And he always seemed such a nice young man
"What are you doing? You're new here, and you're nobody!... Pass me the ball, you're here to play for me.... Considering how bad you are, I've no idea how you cost so much... Stop shooting so much and give me the ball!" - quotes attributed to Lionel Messi by a Spanish website claiming to show that Mr Nice Guy is actually a bit of a pain in the backside when it comes to his dealings with team-mates.
The world's gone mad! Mad, I tells ya!
"The transfer is out of place in the current economic climate ... the numbers are a lack of respect to the world in general." - Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino delivers a scathing assessment of reports that Gareth Bale will join Real Madrid in a deal worth a combined £183 million in transfer fee and wages.
How many times must I say I'm sorry?
"I might be wrong but my parents made me grow up to be a good sportsman, win lose or draw. I'm going to go down the right channels to complain. I think something has got to be done." - Birmingham manager Lee Clark was outraged that Yeovil forced extra time in their League Cup match during the week thanks to a final minute goal scored when Yeovil equalised from a throw in that came only after the ball had been kicked out for an injury. Clark's words seem fair enough if the Blues had lost, but Yeovil apologised, allowed Birmingham to score an uncontested equaliser after they'd gone ahead in extra time, and Birmingham eventually went through on penalties anyway. Really, does the man want blood?
Think there are no characters in tennis? Think again
"He hit two winners on my push - I wouldn't call it a serve - so I decided to try something else." - Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, one of the biggest servers in tennis, explains why he decided to start serving underarm to his opponent at the US Open on a day when a sore back meant he wasn't at his best. The crowd was not happy and booed him roundly.
"It was like being stabbed in the back by a knife. I felt bad in my lower back. For three days I haven't been able to practice, I could barely walk. I was in really good shape before this happened and that's why I'm fricking disappointed." - Janowicz again, explaining the injury and ensuring that he'll be in for an interesting conversation should he ever meet Monica Seles.
"His dad sort of fobbed me off and said I wasn't good enough to practice with him. I remembered that." - Britain's US Open sensation Dan Evans reveals that a snub from Bernard Tomic's dad a few years ago helped spur him on to a landmark win at Flushing Meadows.
Conspiracy Theory of the Week
Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King
"It's been 40 years, OK, and I've carried this with me for 40 years. The fear is gone. … And I wanted to make sure, if possible, I could set the record straight — let the world know that this was not what it seemed to be." - American golf pro Hal Shaw makes the sensational claim that the famous Battle of the Sexes between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973 was fixed, with Riggs throwing the match on purpose in order to pay off over $100,000 in debts to the Mafia.
"Bobby Riggs wanted to win that match. I saw it in his eyes. I saw it when we changed ends, and there is no question. I have played matches where players have tanked, and I know what it feels like and I know what it looks like, and he did not. He just was feeling the pressure."- King's response to what are just the latest allegations that the match was fixed. Speculation about a fix has raged for years, with many bookies in Britain refusing even to offer odds at the time the match was originally played.
Terrifying-but-probably-accurate Prediction of the Week
"We are very confident that we are going to have the weight behind this movement to be in the Olympics... It is certainly a goal of our owners to do it one day. It is going to happen." - UFC Asia Pacific chief Mark Fischer says the unthinkable by suggesting that MMA will one day be an Olympic sport.
Twitter Twit of the Week
"Have you been sneaking a look at the dressing room iPod?" - Liverpool FC's official Twitter account's response to a series of sick, Munich air crash-related suggestions when asking fans for a suggested playlist for the Liverpool v Manchester United clash at Anfield this weekend. The Reds later deleted the Tweet.
Dedicated fan of the Week
"She was hardest to convince alright, but we have an agreement that if it makes any money, she gets to keep it!" - Australia-based Irishman David Feeney describes his wife's reaction after he spent "tens of thousands" of dollars on landing the TV rights to Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Sweden, because he was desperate to watch the game and nobody was broadcasting it Down Under.
And finally, one from the archives
"I'd rather sell groundnuts in my village than to play for a pathetic team like Chelsea." - New Chelsea signing Samuel Eto'o, whose quote many years ago on how he'd never stoop so low as to play for the Blues became the most shared nine-year-old quote in the history of Twitter when he went back on his words this week.
- Sports & Recreation