World Football Quotes of the Week: Mourinho Drops Fabregas Hint and More
The World Cup is upon us, and preparations have been ongoing in the respective camps to ensure each nation is ready to shine at the prestigious major international tournament.
Clubs have also been busy making approaches for players in the transfer market, desperately trying to get their business done before their targets play in the World Cup.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho dropped a big hint that he’s interested in signing a Barcelona midfielder, former Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio dismissed England’s World Cup chances and sacked Manchester United manager David Moyes spoke out about his next plan for management.
There’s been plenty more going on, too, so let’s revisit the world football quotes of the week.
Marco Reus to Miss out on the World Cup
Borussia Dortmund and Germany forward Marco Reus has been ruled out of the World Cup after picking up a ligament injury during his nation's 6-1 win against Armenia.
He’s understandably devastated that he’ll be missing out, especially because of how good his form has been in the last two seasons, but the 25-year-old has still backed Germany to go all the way in his absence.
He told Dortmund's official website (h/t Sky Sports)
I really don't know how I'm meant to find the words to express what I'm feeling right now. A dream's been shattered, but I've got to look forward and go into my rehabilitation as professionally as I can, because things have to go on. I'll come back even stronger than I was. My best wishes now go to the team. I hope they reach our goal without me.
Rooney Responds to Scholes' Criticism
Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney found himself the subject of criticism from former club team-mate Paul Scholes recently, with the latter suggesting, on his Paddy Power blog, that England's No. 10 may have peaked earlier than the average player.
But Rooney was rather blunt in his response to the claims, and admitted in the Independent that he wasn’t interested in what Scholes has to say about him.
I'm not really interested in what anyone else has got to say. I'm interested in what [England manager] Roy Hodgson, the coaching staff here and the people around me say. People have their opinions but I don't agree with them.
[Scholes] has been a team-mate but he's been away from the first team for a long time. I've seen [reporters] saying he's coached me and been around the team but he hasn't. I'm not really going to react. I'm not interested. He's got his opinions so let's leave it at that.
Lampard Says Chelsea Did 'Bad Business' in Selling Sturridge to Liverpool
Long-serving Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard somewhat criticised the club for selling striker Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool, with the England man now set to spearhead the Three Lions’ attack in this summer's World Cup.
He said on Sky Sports:
I'm really pleased for Sturridge because at Chelsea I think he was a bit frustrated. He felt the position he was playing in was one he wasn't quite happy with and it was good for him to move in the end. It was not be good business for Chelsea. It looks bad.
Di Canio Dismisses England's World Cup Chances
Former Sunderland and Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio has dismissed England’s chances at the World Cup, as Steve Goodman of the Daily Star reported, suggesting the players will be "tired" and are lacking identity in the way they play.
It will be difficult for [England] to get past the first round. They are not capable of managing themselves. The England squad lacks depth. Their reserves are not up to standard, and the players are tired. Tiredness can be devastating at this stage of the year. The English have a problem in that they seldom play together. They need to improve their understanding, and they don't attack the spaces very well. They maybe lack a true identity.
Italy Manager Cesare Prandelli Says Balotelli Has to 'Channel Emotions'
Ahead of this summer’s World Cup, Italy manager Cesare Prandelli has talked up Mario Balotelli’s importance to the country, and sent a message to the AC Milan striker to “channel the emotions” in order to give it his all for Italy’s sake when the tournament commences.
Balotelli has endured a disappointing season in Serie A, and Prandelli doesn’t want it affecting his performances in an Italy shirt.
Prandelli said on Sky Sports:
Balotelli is an important player for the national team, like a lot of others. But he must come to the World Cup fully prepared. He would do well to listen to his AC Milan manager Clarence Seedorf and channel the emotions he is feeling into something positive on the pitch. He knows the World Cup can be the opportunity of a lifetime for a footballer.
Lukaku Admits He May Leave Chelsea This Summer
Following the news that Chelsea are on the verge of signing another striker in Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa this summer, Lukaku knows he’s not too high in the pecking order and may have to leave to get first-team football next season.
You know Chelsea, every year they buy a new top striker. I remember me coming into the dressing room last year and seeing Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba and going, 'Whoah! What’s happening here?' But clubs are interested in me. I have to play a good World Cup. That’s very interesting for all the players looking for a transfer. And I must be one of them. Chelsea know my point of view.
Moyes Turns Down Offers as He Wants a Champions League Club
Sacked Manchester United manager David Moyes has admitted he’s turned down a number of job offers as he wants to manage a club playing in the Champions League, reports Daniel Taylor of the Guardian.
I have had a couple of opportunities to go back in and chosen not to do anything just now. I would like somewhere that would give me a chance of being in the Champions League or a club that has ambitions of being in the Champions League.
I am going to look for what I feel is the right opportunity. I got my real first taste of the Champions League this year and I thought I showed I can manage at that level. I would like somewhere that would give me a chance of being in the Champions League or a club that has ambitions of being [there].
Mourinho Admits Fabregas Interest
Speaking to Yahoo, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admitted he was interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas this summer. With the Blues having released veteran midfielder Frank Lampard, Fabregas could well prove to be a brilliant replacement, and Mourinho wants him for next season.
I have interest in analysing the situation. He is not my player so it is not my problem but it looks like [Fabregas] is really interested in leaving Barcelona and he is very, very interested in moving back to England. This I think is clear.
Mueller Hints at Man Utd Move
Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller has dropped the biggest hint yet that he could leave the Bundesliga giants and join Manchester United this summer, after revealing he will be holding talks with Bayern’s hierarchy about his future (h/t Sky Sports).
I have reached the point where I want to know if I am an essential component of the Bayern Munich first XI for the new season and if the club has plans for me over the coming years. That's why I will be out to have a meeting. I am not the type of guy that will keep my mouth shut and everyone else is able to do with me whatever [they] want.
Transfer talk of a move to Manchester United has grown ever since the German international admitted he has a special relationship with the club’s new manager, Louis van Gaal.
It's no secret that Louis van Gaal and I have a relationship that goes a little beyond the normal relationship between coaches and players.