"He was something else, the Lionel Messi of his day. He was a great person and a lovely man. I never heard him criticise anyone. I think he was the best [winger] ever. I never heard anyone say a disrespectful word about him."
Tommy Docherty, former teammate of Sir Tom Finney, on hearing of the Preston Plumber's death on Friday at the age of 91

"He was one of English football’s all-time greats and will be much missed across the game. Sir Tom was a true one-club man at Preston North End and a fantastic player for England. He will rightly be forever remembered at Deepdale and Wembley."
​Greg Dyke​, ​chairman of the FA on Sir Tom Finney

"He is a specialist in failure. I'm not. If supposedly he is right and I'm afraid to fail, it's because I haven't failed many times. Maybe he's right. Maybe I'm not used to failing. The reality is he is a specialist. Eight years without a piece of silverware – that's failure.”
Jose Mourinho on Arsene Wenger

“We have the best player in the world and we are also playing on the patio beside our house – the only problem is that that house is owned by the five-time world champions."
Alejandro Sabella on Argentina’s chances of winning Brazil 2014

“If you ask me if I want to swap him for Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar, I'd keep Hazard. Even within a very strong team, Eden stands out because he has that something extra. Against Manchester City he literally toyed with international defenders. Technically he is amazing. He is intelligent. He is hardly ever injured. His work-rate and defensive impact are huge too. The small flaws he did have, which were noted by Mourinho and I, are almost non-existent these days, in particular his former nonchalance. Eden is going to do what Messi and Ronaldo have done for years.”
Marc Wilmots on Eden Hazard

“I don’t think it’s wise for Toni to play poker too much with Bayern. His current wages are enough for him to have hot food on the table twice a day!”
Mehmet Scholl on Toni Kroos’ contract negotiations

"When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea."
Shia LaBeouf, the Hollywood actor, repeats an Eric Cantona line in a press conference promoting his latest film, Nymphomaniac, before storming out

"I want to do what Maradona did: first win the World Cup and then the Scudetto. He triumphed in Mexico in 1986 and, a year later, he made Napoli go crazy. If I could do this it would really be the ultimate dream. I'm going to be a king in Naples."
Gonzalo Higuain

“They did an important thing – they got the Brazilian people back on side at the Confederations Cup. They created a style of play that brought the supporters back. I was able to see some games live, and we felt a rapport between the supporters and the national team that had been lost. If we don’t have [injury] problems with our key players, I think Brazil are one of the favourites. And our major rivals in my view will be Argentina, because they have Messi, and Uruguay, because they have three of the best forwards in the world. So I think the World Cup will stay here in the Americas.”
Zico on the job done by Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlos Alberto Parreira, and who he thinks will win the FIFA World Cup

"Carlos Messi is to Mexico what Lionel Messi is to Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo is to Portugal, and we simply can’t afford not to have our best player in the team. Imagine if Messi didn’t want to play for Argentina – he would have coaches and administrators begging him to play. The same goes for Ronaldo if he wasn't playing for Portugal. The Mexican chiefs haven’t pulled out all the stops. When you're attempting to convince a person, you bring four aces up your sleeve. You come up with lots of different ways to convince him to return. Carlos Vela is a necessity for the national selection."
Hugo Sanchez

“I’ve always been very direct with my presidents. I once told De Laurentiis that I knew as much about cinema as he did about football.”
Roberto Donadoni

“I consider him my friend, though there was a period when we didn’t speak. It came after he did not come to my farewell game. I invited him and he did not even answer me. To me, respect is important. Now we have patched up the relationship and everything is fine. When Roma were coached by Zeman, I went to see training and Francesco, when he saw me on the sidelines, came up to me and said jokingly, ‘Who gave you permission to come here, to my house?’ I told him, ‘Do I have to ask permission from you? I come here whenever I want’. And we hugged. I consider Francesco the greatest Italian footballer of all time. Greater than Baggio and Rivera.”
Sinisa Mihajlovic on Francesco Totti

“I’d been saying to Diego for a while, ‘I want to play for Sao Paulo. I want to play for Sao Paulo.’ And then one day he sent me a message saying, ‘Is that what you still want – to leave Europe and go back to South America?’ To my mind though, Sao Paulo isn’t just South America. It’s a place apart. I probably know more about the club than he does – and he played here! I’m crazy about football, so I went on the site, had a look at the city, the training centre, the history … the whole lot. I’ve played at Old Trafford, the San Siro and the Santiago Bernabeu, but the other day we faced Palmeiras at the Pacaembu and it was amazing. I prefer to see people leaping about and celebrating like that, like they do here in South America. It’s something I’ve missed. I’ve played in the Champions League and I’ve won the UEFA Cup, but what I want to do now is play in the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa Libertadores. Maybe they can’t understand that in Europe, but it’s true. That’s how I am.”
Alvaro Pereira to FIFA.com on a chat with fellow Uruguayan Diego Lugano and playing in Brazil