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The Week in Quotes – FIFA

“It was one of the most poignant moments of the night. To receive applause from a stadium like this, which has been graced by great players, is a unique experience. When I was a kid, I liked Juventus and the fact that their fans have clapped me will stay with me.”
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after being applauded by Juventus’s supporters in Turin after scoring with a bicycle kick in his side’s 3-0 win in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg

“I cannot be any different than I am right here, now. I could never be a coach who mainly focuses on tactics or analytics because I am more instinctive… The coach, in my opinion, bases his decisions on sensations, on perceptions. Otherwise it would be enough to sit in front of the computer and football would be like a PlayStation. And that is not what I am. In football there are a lot of people who try to reach perfection with figures, with tactics but it’s impossible because there are too many variables.”
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri speaks exclusively with The Telegraph about his coaching style

“For years now, I have bemoaned the lack of English No10s coming through the ranks. You look at Spain and the names trip off the tongue: Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Isco, David Silva. There is a conveyor belt of Spanish creative geniuses. In Raheem Sterling, however, England may finally have the closest thing to a master manipulator on the ball. Sterling starts wide on the right for Manchester City but in England’s friendlies last week he was the perfect 10.”
Jamie Redknapp writes about England’s Raheem Sterling in his column in The Daily Mail

“My age is 45 years old, but for me, this is just a number on paper. I train hard every day, I don’t know what the word ‘impossible’ means. I will keep fighting until the World Cup to have the chance to play and defend my homeland colours.”
Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary speaks with BBC Sport about the possibility of becoming the oldest player to appear at a FIFA World Cup™ at the age of 45

“There are many things – but Pep showed me completely new spaces in the field. I improved a lot. He cares about your first touch a lot and that you know what to do even before you get the ball. You have to know where your team-mates are, so he wants you to screen the whole field. Pep would talk to you immediately if he recognised something. He also has this amazing view of football. For every opponent he had the perfect master plan.”
Bayern Munich and Germany’s Joshua Kimmich talks about Pep Guardiola’s influence on his career in an exclusive interview with The Guardian

“I’m inspired by Robin Hood. In my youth I read thousands of books because I loved the stories, I’m inspired by all of that. Boris Becker wins Wimbledon at the same age as me, it’s possible. Something special is possible. But it would never have been possible as a kid, I loved football but I knew I could never be Lothar Matthaus, no chance, but I loved it still. I wanted to do it as good as I could do it, my target as a manager is to be the best manager I can be, not the best manager of the world, I’ve no clue how that works.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp speaks about what inspires him with Graham Hunter in The Big Interview

Former England forward Gary Lineker pays tribute to Ray Wilkins, who passed away this week

“Most of all mate I will miss bumping into you and catching up and I always left your company with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. You will always be ‘dangerously well’. They don’t make them like you anymore Raymond.”
Joe Cole writes a farewell message to Wilkins on his Instagram page

“If you find interviews that I gave twenty years ago, I explain that an African team will win in the near future the World Cup. Today, the best are reaching the quarter-finals, but I still say that an African team will soon win the World Cup.”
Eric Cantona tells Le Monde that he predicts an African team winning the World Cup in the near future

“I think for our team, for our generation it will be the most important World Cup. I think the team is ready, we are more experienced because we played in Brazil and in the European Cup in France. So I think we are ready but we have to play like we always do and game by game try to do better than in the last World Cup in Brazil.”
Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel speaks with Sputnik about his expectations for Russia 2018

“Hi Diego. I’m here with this special shirt, it’s the one in which I matched you as Napoli’s top scorer. It’s a great honour to be alongside a champion like you. When I scored that goal against Torino, I thought of you right away and I want to give this little gift to you with the dedication: ‘Diego, the best ever, with respect and affection.’ I hope you like it, a big hug and ‘Forza Napoli’ forever!”
Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik sends a video message to Diego Maradona on his official Instagram account

“Cristiano does things sometimes that only he can do. It can be said that it is one of the most beautiful goals in the history of football. It’s maybe not as beautiful as mine in Glasgow.”
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane jokes with Mediaset after Cristiano Ronaldo scored a bicycle kick in their 3-0 win against Juventus in Turin in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg

LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic joins ESPN’s SportsCenter​ and shares a joke following Ronaldo’s bicycle kick in the Champions League

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