"Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm my retirement from playing professional football. I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy. As a teenager I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool, and when I made my debut against Blackburn Rovers in November 1998 I could never have imagined what would then follow over the next 18 years. I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career. I am proud to have played over 700 games for Liverpool, many of which as captain, and to have played my part in helping the club to bring major honours back to Anfield, none more so than that famous night in Istanbul."
Former England and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard announces his retirement from football after a 19-year playing career

"We are talking about one of the big names in football and one of the best players I have ever had. He was a player who could play in different positions, he could score goals, he could pass, he could assist, he could tackle, he could be an inspiration for the rest of the team like in Istanbul. Thanks to him we won the Champions League in Istanbul. Everything I can say about Stevie has to be positive. And because he was worried about the way that I was pushing him, I will say, 'Well done, Steve.'"
Former Liverpool manager and current Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez praises Gerrard and his career

"I just simply want to say, 'thank you, thank you, thank you' to all of you for an amazing ride over the last five and a half years. It's been an amazing experience. It's been a huge, huge honour to lead the national team over that amount of time. We've had some amazing experiences together. It's come to an end, and obviously you've got to respect that. I want to say a very, very special 'thank you' to all of the players. The response from them yesterday since the news came out has been overwhelming. All the text messages and calls I received from the players of support, it's been very emotional for me. I really, really appreciate it. I wish them the best of luck. I was a thousand per cent convinced we were going to qualify for Russia 2018 after those two losses. It's now down to a new coach getting the job done, but I'm still convinced he and the team will get the job done and will have a tremendous 2017 and hopefully a tremendous World Cup in Russia."
Jurgen Klinsmann thanks fans and players for their support on his Facebook page after he was fired as head coach of USA after over five years at the helm

"We came across Cristiano and his friends in the same restaurant. It was really by chance. I went to say hello and congratulate him for Portugal's win at the EUROs and the Champions League. We made fun of each other. I just joked like that because I needed time to get over the defeat in the final. But, honestly, it's not because he beat me in two important competitions and that he scored a hat-trick last weekend against us that my opinion will change. I have great respect for Ronaldo."
Atletico Madrid and France forward Antoine Griezmann stresses to L'Equipe Magazine that he has respect for Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo after it was revealed that he jokingly told him that he hated him

"It feels weird. It's happened once before, when we played against each other in the CONCACAF qualifying competition [the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship] almost a year ago. It's a strange situation, but it doesn't matter, I'll always give my all without letting anything else bother me. I'm going to approach this match as just another challenge; I really don't care who's on the opposite side."
Mexico defender Monica Flores talks about facing her sister Sabrina, who represents USA, in the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, where USA ended up edging Mexico 2-1 to advance to the semi-finals

"These types of players do not come around every day or every year. Real Madrid and Barcelona already have Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and no one will take them away. But with the economic power now that some English clubs have, the next superstar will play in England."
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino tells Marca that the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo will play in the English Premier League rather than La Liga

"Moving above Michael on to 151 would be a good place to be. Then my target would be to move closer to Robbie Fowler on 163. Then there's Thierry Henry on 175 and Frank Lampard on 177."
Sunderland forward Jermain Defoe talks with the Guardian about his desire to surpass Michael Owen and reach 151 Premier League goals

“Anyone who saw the game knows why it happened. We didn't play so well in defence, we conceded four goals at home and I didn't expect that, as we're usually more solid. We have to work on that weakness and discuss it. But either way, I'm glad we pulled off this home win. "
Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus speaks with UEFA.com after his side's 8-4 victory over Legia Warsaw, which was the highest-scoring match in UEFA Champions League history

"We all know it has been a challenge to host a World Cup here but there have been so many positive stories to come out of this. Seeing PNG score their first-ever goal gave us all goosebumps. Things like that remind you how beautiful football is and how you can use it so many ways to inspire."
England international and three-time FIFA Women's World Cup™ participant Alex Scott ​reflects on her experience visiting Papua New Guinea for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup

“At Sevilla I am looking for an identity rather than titles. [In future] I will remember the days when I was here, I will think about how we played. At the moment we aren't making the most of the chances that are being created with huge effort. That is the issue of this team today. Hopefully in the time remaining before stopping [for the mid-season break] we will do better in terms of goals because otherwise it will be stressful.”
Sevilla head coach Jorge Sampaoli speaks about his desire to create a style of play ahead of Valencia's visit in La Liga

"I wanted to be a gymnast when I was young, I used to do back-flips and all those things in the streeet and at home, but my grandma said it was dangerous and made me stop. Now my daughter is doing gymnastics and I'm a little bit jealous of her because she is doing all the things I wanted to do when I was young. I had to stop and concentrate on football but I'm happy about that now."
Liverpool and Netherlands midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum speaks with the Guardian about one of his childhood interests before football

"It is a do or die time, and of course, once we lose we go back home, and that is not our purpose or goal when we arrived yet. We are working on the notion that we will keep winning and I feel confident and have a good feeling about this tournament."
Japan substitute and utility player Shiho Matsubara speaks about her ambitions with the Young Nadeshiko at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016

"I don't consider talk of Barça being Messi-dependent to be praise or a concern, because it's not the case. I'm in the best team in the world, [Barça] don't depend on one player."
Barcelona star Lionel Messi claims his team are not reliant on him at a promotional event for adidas

"We argue constantly! The problem is that we both like being right, and since we're together all the time... But it never lasts long. We'll have it out, but ten minutes later, it's forgotten."
France defender Estelle Cascarino speaks about the dynamics of playing alongside her twin sister Delphine in Papua New Guinea at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup

"I was really excited and proud of myself, and also for proving to my country that we could achieve this. It was our aim for this game just to score one goal for us and for all of PNG. It was my aim to represent my country, and also to go back to my home province and develop women’s football there. I am really inspired by this tournament, and I want to continue playing football."
Papua New Guinea forward Nicollete Ageva gives her reaction to scoring her country's first ever goal in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup