World of Sport

Quotes of the week: ‘A squirrel hit me…I could have died!’

World of Sport

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Scunthorpe manager Alan Knill was out riding his bike earlier in the week when he collided with a squirrel. Unable to dodge the animal, it got caught up in his wheel spokes and sent the manager flying over his handlebars.

"It was quite serious at the time, I was flying through the air," Knill told the BBC. "I came off my bike at 20-whatever miles an hour, an ambulance was called and everything - I could have died. I saw it run into the road but couldn't do anything about it and it just hit my wheel and stuck in my wheel and hit my brakes. I went over the top of my bike and landed on my head, shoulder and neck. I'm worrying every night about football, but I could have been dead on Monday and it's so stupid."

The lower leagues of English football provided plenty more entertaining quotes this week as the ever-bashful Paolo Di Canio laid into a choice selection of his players for their poor performances.

"He's (goalkeeper Wes Foderingham) the worst professional I've ever seen," Di Canio told BBC Wiltshire. "It was the arrogance later on when he started moaning to the others. That was the worst thing for me. If he doesn't come out and say sorry to the fans for his professionalism, then he is out of my team. He was nothing until the day he joined me. He didn't have one second as a professional. He's forgotten everything. He's arrogant and thinks he's untouchable."

"(Aden) Flint came in tonight as if he was on holiday and this is not acceptable," he told BBC Wiltshire. "He has to take the responsibility. We lost because of him. It was like on Sunday when we lost for Wes (Foderingham). We lost because of a stupid moment. He's a good professional but he has to improve. Flint's a good guy but he's got a big limit."

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Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov also decided to launch a bitter tirade, but in the direction of his former boss, Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I don't think I deserved such treatment at United - not playing in the last year. I went more than 10, probably 15, times to ask the coach if they need me. And every time I was told that I'm an important player and should not leave, but then again I was not in the team. I know he's the boss, but he has lost, to some extent, my respect because of the way he treated me. I found it hard to accept his decision - I still have my dignity. I said goodbye to the people who deserve it. I couldn't say goodbye to Ferguson."

Fiorentina sporting director Daniel Prade was left seething after Dimitar Berbatov snubbed talks with the Italian club in favour of joining Fulham, and now he has been asked to cover the travel costs, among other angry demands.

"I'm glad that he did not arrive," Prade told Radio Blu. "We will request to his agent the money we paid for their flight to come to Florence, 100 per cent." This followed the club's statement after the move broke down: "The player embarked, in the company of his agent and with tickets paid by Fiorentina, on a direct flight to Florence. But the player never arrived in Florence. (This was) owing to the reckless and arrogant actions of other clubs which have nothing to do with the values of decency, fair play and ethics of the sport and which go beyond the limits of fairness. We are happy that he did not come to Fiorentina. He did not deserve our city and our shirt and the values it represents."

Meanwhile, Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna was less than impressed with Arsenal's sale of midfielder Alex Song to Barcelona over the summer, as he revealed this week.

"At Arsenal, you're back from holidays, you prepare and you see two of the players leave when competition returns," Sagna told L'Equipe. "That's the way it is since I am here. I'm used to it now. Van Persie, I expected it. All of us expected it. It was 'obvious', if I shall put it in English. But Alex Song for Barcelona… What a surprise. He is 24, he had three years left. I still can't understand. It is a huge loss for the club."

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Cristiano Ronaldo is quick to quash suggestions that his 'sadness' is related to his wage packet and current Real Madrid contract.

"That I am feeling sad and have expressed this sadness has created a huge stir," Ronaldo said. "I am accused of wanting more money, but one day it will be shown that this is not the case. At this point, I just want to guarantee to the Real Madrid fans that my motivation, dedication, commitment and desire to win all competitions will not be affected. I have too much respect for myself and for Real Madrid to ever give less to the club than all I am capable of. Abrazos (hugs) to all madridistas."

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Andy Roddick responds to a standing ovation after he bowed out of the US Open and retired: "I've loved every minute of it. It's been a road, a lot of ups, a lot of downs, a lot of great moments."

Novak Djokovic attempts to work out why his opponent, Stanislas Wawrinka, retired in their fourth-round match: "I really don't know exactly what it was but by the look of it, I think it was probably a dizziness or something,"

Serena Williams, talking in the third person, of course, says her focus is on 'getting more serious' in the later rounds. "I feel like I'm going to get more focused and serious and start playing Serena tennis in the next couple of rounds, if I get to play two rounds. That's my goal."

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American cyclist Tyler Hamilton reveals how Lance Armstrong tried to bully him into keeping quiet about the years they spent doping together while team-mates.

"I planned to take this secret to the grave. When you're on the witness stand, we are going to f***ing tear you apart. You are going to look like a f***ing idiot. I'm going to make your life a living f***ing hell. My lawyer was receiving a series of urgent calls from Lance's lawyers, who were offering me their services, for free. It was a classic Lance move. For six years, he gives me zero support. Now, when things get tough, he wants us on the same team again. No thanks."

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