World Football

The Week in Quotes

(FIFA.com)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid holds a press conference after signing a new five-year contract
© Getty Images

"I really enjoyed playing with him because he made me better on the pitch. He's a good guy and a good friend of mine. Of course I gave my assists, a lot to him, and he knows, but I really enjoyed playing with him because it was easy.* *He doesn't need a lot of chances, even if I give him two assists, he scored two. He's a very amazing player, one of the greatest footballers in history. I never saw a guy like him, he works really hard. He's the first guy to get in in the dressing room and the last guy maybe to go to his house. He's very professional, always he wants to fight, even in the training games. If you see a player like this over there, of course you are looking what he does.”
Arsenal midfielder *Mesut Ozil *speaks about his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, in an interview with Arsenal Media

**

"You never know. I want to stay here and finish here. It is not my last contract, I want to keep going until I'm 41, but now the most important thing is this special moment that makes me happy and my family too.”
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo talks about his hopes for the future on the club's official website, after renewing his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2021

"Last season I wasn't good, so for me it's normal that I'm not on the list. I want to come back and give everything to be on the list -- not to be in the top 23, but to be in the top five. I want to reach this level."
Belgium and Chelsea midfielder *Eden Hazard *tells ESPNFC he wants to be one of the top-five footballers in the world

“I do believe the summer was the right time to risk something new and I can already say that Manchester City is the right club for me. You can see that you’ve arrived at a super club which has set out for great things and wants to develop great things in the upcoming years. That can’t even be compared to Bayern Munich, it’s a different story. It is clear here that you are striving for the supreme. The expectation is extremely high. Accordingly, the pressure and responsibility on individual players is profound. It’s something different to Dortmund.”
Manchester City midfielder *Ilkay Gundogan *gives his early impressions of his time at the club in an interview with Kicker magazine

“I thought only I scored 25,000?”
Manchester United forward *Zlatan Ibrahimovic *reacts when told by a reporter that he scored the 25,000 goal in Premier League history, after United's 3-1 win at Swansea City

“Many thanks to [Ajax] and [Van der Sar] for the message of congratulations and the 27 crates of beer!”
Scottish Lowland League club East Kilbridetweets a 'thank you' message to Ajax after they surpassed the Dutch club's world record of 26 successive wins

“This is so funny, but my brothers are older than me — I was the youngest, and they used to tease me about a kids TV character called Alf. Do you know him? Alf the Alien, my God he was so ugly and I was so scared of him. My brothers used to say, 'Be careful, Alf is going to get you tonight!' They went too far with it!"
Arsenal and France forward Olivier Giroudtells the club's programme about one of his childhood fears* *

"Up front there are three beasts [Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez] that resolve games, with Messi doing a little of everything. All the time he's becoming more of a midfielder than an attacker! He is incredible. Every day he demonstrates that he's the best. In training he does things that amaze you. His ambition surprised me. He always wants to win. If he's losing [a training game] he gets the ball, goes past three and puts the ball in the goal and relaxes a little. I focused on him the first few days in the changing room, he's very close [to his teammates] and thinks about everyone."*
Barcelona forward *Denis Suarez *shares his initial observations of Lionel Messi with Cadena Ser*

“It’s not easy with him, he’s very demanding. I hadn’t experienced that before. Even when I make a good pass, if the ball bobbles a little bit, he pulls me up on it. I think he sees in me characteristics he also had when he was younger. That’s why he’s so intransigent with me. Thanks to him, I’m more intelligent in my movement, and so I’m caught offside less. He’s also teaching me things about finishing, controlling the ball and how I see the game. Back in the day, he made ten assists a season, I’d like to emulate him.”

Belgium forward Romelu Lukakutalks about Thierry Henry's influence on him as assistant coach of Les Diables Rouges, in an interview with SFR Sport*

“Frankly, of all the club’s I’ve played at, these supporters generate the best atmosphere I’ve ever seen. It’s cool. I’m happy when people like me.”

Nice forward Mario Balotellitalks with Telefoot about his admiration of the club's supporters*

“I nearly did [fall out of love with football]. The injury last season was the hardest to take mentally, because I have been through a lot. I missed the fight of the Premier League, being involved in all the big games and making a difference for a team and I wanted to feel that again and almost fall back in love with the game again. I wanted to get back playing week-in week-out, being involved in the Premier League. I have missed a lot of football. When you are injured and injured for a while it is hard. You have to go to the training ground and go and watch everyone go out and play, go to the Emirates and watch them play. It is difficult. I needed it (the move) for myself. When you are playing football it is the best job in the world. Everybody wants to do it. You wake up in the morning and you go and play football with your mates. I did that for a while and to have that taken away and have to go the gym. I’m only just getting back to my level now.”

England midfielder *Jack Wilshere *opens up about his struggle with injuries, speaking with the Times*

“Dybala can make history at Juventus over the next ten years. He is unique, you cannot compare him to any other player. Dybala and Neymar can become the heirs of Messi and Ronaldo.”

Bayern Munich head coach Carlo Ancelottibelieves the Juventus and Barcelona stars can replace Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best players on the planet, speaking with Tuttosport*

"We are no longer driving toward the stadium knowing that we will win and that we are just wondering by what margin we will win. Those days are over and I miss that feeling. I hope that we can create a similar era in the future, even if I will not be part of it. This group of players has the potential and quality to reach that same level."

Netherlands midfielder *Wesley Sneijdergives an honest assessment to Metro about the current state of the Dutch national team

"There was a lot of myth about it. It happened about half a dozen times in 27 years and the players will tell you that. The problem for me was if a player answered me back, I headed towards them. That was my problem. [Former Celtic and Scotland boss] Jock Stein always said to me, 'Leave it until Monday to talk to them,' but I said I couldn't wait until Monday. So, on a Saturday after the game, I told them exactly how I felt, because we had trained at a level all week that I expected to win every game. I told them exactly the truth and the truth works. All the players understood that and it was never held against me. Then the next day it is pushed aside and I'm prepared to win again. I never ruled by fear. "

*

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Fergusontalks about some of his management philosophies at the World Business Forum in Milan*

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