Sporting Quotes: Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini, Novak Djokovic and Others

Linus Fernandes@mktimeforsportsAnalyst IIDecember 5, 2011

Sporting Quotes: Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini, Novak Djokovic and Others

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    Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini, Ross Taylor, Ishant Sharma and Novak Djokovic have the best quotes cornered in this edition of What They Said, Really Meant and Definitely Did Not.

    Blatter is in "seek and destroy" mode as he takes potshots at the English Football Association.

    Platini is willing to postpone the European season to accommodate the Qataris.

    Taylor would love to see Chris Martin's bunny Philip Hughes play the second Test.

    Ishant Sharma warns of mind games Down Under.

    And Djokovic informs us how he made luck his companion. 

Novak Djokovic Believes He Belongs Among the Game’s Elite

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    What he said (via

    “I think luck falls on not just the brave but also the ones who believe they belong there.”

    Tennis' world No. 1, Novak Djokovic, answers the question,”What’s been the difference?”

    The Serb’s interview with Patrick McEnroe features in the debut edition of ESPN The Magazine.


    What he really meant:

    “Luck is more belief than anything else.”


    What he definitely didn’t:

    “It’s all about my gluten-free diet.”

Michel Platini Seeks a Wintry 2022 World Cup

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    What he said (via BBC):

    “If we play in winter, [it is] not a problem to organise it.”

    UEFA Chief Michel Platini has the interests of soccer spectators at heart.

    The 2022 World Cup awarded to Qatar will have temperatures of about 50 degrees Celsius if the tournament begins, as planned, in June.

    Qatari officials have sought to alleviate reservations with promises of air-conditioned stadiums and cloud seeding.

    Platini would rather consider a compromise where the European season is modified to continue until June so that the World Cup is scheduled for winter when temperatures are cooler.

    Speaking to Al Jazeera English, Platini said:

    "How can people go to Qatar in 50 degrees in June? If the people can’t come to enjoy it, it’s not good. The people they come for three weeks or two weeks in 60 degrees and never go outside the hotel. So when is the best moment? It’s not a problem for players because they can be acclimatised and in hotels."

    Platini, revealing that he voted for Qatar, added:

    "I think it’s nice to go to another part of the world, with people who have never hosted the World Cup. I think it was a good decision, but now we have to adapt to when and where the best moment is to play this World Cup in Qatar."


    What Platini really meant:

    “Why play Weather God when we can adapt our schedules to it? It’s surely more practical.”


    What Platini definitely didn’t:

    “I’m dreaming of a snowy, white World Cup.”

Ishant Sharma Negates Team Australia’s Mind Games

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    What he said (via ESPN Cricinfo):

    “They [the Australians] are better at playing mind games than they are at playing the game.”

    India pace spearhead Ishant Sharma has sensible words of advice for Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav for the upcoming tour of Australia.

    Speaking to Mail Today, the lanky fast bowler expressed satisfaction with his performances this year. Sharma missed out on Team India’s ODI World Cup party.

    Sharma said:

    "It has been a very good year for me. I am happy with my rhythm and pace. Even though I didn’t get wickets on some occasions, I am pleased with the way I have bowled this year. But the learning process never stops. Even someone like Sachin Tendulkar says he is still learning about the game after 22 years. So I am always learning to improve. For me, every day is a new day."

    Sharma will lead the inexperienced Indian attack if Zaheer Khan does not fully recover from his ankle injury.

    Sharma said:

    "Obviously, having Zaheer would be a huge bonus. But if he is not there, it would be an honour to lead the attack in Australia. It would be a great responsibility. Every fast bowler dreams of leading the attack for the country. Australia is going to be very exciting. But the key would be not to put pressure on yourself. If you keep thinking about results and wickets, it would only add to the pressure. So I would look to just enjoy myself. This time in Australia, patience will be the key. The thing is that Australian batsmen don’t like to be tied down and if you bowl patiently at them, you can pick wickets. So bowling tightly would be the best strategy."

    Sharma looks forward to bowling in tandem with pace prospects Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron.

    Sharma said:

    "Bowling with Umesh and Varun is quite exciting. They have the pace, and the best thing is they are willing to learn. The more they bowl, they more will learn to exploit the conditions."


    What he really meant:

    Cricket’s played more in the mind than anything else and boy, don’t the Aussies know it.”


    What he definitely didn’t:

    “Sledge me if you can.”

Sepp Blatter Goes on the Warpath

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    What he said (via

    “The World Cup was theirs by right. When they came here with Beckham, Prince William and Prime Minister Cameron, they were certain of winning. They got two votes. Since then, they have looked for every means to justify their defeat.”

    Beleaguered FIFA boss, Joseph Blatter, launches a tirade at the English Football Association for their opposition to his continued presence at the helm of international soccer.

    England lost out to Russia in its bid for the 2018 World Cup.

    The 75-year-old is fighting corruption charges and was recently in the center of a racism row with his seemingly flippant remark that on-field incidents could be settled with a handshake.

    Transparency International dealt another blow to FIFA’s pretensions of corruption reform severing ties with the soccer body for ignoring two of its recommendations.

    Mark Pieth, a Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Basel who was asked to oversee reforms, disclosed that he would be accepting payment from FIFA. Additionally, he would not be investigating old scandals.

    In an interview to Matin Dimanche, a French Swiss daily, Blatter denounced the English body claiming that they are more interested in hosting the World Cup than the Olympics.

    Blatter said (via

    "In the '60s and '70s, the great sporting federations were in the main British. It’s no longer the case. The English have lost power and, most recently, the 2018 World Cup. They were very keen, more than for the Olympics. They thought that football should have come home."


    What he really meant:

    “The English are sore losers—according to me.”


    What he definitely didn’t:

    “Why don’t HRH The Duke Of Cambridge and I settle our differences with (what else) a handshake?”

    Read Blatter’s original interview here.

Ross Taylor Hopes for More Catching Practice from Philip Hughes

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    What he said (via ESPN Cricinfo):

    “I’d love him to be in the team.”

    Kiwi skipper Ross Taylor cannot hide his glee at Philip Hughes’ performance in the first Test at Brisbane.

    The belligerent opener scored 10 and seven in his two outings in the middle.

    The New South Wales batsman’s troubles outside the off stump continue.

    Taylor said:

    "If Hughes plays in Tasmania, then obviously Chris Martin will be bowling at him, and hopefully Martin Guptill takes a third catch too. We had a lot of video footage of all the Australian players and Hughes got caught at second, third slip and gully a lot in the Ashes and in South Africa. That was definitely an area we wanted to target and with the way Chris Martin bowls, he bowls across the left-hander."

    Chris Martin bagged Hughes in both innings.

    Michael Clarke put his hand up in defense of his young teammate.

    Clarke said:

    "I look forward to a press conference where I don’t get asked about Phillip Hughes. Once again, not concerning for me. I have confidence that Hughesy will come out in Hobart and perform. He got a hundred not that long ago, 80-odd not that long ago. I’ve seen Hughesy cut that ball for four a number of times. I’m sure he would be disappointed personally that he hasn’t made any runs in this test match, but I’m confident he can put his hand up in Hobart and get a big score for us.

    Clarke believes that Hughes can deliver the goods and is a much-improved batsman since his Test debut.

    Clarke added:

    "I think his technique has improved out of sight. Every one of us has deficiencies in technique. And these days with the footage you can get on players, it’s very easy to find out what those deficiencies are. It’s no different for any batsman. I have seen a lot of improvement. I continue to see him scoring runs. Probably not as consistent as he would like, but he’s still scoring them. His record for NSW is better than any 23-year-old in this country. He’s scored three great hundreds for Australia, and I’m confident he can score a lot more."


    What Ross Taylor really meant:

    “More slip-catching practice for us.”


    What Ross Taylor definitely didn’t:

    “I’d love to have Hughes bat for my life.”