“With skis like these, I would have even lost to Zlatan [Ibrahimovic]!.”
Petter Northug attributes all-conquering Norway’s shock fourth-place finish in cross-country skiing at the Winter Olympics – a race won by bitter rivals Sweden – to a problem with the waxing of his skis

"I knew Felix would pop up again somewhere, but not in Germany. I knew his only chance would be abroad, where they don't know him well. He goes well beyond the limits of physical challenges with players – he pushes players to ridiculous levels, well past the limit. For him it’s natural to squeeze the body of a professional player like a lemon, to its final drop. It goes well beyond the player’s body getting unhealthy. This can lead to a team’s short revival, but it also leads to long-term disaster. Felix Magath has proved that at every club he’s been. I would never want to treat human beings like he does. He should ask himself why all the players at clubs where he worked throw a massive party when he leaves. Even when he was successful, they still had a blast once he was out the door."
Uli Hoeness on new Fulham manager Felix Magath

"I don't have a weaker foot."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic on being asked what it felt like to score a screamer with his weaker foot against Bayer Leverkusen

“When that football ‘guru’ speaks, we ought to just kneel down and say, ‘Yessir!’. Other historic Juventus coaches, like Marcello Lippi and Giovanni Trapattoni, are respectful but Capello is disrespectful and annoying. Since I’ve been here he’s always been talking about Juventus and sticking his nose in. Perhaps our statistics and records annoy him. Capello ought to mind his own business. He won two Scudetti with a tank of a squad, but nobody will remember their style of football or Capello for anything in particular.”
Antonio Conte

“Brazilian football is, in terms of quality, terrible right now. We only have only player who can make a difference: Neymar. Hulk? For the love of God. Brazil has always had two or three top strikers, but now we have no-one. It’s absurd. The best striker was have is a fatty, it’s Walter. And I want a chubby Walter [to play] instead of the very skinny one (Jo).”

“It’s difficult to talk about Materazzi, because I arrived in Italy in 2009 and the last time I saw him play well was in 2006. Perhaps it hurts him that before I arrived he’d never got past the Champions League Round of 16. I always had an excellent rapport with Mourinho. He once said that if he had to go to war, I’d be the first person he’d bring with him. Materazzi was a very nasty player – he went in to hurt opponents. I heard him say that. He behaves the same way off the field – as a nasty person.”
Lucio on his former Inter Milan team-mate Marco Materazzi

“He is the toughest in our squad. I don't go near him in training because if I do, there is only one winner. His form of late has been sensational. If he gets that consistency, he is going to be a frightening talent."
Steven Gerrard on Raheem Sterling

"You cannot define him in words. He's from another world, the best. To have him beside you every day is tremendous. He does unimaginable things.”
Thierry Henry on Lionel Messi

“Balotelli is unmanageable. He is a kind of poison in the squad.”
Frank Leboeuf