World Football Quotes of the Week: Klopp's Heavy Metal, Gattuso Calls Pirlo out
Things are never dull during a Champions League week, but affairs are made all the more dramatic when matters flare up off the pitch as well as on it.
Juergen Klopp compares his and Arsene Wenger's playing styles to musical choices, Kaka reveals the best player he's ever featured alongside and Gennaro Gattuso lifts the lid on a side of Andrea Pirlo we may not have been aware of.
We also have Olivier Giroud's take on the Arsenal fans' chanting of his name and Sylvain Distin gets personal over Twitter.
All that and more lie ahead in the World Football Quotes of the Week.
1. Nicklas Bendtner: "I Was Disappointed I Was Told I Was Staying at Arsenal"
Nicklas Bendtner's time at Arsenal has been a tough watch at times. Once billed as the future of the club's attack, the Danish international has fallen tremendously short of what was once hoped of him.
However, there was always the chance that his comeback might come to fruition as long as he was on the club's books. Well, now even that looks beyond his reach after Bendtner reveals his woe at being kept a Gunner this summer.
Everything was in place for me, there were three clubs that were just waiting for me to say 'yes please' to them. I was very disappointed when he [Wenger] phoned because I was ready to move on. I didn't actually think that they wished to keep me.
At the moment I am an easy target for [some of the fans] because I want to leave the club and Arsenal don't want to keep me.
I am in the process of building myself up so that I become this strong machine, this perfect product to sell. I want to start as strongly as possibly in my next club.
Safe to say the forward is fairly accepting of the fact that his Arsenal tenure is set to come to an end soon. It just seems to be a simple question of when that will be.
2. Kevin-Prince Boateng Says Wealth Ruined His Time at Tottenham
It seems like another lifetime in which Kevin-Prince Boateng was a young, up-and-coming midfielder trying to make a go of things at Tottenham.
In two seasons at White Hart Lane, the Ghanaian international managed just a handful of first-team appearances, but has since gone on to establish himself as a gifted European talent, impressing at Portsmouth, Milan and now Schalke.
With that success in mind, one wonders why the former Hertha Berlin prospect didn't thrive in North London, but the Metro's Massimo Marioni revealed the midfielder's answer ahead of his side's Champions League encounter with Chelsea earlier this week:
I think everybody knows I had a difficult time when I arrived here [England]. I was young. I had the money. You come here at 20 and have to play for Tottenham, and it wasn’t easy for me. I chose the wrong way because I was not experienced enough.
At Portsmouth I showed what I could do, the kind of football I was capable of. It’s good to be back. I love the city of London, I’ve seen a couple of friends, and I love the football culture.
Considering the player has since gone on to feature at the pinnacle of European football and in a World Cup, Boateng's example shows just how instant wealth can be such a detriment to the starlets we hype to no end at such young ages.
In any case, Schalke's midfield playmaker has come out on the better end, and we're all the happier for it.
3. Jose Mourinho on Eden Hazard: "The Apology Was Not Accepted"
The attacker was dropped for the midweek meeting with Schalke as punishment, BBC Sport then reporting Mourinho as noting:
I don't want to lie. He's not injured. He forgot the time. He's a kid, kids make mistakes and fathers have to be clever in the way they educate their sons.
He's sad because he wanted to play. We won without him and Saturday he's back. End of story.
Or so we first thought. It turned out Mourinho may not let go of the debacle so easily, Sky Sports reporting the Portuguese boss as saying:
He reacted well. He apologised to me and he apologised to the club. Of course the apology was not accepted but it's over and it's something that doesn't exist anymore.
He is selected and he is ready to play. He has an appetite to play; it was a risk not to select him (for the Newcastle game) speaking in terms of football.
It's good to see that the Blues boss is willing to punish even the biggest of stars for their offences, but it's anyone's guess as to how long Hazard will remain in Mourinho's bad books.
Nevertheless, the incident serves as a reminder to never sleep in under a Mourinho watch.
4. Sylvain Distin Confronts Fan over Social Media
Social media sites such as Twitter have made the player/fan relationship more intimate than ever before, allowing the former to share their views and interact with the public with ease.
However, Sylvain Distin took it one step further this weekend. After seeing his side draw 0-0 at Crystal Palace, one disgruntled Everton fan made his thoughts known. The Frenchman approached the stands and spoke with the fan, per the Metro.
Taking to Twitter after the game, Distin wrote:
I know my English isn’t perfect but I found it funny how people try to twist my words. And for the record, I was speaking to one single person and he knows who he is as I spoke to him face to face.
And then people wonder why players interact with the fans. This is why, Because people twist your word and a simple chat is turned into fight.
His style of play may be based around marauding physicality, but Distin seems like someone who just wants what's best for his club and fans alike.
Can't we all just get along?
5. Gennaro Gattuso: "He [Pirlo] Has the Face of an Angel"
Having enjoyed a long and illustrious international career together, as well as forming a hub in the centre of Milan's midfield for more than 10 years, Gennaro Gattuso knows Andrea Pirlo as well as any other in Italian football.
However, the fiery-tempered midfield general-turned manager revealed this week that his former teammate may not be as innocent as some would suggest.
The ex-Palermo boss was speaking on Italian chat show Che Tempo Che Fa (h/t Who Ate All The Pies), and exposed the Juventus playmaker for a mischievous prank pulled during his days with the Rossoneri:
We did the whole chain from youth to the national team together. Pirlo, you see him with the face of an angel but he is a son of a b***h, always makes jokes, always breaks the boxes, does not stand still!
One day I was eating at Milanello. I had the bright idea to leave my phone behind on the table. He sent a text message to (Milan vice-president, Adriano) Galliani and (general manager, Ariedo) Braida offering them my sister from my phone.
So, there is a darker being under those lustrous locks, after all.
6. Juergen Klopp: "I Love Wenger but I Prefer Heavy Metal Football"
One of Europe's favourite quotes this week comes from one of its most insightful and interesting figures, Juergen Klopp.
In the build-up to his side's Champions League loss to the Gunners, Klopp said that Arsene Wenger's side plays like an orchestra, while his Borussia Dortmund team were closer to heavy metal.
The Guardian's David Hytner had the full quotes, in which he expresses his admiration for Wenger in particular:
He likes having the ball, playing football, passes … it's like an orchestra. But it's a silent song, yeah? I like heavy metal.
For me, he is Sir Arsène Wenger, he is really something, I love him.
If Barcelona's team of the last four years were the first one that I saw play when I was four years of age, with their serenity, winning 5-0, 6-0, I would have played tennis. Sorry, that is not enough for me. What I love is that there are some things you can do in football to allow each team to win most of the matches.
It is not serenity football, it is fighting football – that is what I like. What we call in German – English [football] … rainy day, heavy pitch, everybody is dirty in the face and they go home and can't play football for the next four weeks. This is Borussia.
On this occasion, it was the calmer style that triumphed in the battle of the bands, but it won't affect our love for the Black and Yellows' boss, so long as he doesn't stop producing these pearls of wisdom.
7. Olivier Giroud: "I'm Proud to Have My Own Song. It Gives Me Goosebumps"
Olivier Giroud has propelled to Arsenal stardom this season, enamouring his name among the Emirates faithful and warranting it becoming a part of the fans' chants.
Suitably, Beatles fans have inserted "Giroud" into the lyrics of "Hey Jude" and, per James Dickenson's report for the Express, he couldn't be happier with the choice:
"I am really proud to have my own song. It gives me goosebumps, it's really nice when you are on the pitch. I love the English pop rock, I love The Beatles, Coldplay as well. I like a lot of English music."
The Frenchman now merely needs to maintain form and ensure he gives his supporters more reason to sing his name. No big deal.
8. Kaka: "I Have Seen Il Fenomeno Do Things That Nobody Else Has Ever Done"
In a professional career spanning more than a decade, Kaka has had the honour of playing with some of the best players known to football on both the club and international stage.
Speaking to Tiki Taka (h/t Goal.com) earlier this week, however, the Brazilian revealed just who ranks above all others in his opinion:
The best player I have ever played with? That's Ronaldo, il Fenomeno.
The other Ronaldo - Cristiano - probably makes my top five, but I have seen il Fenomeno do things that nobody else has ever done.
It's no small talent that makes Cristiano Ronaldo become known as simply "the other one," but that's where the Real Madrid superstar sits in the estimations of one who's been around the block.