World Football Quotes of the Week: Ozil's Eating Habits, Ronaldo's Crazy Caution
With the 2014 World Cup qualification trail taking players away from their club environments this week, one might think the past seven days have been an opportunity for those in the football spotlight to get away and recharge their batteries.
Covered in as much depth as usual, a pen and paper has been on hand every step of the way to ensure not a word is missed, with some figures in the game making intriguing comments.
A German World Cup legend is told that they're legally dead, while a former Welsh coach says that Gareth Bale isn't as far away from Messi and Ronaldo as some might suggest.
All that and more in the World Football Quotes of the Week.
1. Mesut Ozil: “I Haven’t Tried Fish and Chips”
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He may be the darling of Arsenal fans everywhere, but fans of the London club have reason to express misgivings in the German's way after it became apparent that he has yet to try fish and chips.
Not only that, but it doesn't seem as though that dietary void is set to go filled anytime soon either.
According to the Mirror's Darren Lewis, Ozil prefers "the food of athletes," saying:
I haven't tried it yet, I prefer food for athletes. But what I have seen of London is incredible. The city is amazing.
When you see how and how many times I've played and how little I was injured - that says everything. Living healthy and trained well, otherwise you can not accomplish this feat. Therefore, the issue is settled.
I won't speculate on whether Ozil's choice of edibles is correct or not. What I will say is that the likes of Razor Ruddock and Dean Windass more than likely enjoyed their fair share of fish suppers and just look how they turned out.
2. Jose Mourinho Can “Smell Goals”
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Jose Mourinho has been hailed as one of the finest managerial forces in the world: The Special One.
It seems the Portuguese may actually have an unfair advantage. Apparently he possesses the superhuman ability to smell goals.
Speaking in the wake of his side's recent win over Norwich City, the Chelsea boss was reported by the Telegraph as noting:
During the game I am not nervous. I have feelings. I smell things, and when that easy (open) goal (from Ba) was missed, I had a smell that they would score a goal.
We could have won or lost it at 1-1 because we, at that moment, didn't want a point. We are trying to be top, so we tried to win it.
That's all the evidence that the FA could ever hope for to incriminate someone who is falling afoul of regulations, and a full investigation can't be far away.
3. Pablo Osvaldo Already Eyeing St. Mary's Exit
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UPDATE: Osvaldo has since spoken via his official Twitter account to claim that he's happy in the Premier League and "loves Southampton."
Sky Sports have also reported on the matter.
- End of update -
Over the decades, the top tier of English football has developed a reputation as being among the world's most physical divisions, in which not every player can thrive.
Pablo Osvaldo, the Argentina-born Italy international, is but another South American to find the going tough in the Premier League.
As a result, the former Roma striker has admitted that, regardless of the fact he only arrived as a club transfer record in the summer, an exit is far from impossible.
That's according to Dean Jones of the Mirror, with the forward explaining just where he's like to head next:
Football here is so physical, but it doesn’t have the technique and quality that is has in Spain.
I’m already thinking about moving back to Argentina. I want to play for Boca, that’s my dream. I have been dreaming about wearing Boca’s shirt during my entire life.
Having splashed more than £12 million on Osvaldo's signature, the Saints should indeed be hopeful of recouping most, if not all, of their outlay if the outspoken player were to leave, but these are surely comments that will leave those around the club feeling slightly dejected.
4. Lothar Matthaus: “I’m Still Alive!”
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It's frightening enough to hear when a loved one or close acquaintance has died.
It's another scare altogether when a letter comes through the post proclaiming that it's you who's apparently crossed to the other side.
But, it's that exact scenario that happened to Germany's 1990 World Cup hero Lothar Matthaus earlier this week.
Like something out of an M. Night Shyamalan film, Matthaus received court documents saying that he was "deceased," per Bild (h/t the Mirror's Alan Wilson): "That is outrageous. Everyone can see that I am alive, whether on TV or on the pitch."
Since captaining that Germany side to World Cup triumph, Matthaus feels he hasn't received sufficient attention in his application for certain managerial jobs.
You're certainly getting some attention now, Lothar.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo Stays Quiet on Questionable Yellow
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With his side looking certain to enter the play-offs of UEFA's World Cup qualification, Cristiano Ronaldo was quizzed as to why he was so flagrant in his dissent towards the referee late on in a tie against Israel this weekend.
In the last few moments of the 1-1 draw, Ronaldo, who picked up a one-match suspension for the offence, will now miss Portugal's final qualification fixture against Luxembourg.
Asked about the situation, per Reuters (h/t ESPN), the Real Madrid superstar didn't give much away, stating: "I can't talk about that. FIFA is always very attentive to those situations. The play-off is the most important and I don't want to be out. I will be at those two matches."
Though he begins how his coaches might hope, Ronaldo appears to quickly give what's as good as a confession to deliberately receiving a booking.
Although one might understand where the forward's coming from, playing for one's country is an honour and a privilege and should be treated with as much respect whether the opponent is Luxembourg or Spain.
6. John Toshack: “Bale Isn’t Far from Ronaldo and Messi”
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Not long after seeing his compatriot join the hallowed ranks at the Bernabeu, former Wales manager John Toshack has heaped yet more praise on Gareth Bale, claiming that the former Tottenham winger isn't far off the standards of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
While his £85 million price tag is the most ever paid for a player, the general consensus is that Ronaldo and Messi still reign supreme in the world's competition to be regarded as the world's best.
However, Bale's close to breaking up that duopoly (along with Franck Ribery perhaps) according to Toshack, who sees the Welsh wizard going on to becoming one of the best football has ever seen.
Marca report Toshack as saying:
I don’t want to go into the ins and outs of what he is worth, but what I do know is that Bale is not very far from Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi’s level. The player is not to blame for the €100 million fee. If clubs and presidents have reached that point, it's their fault.
He's had bad luck not to train during the summer, caused by the drama between Tottenham and Real Madrid, but Bale is a fantastic player. There's no need to have any doubts about Gareth Bale, I can assure you.
Of course, one would argue that Toshack is looking at his fellow Welshman's situation with rose-tinted vision, but it doesn't make his premonition any less interesting to contemplate.
7. Harry Redknapp: “The FA Haven’t Got a Clue”
This week saw the Daily Mail begin their serialisation of Harry Redknapp's book Always Managing: My Autobiography in which the QPR boss divulges some very interesting details from his substantial past as a football manager at the top level.
In it, Redknapp talks about his time at Tottenham, but a most intriguing section references how close he was to being appointed England manager, Roy Hodgson's claim to the throne and the Football Association as a whole:
I wouldn’t trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on it. How would they know? What clubs have they ever run? Who do they speak to who really knows the game?
This isn’t about them giving the England job to me or Roy Hodgson, but English football being run by people who really haven’t got a clue. And they get to pick the England manager!
When I was at Tottenham I had plenty of players who said, ‘I don’t want to play, pull me out of the squad, I don’t want to go.’ I’m sure it is different with the older players. I can’t imagine Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard or Ashley Cole not wanting to turn out for their country, but I’ve known a lot of younger ones that weren’t interested.
There's dozens of other tidbits and commentary gems from one of the most open and outspoken Premier League managers of recent years, all of which can be found at the link above.
8. England Players React to Townsend Debut
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Making his international debut in a fashion that any star can be envious of, Andros Townsend put the icing on the cake of a roller-coaster 2013 by contributing a Man of the Match display while earning his first England cap.
Between his six-month loan to QPR, issues with gambling and his resurgence through Andre Villas-Boas' Tottenham team, it's been a year of highs and lows for the English winger.
Steven Gerrard: "He's a very talented kid but tonight I thought he played with no fear and he produced an absolutely wonderful debut, great goal, but I thought his all-round performance was really good."
Wayne Rooney: "It's incredible. To go out and perform like that, even without his goal it was a great debut and to score a goal like that is, you know, something I'm sure himself and his family are really proud of."
Phil Jagielka: "Man of the Match, fantastic performance. It's always nice to cap your debut with a 25-yard thunderbolt with your opposite foot, so fair play to Andros, he had a fantastic night and one he'll never forget."
For Townsend, it's now simply a matter of maintaining that incredible start and keeping standards as high for the remainder of his England career.
No big deal.