“For me, heading a ball was similar to touching the ball with your hands.”
Dutch midfielder, played in Ligue 1
“While sitting on the bench you develop strange thoughts. You hope certain team mates play rubbish. Or get an injury. Not a painful one, but one that lasts very long. You feel like a gas station owner hoping that his competitor’s station burns down.”
'I would not be bothered if we lost every game as long as we won the league'
'In this game, there were two, three or four players who were weak like an empty bottle!'
'On a World Cup goal against Brazil :''The Brazilian version is the best, because you feel like the announcer wants to commit suicide because of me. When my kids call me to watch it I say, Ok, but only if you put the Brazilian comments !'
On Pirlo : 'It's the bargain of the century for us. Seeing him play in front of my back line, it made me realize that God does exist.'
Future Real Madrid 'player'
'Leeds is a great club and it's been my home for years, even though I live in Middlesbrough.'
Brazilian legend, father of all modern fullbacks
'I don’t envy today’s fullbacks for the money they make. I envy them for the freedom they’ve got to attack.”
“Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes, a referee makes a slew of mistakes and at the end, Germany always wins.”
“When I’ve got nothing better to do, I look down the league table to see how Everton are getting along.”
“I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.”
On Stephane Henchoz : “First I went left, he did too. Then I went right, and he did too. Then I went left again, and he went to buy a hot dog.”
On Pippo Inzaghi : “That lad must have been born offside.”
Brazilian goalscoring legend
“My shooting technique is so poor that if someday I score from outside the box, the keeper has to be banned from football.”
Scottish midfielder and manager
On Rooney : “It’s an incredible rise to stardom. At 17 you’re more likely to get a call from Michael Jackson than Sven Goran Eriksson.”
“What Zidane can do with a football, Maradona could do with an orange.”
They said it
“If you play on possession, you don’t have to defend, because there’s only one ball.”
'In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.'
English player and manager
“I would have given my right arm to be a pianist.”
'I can only ever dream of the kind of skill Ronaldinho has. To put us on par is an insult to soccer'
“Playing against a defensive opponent is just as bad as making love to a tree.”
English striker, not superstitious
“I don’t believe in superstitions. I just do certain things because I’m scared in case something will happen if I don’t do them.”
“My best moment? I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan.”
'You've got to believe that you're going to win, and I believe we'll win the World Cup until the final whistle blows and we're knocked out'
“I’m sure sex wouldn’t be so rewarding as this World Cup. It’s not that sex isn’t good but the World Cup is every four years and sex is not”
'To me, there's no such thing as a scorer, a midfielder or a defender. There are only football players, who must be able to do everything on the pitch.'
Welsh Lapalissade master
“I couldn’t settle in Italy – it was like living in a foreign country”
'We must have had 99% of the game. It was the other three per cent that cost us the match.'
Dutch magnificent defender
“Football is not an art, but it is an art to play it well.”
English centre back, Maradona victim
“The beauty of Cup football is that Jack always has a chance of beating Goliath”
Northern Irish booze lover
“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”