World Football: Top 10 Quotes (and Tweets) of the Week
It's been a strange week in the footballing world. Now is that transitional time, after deadline day but before the resumption of league play, with a string of underwhelming Euro qualifiers. The odd international friendly is the only opportunity fans have to watch their favorite players try to put the ball in the net.
Luckily, lots press conferences and interviews were held this week and lots of intriguing, surprising and sometimes really, really funny things were said. Here are 10 of our favorite quotes from the week that was in World Football. If you have any more you'd like to share, feel free to spam the comments.
Theo Walcott Shows His Age
"He's a talker behind you, he gets you organized, which is very important—especially with a winger sometimes sleeping. I've been known to sleep in...It's great to have a young lad wake you up at times."
—Theo Walcott, born on March 16th, 1989, on England teammate Chris Smalling, born on November 22nd, 1989; at Sunday's FA press conference
Granted, the Arsenal winger was likely referring to Smalling's youth in terms of being a new addition to the England team, but it's a funny reminder about how much experience ages footballers. Walcott is only a few months older than Smalling, but having been part of the senior squad since 2006 (the youngest ever cap for the Three Lions at the time), he's seen as being a much older presence.
Ronaldo Silences the Haters
"I shut people up all year. I do not care about what others do or say... I want to continue my work, I started this season in good form, with important goals, and I want this to continue. I always try to give my best."
The Portuguese captain and Real Madrid megastar responds to Cyprus supporters who taunted him during the match, declaring the supremacy of Barcelona striker and spiritual rival Lionel Messi. Portugal has a 13-2 lead in points in Group H—a gap further widened thanks to two goals and an assist from Ronaldo—so as the kids say, haters gonna hate.
Paul Ince Doesn't Like Your Attitude, England
"We're giving out caps like confetti...Playing for England used to be the pinnacle of your career. Now it's not that important as we have the Champions League and Premier League."
—Former England international Paul Ince, who had 53 caps and a captaincy for Three Lions, in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday
The former Man United and Inter Milan man had some choice words for all of the Three Lions' recent call-ups after the team struggled against Wales at Wembley Stadium. He also criticized the fans, saying they didn't do enough to create a supportive atmosphere at the ground.
Rummenigge's FIFA Revolution
"Mubarak never imagined a year ago that he would be hounded from office."
—European Club Association chairman and former German international Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in Swiss magazine Bilanz, urging FIFA President Sepp Blatter to make reforms
The Bayern Munich executive and ECA chairman urged Blatter to act on proposed reforms, among them a proposal to decrease the number of international matches per year, or risk an uprising from outside the organization. He compared Blatter to deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, who did not expect to be overthrown by his own people earlier this year.
Rummenigge later told Inside World Football that he recanted these remarks and suggested he was 'too aggressive' with Blatter. He also expressed optimism about the FIFA president's remarks expressing willingness to discuss reforms. He also urged more transparency from the organization to curb further disputes.
Carlos Tévez Opens Up
"I'm not the [expletive] that they say I am. I had a personal crisis this summer. I put on five or six kilos and had to check myself into a clinic. I was depressed and so I ate and ate. Only my family and my friends know this."
—Carlos Tévez, in The Independent on Monday, on his troubles at Manchester City
The Manchester City striker, who was rumored to leave Eastlands over the summer, opens up about his depression and struggles with overeating. Now that his family have come over from Argentina, his outlook seems to have improved.
Álvaro Negredo Is so Modest
"My second goal? Well, it might have looked like I meant it but I didn't catch the shot well at all. Mind you, who knows? If I had hit it properly then perhaps the keeper would have anticipated and saved it."
—Sevilla striker and Spanish international Álvaro Negredo after scoring two goals in Spain's 6-0 demolition of Liechtenstein on Tuesday.
Oh-so-modest Álvaro Negredo has every right to brag a little. Coming in as a backup for Furia Roja regular Fernando Torres, who watched from the stands on Tuesday, Negredo scored two goals in four minutes.
Kenny, Fabio, Andy and the Party Pics
"You don't know his lifestyle. Who knows his lifestyle? Andy. I think Andy is wiser than a lot of the people who write about him and I don't think his lifestyle is anything like they'd like it to be to get stories. I think Andy is very appreciative of advice from anyone who has a good standing in football...I think he appreciates Capello's advice because he has great respect for Fabio and Fabio has great respect for Andy Carroll."
—Kenny Dalglish, speaking to the press about Andy Carroll
The Liverpool manager sternly defended the Reds' striker and England international, who entered Tuesday's match at Wembley late into the second half. Earlier this week, England coach Fabio Capello expressed concern for Carroll after photos surfaced of the striker partying in Barbados over the summer.
As Capello remarked earlier this week:
"Andy needs to be careful. I don't know anything about his lifestyle. It is a private problem that I never spoke about...But if he wants to be a good player and a good sportsman, he needs to drink less than the others. He is not at the top of his form at the moment."
Blame It on the Barra Brava
"Ninety percent of the fans did not insult [us during the match] and have always backed...the players and coaching staff. Yesterday, a group of barra bravas, sent or not sent [to do this], went to insult us and left a very clear message."
—Antonio Mohamed, coach of Argentine club Independiente, on his departure.
The manager of the club, based in Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, announced his resignation Monday after a defeat from local rivals Boca Juniors, citing the behavior of the club's barra bravas, or ultras. Mohamed cited club executives' reported close relationship with the barra bravas, and according to a Goal.com report, he said the breaking point came when a group of the ultras came to the dressing room door demanding his head.
Here's a clip of Mohamed speaking with Argentina's Visión 7 on his leaving Independiente [in Spanish].
Neil Warnock Goes for the Jugular
"You need someone to grab people by the throat—in a nice way—and get people going."
—Neil Warnock on QPR's new man, Joey Barton
Alright, so this was technically from last week, but it was too good not to include given Barton's bad-boy reputation. The qualifier—that 'in a nice way'—is perfect.
Rio Ferdinand Still Finds Time for His Kids... and the Soaps
'Why is corrie on so late tonight...it's messing with my evening plans....kids asleep at 6:30 p.m...school mashed them up nicely!'
— Rio Ferdinand on Twitter Wednesday night
Worrying about when Coronation Street is on? Rio Ferdinand may be a Londoner by birth, but it's clear Manchester may have rubbed off on him. After a week of post-deadline insanity and Euro qualifiers, it's kind of nice to see footballers tweeting about, well, the same normal stuff that your friends with kids probably tweet about.
Bonus: Robbie Savage Dances with the Stars
'I can't believe for first time in my life some of you are being nice to me, never had it before it's quite nice!'
—Robbie Savage, on Twitter on Thursday, discussing his appearance on Strictly Come Dancing
We thought we'd end this list with a bit of comic relief, and although veteran professional athletes appearing on reality dance competitions is hardly a new phenomenon, Robbie Savage's updates and fan interactions during his run have been pretty funny. His current Twitter bio says it all: "I have as much chance of winning Strictly Come Dancing than I did signing for Barcelona!!"