In the build-up to Christmas, the world football sphere is racing about as frantically as those making their last dashes for stocking fillers, and it shows with the quality snippets that have been heard over the last seven days.
Lionel Messi's wages were once again on discussion this week after it emerged that the Argentinian isn't happy with a certain member of the Barcelona hierarchy chatting about his alleged misgivings, while Bayern Munich's FIFA Club World Cup triumph has inspired some key comments from those at the club.
Plus, one Tottenham legend isn't happy with the lack of passion in Spurs' dressing room, and Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone sees one of his stars as a future Ballon d'Or contender.
All that and more lie ahead in the world football quotes of the week.
Lionel Messi isn't known for being the most open of interviewees, but he was candid while talking with a Spanish radio station this week regarding comments made about his position on his Barcelona salary.
Recent weeks had seen Barca director Javier Faus comment on Neymar becoming the highest-paid player at the Camp Nou. It was revealed that the Brazilian's signing-on fee, combined with his wages, made him a higher earner than the club's Argentinian talisman.
As was reported by the Telegraph's John Percy, Messi reacted to Faus insisting that the club wasn't obligated to offer Messi a new contract:
Barcelona is the best club in the world and should be represented by the best board members, too. Senor Faus is someone who doesn’t know anything about football and wants to manage Barcelona like a business, which it is not.
Besides, I would remind him that neither I nor anyone from my camp has asked for any wage increase and he knows that very well.
It's a surprisingly scathing remark from a player who—up until now—has held such a strong sense of unity alongside his club.
The comments will undoubtedly play their part in any rumours linking one of the world's finest players with a move away from Catalan country, as Messi was obviously offended by the notion that he or his representatives are in search of a more lucrative deal than the one signed just last February.
Vincent Tan's ownership of Cardiff City is one case of foreign ownership in the Premier League that is still in its infancy, but it's already causing earthquakes in the English top flight.
This week, David Ornstein of BBC Sport reported that the Malaysian businessman had sent an email to Malky Mackay, telling his manager that he had two options ahead of him: resign or be sacked.
The issue is reported to be in relation to a disagreement over January transfer funds and how the team plays its football, although it's worth mentioning that the Welsh club sits in a respectable 15th, having spent more than £30 million over the summer.
However, Mackay made his intentions perfectly clear after this weekend's 3-1 loss to Liverpool, per the The Guardian's Andy Hunter:
I will absolutely not be resigning from the football club. I don't think there is any reason why that should happen. That's not something that normally happens. I'll be heading back to Wales on a plane.
I will be in work if it's got anything do with me. I want to make it crystal clear that I won't be resigning as manager of the football club. I have great respect and a great relationship with the staff, the players and the fans and I'm not going to walk away from them.
From that, it would seem the ball is firmly in Tan's court regarding what next to do with his manager.
Bayern Munich's 2013 has been as prolific as they could have hoped, with the German giants mopping up every piece of silverware in sight.
Saturday evening brought Der FCB this year's FIFA Club World Cup, which will join the Champions League, DFB Pokal, UEFA Super Cup and Bundesliga titles in their 2013 trophy cabinet.
Speaking after the most recent addition was clinched in Marrakesh, star forward Thomas Mueller said of the year, per Bayern Munich's official website:
Our opponents did what they could to make it a tough match. We would have liked to score another goal or two, but Casablanca didn't make it easy, even in the second half. We won 2-0 and that's what counts. We’re happy to be Club World Cup champions.
It’s a fairytale ending, the well-earned reward for the excellent year we’ve had. It's nearly impossible to play at the level we’ve done in this calendar year. After this win, we can go into a relaxing holiday with a clear conscience.
Mueller is right to praise himself and his squad for what's been accomplished in the past 12 months. After all, not many squads are capable of such dominance in such a short space of time.
Andre Villas-Boas' sacking as Tottenham manager served as just the latest piece of evidence that the club's 2013/14 campaign isn't going as planned.
The Portuguese tactician was handed his marching orders last week, but former club great David Ginola believes there are others to blame for the lack of recent success at White Hart Lane.
Speaking on talkSPORT's Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the Frenchman noted:
You need to understand the history of the club. Who were the former players? Who are legends of the club? You have to understand where you are.
When you are wearing the jersey, it is not only about your wages. It is not thinking only of yourself. When I was there on Sunday, I felt for the fans. They lost 5-0 and I was there thinking this is absolutely terrible because I didn’t see any reaction.
At this time I look at the players and think you don’t understand what it is all about. Football is not that.
In the wake of Gareth Bale's £86 million departure to Real Madrid over the summer, a number of new faces were brought into the squad, many of whom have failed to gel in the manner that Tottenham would have hoped.
With that being the case, it wouldn't be difficult to imagine a squad as metropolitan as Tottenham's not being as learned in the ways of White Hart Lane as Ginola himself.
However, the man is testament to the fact that that can change.
Pep Guardiola's just finished the most successful six months of his professional career.
The Spaniard hasn't even been in his post as Bayern Munich manager for a season, and yet he and club have provided each other with a UEFA Super Cup to go hand-in-hand with this weekend's latest title, the FIFA Club World Cup.
After such a hectic start to life at the Allianz Arena, one would think the Bayern boss is happy to take a decent break, right?
Speaking in the aftermath of his side's 2-0 win over Raja Casablanca on Saturday, Guardiola was focused on nothing else other than the next chapter of his success, per BBC Sport, saying:
We are very excited about our achievements, but I am also looking to the future—2013 is already behind us. I am very pleased for the club and proud of the players and the fans.
In this little amount of time that I have been here they have won those titles because of the great players here and because it is a big club.
To follow in Jupp's [Heynckes] footsteps—considering what great success they have had. Five titles in one year is a great achievement for Bayern.
A consummate professional, there's no telling how many more trophies the former Barcelona chief may yet go on to win in his tenure as Bayern manager.
That being said, it would seem a safe bet to say more's to follow.
At this time of year, transfer speculation is rife, many a player becoming linked with moves away from their current surroundings in the search of pastures new.
However, Claudio Marchisio has put a firm halt to any rumours of his departure from the Juventus squad.
Speaking to JTV (h/t Sky Sports' Nadia Carminati), the Juve youth product revealed he has no intentions of leaving his boyhood club, saying:
I want to continue winning with this jersey, I have no intention to change. But every year, especially in summer, there have been rumours that involved me.
In addition to this one, I have another two years on my deal with Juventus. I hope to play as long as possible with this jersey, it's not my intention to change.
It's often the case that players could end any and all speculation over their futures with but a simple statement of their loyalty, and yet it's something we don't see very often.
Well, Marchisio has gone against the trend on this occasion, and is clearly happy right where he stands.
Saturday brought us the unfortunate news that ex-BBC broadcaster and legendary commentator David Coleman had passed away after a short illness.
Naturally, the announcement yielded public tributes among the media, many of whom were influenced by the broadcasting figure, who first began working for the BBC in the mid-1950s.
One of those clearly touched by Coleman in his career was retired track athlete-turned-media personality Steve Cram who, per BBC Sport, commented:
When I first came into the British team as a youngster, I would watch back my races and I could tell from his commentaries that he knew what he was talking about. When I met him at major championships, such as the Olympics in Moscow in 1980, he would say things that turned out to be incredible helpful, such as advice on travel and how to deal with the media.
He had a reputation within broadcasting for being tough and demanding, but I always found him an incredibly generous bloke. Yes, he had high standards but I think that came from his athletics background. Broadcasting, like athletics, is in a sense about performance and he wanted to produce the best he could. He used to always tell me that I should endeavour to work with the best to get the best results.
Cram is certainly not alone in the number of those people working in the industry today who have been inspired by Coleman's work in one way or another.
Managers often have biased opinions toward players under their command, so it's no grand surprise to find Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone heaping praise upon star striker Diego Costa.
However, the Argentinian has made a massive claim in suggesting that the Brazilian forward can one day stake a claim on the Ballon d'Or, per Goal.com's SW Lim, saying:
If the deadline for the Ballon d'Or had been extended, he would be there fighting for it. He showed great responsibility [against Levante] and I hope he gets a bit closer to winning the Ballon d'Or next year.
The fans of Atleti should be proud of the passion the players are showing; they are doing things that are unforgettable. Being coach has been enormously exciting.
Costa has 19 goals to his name so far this season and leads La Liga's scoring charts, but failed to make even the 23-man shortlist for this year's award.
The forward can at least hope to build on his fine start to the campaign, which has undoubtedly benefited from the absence of Radamel Falcao, by staging a more convincing bid over the course of 2014.