Football

GMF's quotes of 2012

City won the title on the final day. (©GettyImages)
City won the title on the final day. (©GettyImages).

Celebrate good times...

"It's fantastic for the club and the supporters after 44 years. It's been a crazy season and a crazy last minute." - Roberto Mancini following Manchester City's 'crazy' Premier League title win.

"It was written, I think, a long time ago." - Didier Drogba always knew Chelsea would win the Champions League.

"The little boy inside me was screaming 'Manchester United'. United breathes football... the perfect match for me." - Robin van Persie celebrates leaving Arsenal for Manchester United.

Lionel Messi on Lionel Messi...

"I am not a tinpot dictator. I don't care what people say; my team-mates know that I am not like that; they know full well what I am really like". - Lionel Messi denies everything is about him at Barcelona.

"I am happy to win my second Golden Shoe. Although individual trophies are not what I compete for, I play to win team trophies." - There's no 'I' in team for Lionel Messi.

Others on Lionel Messi...

"In my eyes anyway, Messi is the best ever." - Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has his say in the great debate.

"Messi's record has been recognised by Guinness World Records, I do believe. His goals are there for all to see and I just feel lucky because I have been able to witness nearly all of them." - Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova praises Lionel Messi after he makes history.

Cristiano Ronaldo on Cristiano Ronaldo...

"I miss Manchester, especially the apple crumble and custard they served at Carrington after training." - Cristiano Ronaldo proves the Portuguese don't just eat in Nando's.

"If I could, I'd vote for myself. Being too humble isn't good. In Portugal, we say 'Too much humility is vanity'." - Cristiano Ronaldo is so desperate to win the Ballon d'Or.

Others on Cristiano Ronaldo...

"If Messi is the best on the planet, Ronaldo is the best in the universe. It would be a crime if Ronaldo did not win the Ballon d'Or." - Jose Mourinho is ready to report the Ballon d'Or committee to the police.

"People dislike Ronaldo because he's a great player, good-looking and has sex with all the ladies. They get jealous. The only bad thing about Ronaldo's life is Messi. But for him, he would've been the best player in the world for five years in a row." - Luiz Felipe Scolari has got Cristiano Ronaldo sussed.

Forget Messi and Ronaldo…

"He's an amazing talent and he's after the Ronaldos and Messis of this world and he's getting better and better." - Harry Redknapp lavishes praise on former charge Gareth Bale.

"There's always this Maradona comparison, saying that he is better than Pele. Now some are saying that Messi is better than Pele. Well, he has to be better than Neymar first, which he isn't yet. He has more experience." - Pele loves nothing more than speaking about Pele.

It's mutual…

"An overhead kick from 35 yards when the ball's six feet in the air – only certain players can do that. He's not everyone's cup of tea but he's certainly mine." - Steven Gerrard hails Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"Gerrard has good skills, unlike normal English players." - Zlatan Ibrahimovic delivers a backhanded compliment to the England captain.

Super Mario...

"I like Balotelli: he's even crazier than me. He can score a winner, then set fire to the hotel." - Zlatan Ibrahimovic offers his opinion on Mario Balotelli.

"When I score, I don't celebrate because it's my job. When a postman delivers letters, does he celebrate?" - Mario Balotelli conjures up an image many would like to see.

Say it again?

“He would’ve put a lot of bums on seats again, but there’s obviously a lot more bums to be filled.” - Kevin Gallacher lets his mind wander when talking about David Beckham.

"He could have been killed." - Sir Alex Ferguson goes a tad overboard after Robin van Persie has the ball kicked in his head.

"How I wish the mass media had christened me Joe instead of Joey. I hate Joey, not going to lie. Nobody I respect calls me it... #justsaying. Really couldn’t be a**** correcting everyone that calls me Joey." - Joey Barton decides he doesn't want to be called Joey, ten years after turning pro.

Football put into perspective…

"I said, 'I understand you're a very good footballer', and he said 'I try'." - Consultant cardiologist Dr Andrew Deaner on his first exchange with Fabrice Muamba.

"With the weight of the new evidence in the report it's right for me today as prime minister to make a proper apology to the families of the 96 … On behalf of the government, and indeed of our country, I am profoundly sorry that this double injustice has been left uncorrected for so long." - UK Prime Minister David Cameron offers his apologies following the the report by the Hillsborough independent panel.

"We want to express our unconditional support to Tito and his family. Tito is strong, very strong - he's shown us that and we're convinced that he'll be back with us soon." - Barcelona president Sandro Rosell speaks to the press after Tito Vilanova's relapse in his battle against cancer.

Chants of the year…

"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but where's your hair gone - Jonjo Shelvey?" - Liverpool fans channel Carly Rae Jepsen to pay tribute to shiny-headed Jonjo Shelvey.

“Podolski to the left of me, Walcott to the right, here I am. Stuck in the middle Giroud." - Arsenal fans take on the Stealers Wheel classic.

“You’re just a fat Spanish waiter.” - Chelsea supporters let Roman Abramovich know what they think of former foe Rafael Benitez.

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