraris, but he only has a BMW and still won the league.”
*Robert Prosinecki on who should win the FIFA Coach of the Year award

"Robben is on par with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. You can't put a price on Arjen – not as a player and not as a person either. He has the advantage of having a stable life. The consistency with which he performs at the highest level in big games, and his training intensity, are extraordinary.”
Matthias Sammer *
“Only the Virgin Mary saved us from conceding a goal in that first half.”
Angelos Anastasiadis* on his PAOK team going in at the interval goalless away to Fiorentina

"We are the team to get less support in home matches. When compared to my previous time I think it's getting worse. I will always love them and respect them, but I don't know why.”
Jose Mourinho on the Chelsea fans

“Pep Guardiola is currently the best coach in the world, even if I hate Tiki-Taka, because I have a very different vision of football. The problem is not him, but those who try to copy him without having the right players. I think Rudi Garcia at times focuses too much on possession without seeking more goals.”
Zeman criticises the Roma coach

“He is shameful. He only speaks in Italian and the players don’t know what to do on the pitch.
Guido Albers*, Wesley Sneijder’s agent, on Galatasaray coach Cesare Prandelli

“Look at the back four they ended up with: Valencia, McNair, Carrick and Shaw. That’s the worst back four you’ll ever see!”
*Jamie Redknapp on Manchester United’s defence against Manchester City

"We all know he gets a lot out of his teams, but perhaps he doesn't have that much affection for them as human beings. We have seen clear examples that he doesn't mind humiliating them.”
Francisco Rodriguez on Jose Mourinho


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