World of Sport

Quotes of the week: ‘If that’s a bust-up…’

World of Sport

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Some of our favourite quoters make a reappearance on these pages this week - and in some cases, they've made waves for things they didn't say just as much as things they did...

So which of these did Zlatan Ibrahimovic NOT say?

Zlatan on Beckham joining PSG: "Now we're not only good, but beautiful as well. We were already good but now we're also handsome."

Zlatan on his wages: "I heard Beckham's decision and it made me think. Who is most deserving of all of the money that I, Zlatan, am paid? The answer is Zlatan. The children of Paris are not leading Ligue 1 in goals this season. I am. I have 20 goals. The next best players have 12. Twelve! If anything, the children of Paris should be giving me even more money for having the privilege of being in the same city as my incredible quality. And so should David Beckham. Call it a Zlaritable donation."

Zlatan on Becks: “He is a very fashionable guy and he will love Paris. I am sure he gets his fashion inspiration from me — he must have seen me walking around Milan. I have lived in some great cities but this is truly the fashion capital of the world. I will take him for a shopping trip next week. I am sure I can give him a few ideas.”

Congratulations if you spotted the second one was fictional. Plenty didn’t.

And, basically, I was just relieved not to be booed by my own fans

"When I got out there it wasn't about me but about trying to beat a world class team. I was a touch emotional at the start and I would like to thank the fans. I didn't really expect the reception I got - I was delighted, overwhelmed and kind of speechless" – Ashley Cole given round of applause for winning 100 caps for England, and being very good at football while doing it.

And while we’re on the point...

Roy Hodgson on Ashley Cole, 31 January: "He is...not a player that has flitted from club to club to get a slightly better contract"

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Ashley Cole’s autobiography, My Defence, 2006, on negotiations with Arsenal: "When I heard Jonathan repeat the figure of £55,000, I nearly swerved off the road.’He is taking the piss Jonathan!' I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn't believe what I'd heard."

Notts on the same page

Owner Fawaz Al Hasawi, February 1: "Alex and I talk every day, at least twice a day. We have a very good working relationship and it troubles me greatly that people think otherwise.”

Forest manager Alex McLeish, same day: “Fawaz is a strong individual, he is the owner and isn’t a successful businessman for no reason. Sometimes he will say no to my requests and suggestions and sometimes I will say no to his because I am a strong manager. If that’s the level of the alleged ‘bust-up’ then I guess we’ll be reading about more managers having them with their owners this week.”

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Ex-Forest manager Alex McLeish, February 5: "Both parties entered into the relationship in good faith, however, there was a difference in the understanding of the development strategy of the football club and it was felt by both parties that we should part company."

My brother is running for PM of Italy

"OK, we are all off to see the family's little n*****. He's a crazy head. All the young ladies are invited as well – you can even have a chance to meet the president [Silvio Berlusconi]” – Paolo Berlusconi, the vice-president of AC Milan, chooses his words less than carefully.

And as for Mario...

"Good things - only when I get to Carrington to train. So my team-mates and manager. And the bad things? Everything else. The press, first. The weather. The food. The way you drive. That's it." – Two and half years in England in two and a half lines. Thanks for coming, Mario Balotelli.

Super Bowl sideshows

"All of our distribution and transmission feeds going into the Superdome were operating as expected," Entergy spokesman Philip Allison. It didn’t help alleviate the confusion during a 35-minute blackout at the Super Bowl.

“Any questions?” – Beyonce to the assembled media after singing the national anthem at a press conference. America spent much of the lead-up the Super Bowl worrying whether the former Destiny’s Child star was singing live or not.


“I am never going to fight one of those Klitschko p****s I can tell you that. The way they are avoiding all the top fighters and fighting bums like [Odlanier] Solis and that when I am in line, they can f*** right off. I am going to make my own era in boxing, my own legacy, and even if it takes me a year or two, I won’t be going anywhere near them two.” Tyson Fury swings wildly yet again, and reveals that his legacy will be built by avoiding the two fighters that could define his career.


“I am not a miracle worker” – Lewis Hamilton gets his excuses in early ahead of testing with Mercedes in Jerez. And it’s just as well, because after 15 laps in the cockpit he put the car in the wall.

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