"We have won more with 4-4-2 in a [midfield] diamond, but when you analyse the game then we have twitched our asses on the bench. I have twitched my ass because we were out of balance. I told my players I was squeezing my ass, but [they said] it was the wrong expression. All the matches when we play 4-4-2, like against West Ham United (whom United beat 2-1), it was always twitching your ass, and I don't like it."
Louis van Gaal's unusual description of the physical effects of his tactical tinkering at Manchester United

"I think the best striker is Ibrahimovic. He wears No10, but he plays like a No9. Last year I went to Paris a couple of times and watched matches in which he played. His movement [is amazing]! He’s very, very good - the best at the moment."
Brazil legend Ronaldo names his favourite striker

"I hope to score at least one goal and be better than Bosko Balaban!"
New Leicester City signing Andrej Kramaric enjoys a joke at the expense of his fellow Croatian, who flopped at Aston Villa

“We went to many countries where the people did not want us. The spectators in the stadiums were chanting 'Ebola, Ebola.' But that also made us stronger and more determined. Now that we are here, so nobody is saying those things anymore.”
Guinea captain Ibrahima Traore tells FIFA.com about the team's rocky road to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations

"If you can't link up well with Messi, football's not for you."
Xavi

"You can play him wherever you want and he'll be flawless. He is one of the world's best players. He's maintained an incredible level for the last 12 years. He has still never been Player of the Year, though, and that’s a catastrophe. He’s outstanding in 55 out of 60 matches per season, but that's never been recognised."
Bayern Munich assistant coach Hermann Gerland on Philipp Lahm

"It is difficult to have friends in life. On Facebook it is easier."
Alvaro Arbeloa reflects on his feud with Iker Casillas

"Osvaldo’s problem comes from within himself. The problem is how ready is he mentally to accept the decisions and the rules that come with the job. It’s Osvaldo fighting against Osvaldo."
Hernan Crespo on Inter Milan's Dani Osvaldo

"So long as Ronaldo and Messi are around, the third player who gets nominated should realise that he does not stand a chance."
Franck Ribery on the FIFA Ballon d'Or

"The gap with Bayern is too big to ever close again. It is impossible to organise your scouting department in a way that's good enough to make Bayern even worry. They are on a completely different level. Leverkusen tried to keep up with Bayern in the 2000s, but we eventually reached our natural limits. We had to let go."
Bayer Leverkusen's sporting director Rudi Voller

"I thought they were kidding with their bid. I was too inexperienced to handle the situation. In Manchester I was a child and was alone."
Bebe on his infamous big-money move to Manchester United

"He is a guy who needs to feel affection and there's too much pressure on him at Dortmund. He would be great behind Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez. Mkhitaryan is much quicker and runs more than [Wesley] Sneijder. He is a complete player. He creates chances, wins back balls and always keeps on going."
Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu advises Juventus to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan

"The president of Ajax wanted to sell me to Real Madrid. I was born shortly after the war, though, and was taught not to just accept anything. Barcelona weren't at the same level as Madrid football wise, but it was a challenge to play for a Catalan club." 
Johan Cruyff

"I have not tried to convince [Paul] Pogba to join Real Madrid because I don't know him on a personal level. But the best players always go to Madrid in the end."
Zinedine Zidane

"I’m currently trying to improve my left foot, my acceleration and my direct free-kicks. I’ve not had a great deal of success recently with them."
FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo on self-improvement

"Ah, you guys are bad! (laughs) I think I’d have to pass on that and say goodbye to the money!"
Diego Simeone responds to FIFA.com's question on whether the best contract imaginable would tempt him to coach Real Madrid or Brazil's national team