"At the weekend, I was certain that I would stay at Real Madrid
, but afterwards I realised that I did not have the faith from the coach or the bosses. I am a player who needs this faith and that is what I have felt from Arsenal
, which is why I have joined. I am really looking forward to it because I have the faith of the coach. I had spoken to him at length on the telephone, he explained his plans and that he has faith in me - that is what I need as a player" – New Arsenal signing Mesut Ozil
reveals a good old-fashioned telephone conversation persuaded him to join Arsenal.
"We played very well. If you look at the games against Swansea, Chelsea and today, we have played well. We scored all our goals in the first game, but played well, and limited teams to very few opportunities. Wayne (Rooney) would have made a difference. We maybe lacked something different at times" – After the defeat to Liverpool, David Moyes trolls the Manchester United fans
before infuriating them further on transfer deadline day.
"If I want to be among the greats of (Muhammad) Ali and Pele and all these guys I have to continue dominating until I retire" – Usain Bolt
explains why he wants to quit on a high after the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"I kind of self-destructed, which is very disappointing" – Roger Federer
is at a loss after his straight-sets defeat to Tommy Robredo at the US Open. Don’t worry Roger, we all still love watching you.
"I can't complain. If someone told me before the US Open last year I would have been here as defending champion having won Wimbledon and Olympic gold, I would have taken that 100 per cent" – Andy Murray reflects on a disappointing quarter-final exit at Flushing Meadows.
"If I'm up (on the podium) and I'm being booed that means I've won, so I definitely want that. I'd pay to have that experience" – Lewis Hamilton goads the Ferrari fans ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
"It was not even about money. The proof is that in every month that I was sick, the club has not paid me" – Eric Abidal
drops the bombshell that Barcelona withheld his wages while he was undergoing treatment and recovery for cancer
. ‘Mes que un club’ or just another business?
"In difficult moments for the national team, when the Real-Barca matches got a little strange, (Iker Casillas
) helped the team to move on and continue winning things like the European Championships. This did not go down well and perhaps had a detrimental effect also on Iker. He was a key figure in fostering harmony in the national team" – Spain coach Vicente del Bosque turns conspiracy theorist about Casillas losing his place at Real Madrid
, failing to mention his loss of form and focus in recent years. Those giant shape-shifting lizards strike again.
"The two targets I have for the England team are… to at least reach the semi-finals of Euro 2020… (and) win the World Cup in 2022" – FA chief Greg Dyke
sets ambitious expectations for England’s long-term progress.
"I don't think anyone realistically thinks we are going to win the World Cup in Brazil. I asked a bunch of journalists what would be seen as doing well in Brazil. The consensus was if we reach the quarter-finals we'll do very well. That's not to say we can't win. But let's not kid ourselves, it's pretty hard to win in Latin America anyway for a European side. We're certainly not going to go there as odds-on favourites, that's for sure" – Dyke provokes sets realistic expectations for England’s short-term progress.
Needless to say, Dyke was hammered for both.
"I thought he was going to say sorry for the verbal abuse, but no. He spat in my face, then walked away and said he wouldn't pay me. I said, 'Okay, John, you are a real man. That's fine. Bernard will pay me'. And he head-butted me" – From a few months ago but worth reprinting, as professional hitting partner Thomas Drouet
explains the incident that saw Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic's father, John, given an eight-month suspended prison sentence
this week for assaulting the Frenchman before the Madrid Masters.
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