“When you stop playing football it’s very difficult. Football is like a drug. Sport is like a drug. Physiologically, it’s like your drug. And you need it. You need something.”
*Former France and Manchester United star Eric Cantona opens up about life after football as he turns 50 *
“Part of me is also hoping to meet Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Seeing him play is magical. Everyone loves what he does: basketball fans, teammates, rivals. Our small sizes, and even our playing styles, are similar. If you watch Curry play or, just as revealing, warm up before the game—you notice his relationship with the ball. It’s like his body and mind are always on the same wavelength with the ball. I try to have that connection in my sport too.”
*Even the biggest stars in the world can be left impressed by the sporting prowess of others and Lionel Messi has his eyes on a few off pitch/on court activities at the Copa America Centenario *
"Nothing would beat winning the Champions League with Atletico. I won it with Chelsea, but I was not in a good place. I did not feel I was being treated well at the time — I felt lost.”
*Fernando Torreslooks ahead to the Champions League final in Milan, while explaining his first victory is somewhat tainted *
“The first time is like when you make love: you always remember it … but then it’s true that you can improve because to start with you’re a disaster. The first time always has a special taste. I was the protagonist for a great goal.”
*Sergio Ramoshas no such bad memories of his first Champions League win, but does admit his 92nd minute equaliser against Atletico – before winning 4-1 – was not ideal *
"I was the last to arrive, and the rule was that the last to arrive had to go into the goal. Because it was a stupid job. And the coach is the boss, you know? And I was just a little boy, very shy. So I said, 'OK, thank you.'"
*German FIFA World Cup winner and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuerdiscusses how he first started out wearing the gloves, aged three *
"I studied Greek at school in Bruges so I am used to a different alphabet. I quickly learned Cyrillic [the Russian alphabet] and thought that everything would then be easy – but it was too early to rejoice! My [knee] injury meant that I had to return to Belgium for a long time and wasn't able to practise my Russian.”
It’s fair to say there have been ups and downs for Nicolas Lombaertsas he has learned Russian. He gave us his tips and key phrases should you be thinking of heading to the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 or the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™
"The future is already written. I have made my choice. I enjoy reading what the media write. It's fun."
*Zlatan Ibrahimovicexplains that his next destination, having left Paris Saint-Germain, is already decided, but he will be keeping the rest of us in the dark a little longer *
“Everything I wanted him to bring as captain he has brought. You have to remember that half of my squad have grown up idolising Zlatan.”
*Though Erik Hamrenis more than happy to share when it comes to the Sweden captain, who acknowledged the challenge of having a dressing room in awe of the talismanic forward *
Marcus Rashfordcelebrates scoring with his first shot in an England senior shirt, taking just two minutes to register in a 2-1 win over Australia
"Sometimes [my son] comes at home and says 'daddy Bale is faster than you'. And I say 'what are you on about? No one is faster than your dad'. And he says 'yes but at school they told me he is faster and in an interview Messi said that he'd like to have your right foot.' He comes up with these things and it gives me joy, he's a kid."
*Cristiano Ronaldoreveals even he’s not safe from some teasing from his son, a fact that will no doubt reassure many fathers around the world *
"People have a different idea of Cristiano. 'Oh, Cristiano is a snob.' He is very simple, very humble. He is a loved one. He treats many people like you wouldn't imagine. In his private life he is fantastic."
*While Luis Felipe Scolari, former Portugal manager, is the latest voice to try to paint a different picture of Ronaldo off the field *
“In the lead-up to games my girlfriend goes to another room with our baby girl so I can get some sleep. And during the day she sleeps, so there’s not much I can do. I do change her nappies, though, and I dress and bathe her too. I really enjoy it.”
Antoine Griezmanngives FIFA.com an insight into his new world of fatherhood
“When I made my debut in the Europa League he was over the moon for me. We talk about Australia, every now and then, and I try to convince him to come to Australia and play in the A-League.”
*Chris Ikonomidisdiscusses his unlikely bond with former Lazio team-mate and all-time FIFA World Cup top scorer Miroslav Klose, and where he hopes to see him end up *
"Pele, you are the king. The King. But I've won more titles than you."
Dani Alvestallies up his medals after Barcelona win the Spanish Copa del Rey