The Olympics are around the corner, the Tour de France is heading into the final straight, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is being himself. Quotes of the week, accordingly, has plenty of pearls of wisdom to pick from in this week's round-up...
FOOTBALLERS WILL BE FOOTBALLERS
"I'll have to learn about [the Ligue 1 players], but for sure they know who I am" — Zlatan Ibrahimovic joins PSG, keeps it humble.
"I have been here since I was a boy, I have always considered it my club and have always found it hard to imagine wearing the shirt of another team. I know that being a one-club man is a rarity these days, but I have always enjoyed being part of the set-up here and the challenge of putting this club up with the elite where it should be" — Ledley King retires at the age of 31, with the rare distinction of spending his entire career at one club.
SUAREZ-EVRA: OUR TIME MACHINE WORKS!
"People at Liverpool are sure that it was a way that Manchester United used to put me out of the team and stop Liverpool. In England, Manchester United's political power is strong and you must respect that and shut your mouth" Luis Suarez drags us kicking and screaming back into the mire of the Suarez-Evra race row.
"I wasn't surprised at Kenny leaving. (Liverpool owner) John Henry has obviously looked at that (the Suarez incident) and felt it wasn't handled in the right way. It certainly wasn't a nice thing to happen and it must have been part of it." — Sir Alex Ferguson does his bit on the Manchester United side to keep said conflict burning.
"The trial [disciplinary hearing] was so complicated for me. I had to go to Manchester in a taxi for the trial. I got up at seven in the morning and I came home at nine at night. I was exhausted, I was so tired. I wanted to cry, and kick all the things around me. I came home and I wanted to do all that, but I couldn't because my daughter was at home. There were really complicated days, and then things became harder after the punishment" — Suarez again, lamenting taxis, we think.
OLYMPIANS WILL BE OLYMPIANS
"It's common knowledge on the Olympic team that there are plenty of gay couples, but that's a good thing. I have no issue with that. I just think it's strange that heterosexual couples aren't allowed to room together, but gay couples can obviously do that. Good luck to them. It's not often that the gay community gets one up on us. Power to them" — Shooter Russell Mark reckons he should be able to bed up with his Australian team-mate (and wife) Lauryn Mark in the Olympic Village — but his pleas look set to go unheard.
"With a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you want to build memories, whether it's sexual, partying or on the field. I've seen people having sex right out in the open. On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty" — Hope Solo (above), gold medallist on the US women's Olympic football team, talks up a different side of the Games. London's a bit too cold outdoors for all that, mind.
"In my opinion Sebastian Coe is the second greatest Olympian, after myself. Steve Redgrave is not in the same class as Seb Coe. He is a rower, but I think track and field is the toughest sport in the Olympics, which means the rewards are greater" — Daley Thompson was never one to keep his opinions to himself.
"Obviously, Daley was a great athlete. Some people, Seb Coe included, think he's the best athlete ever. My personal view is that he doesn't make the top five of great British Olympians. I'd put Seb above him, and Kelly Holmes, certainly Ben Ainslie, and, all modesty aside, myself and Matt Pinsent. I say that because, to me, athletes compete at the decathlon if they are great all-rounders instead of being supreme in one event" — Sir Steven Redgrave has his say on Thompson. Odds of the pair lighting the Olympic flame together lengthen.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
TOUR DE FORCE
"That was the plan for today, to work for Bradley and protect the yellow jersey. Everyone in the team has made sacrifices. Cavendish, he's made sacrifices every day, everyone in the team. That's cycling. It's our work" — Chris Froome — happy, apparently, to be a number two. For this year...
"I categorically deny taking any banned substance. I have no explanation for the test result and therefore insist that the B sample be tested which is my right. If this analysis confirms the initial result, I will argue that I have been the victim of poisoning." — Unlike other riders who've failed doping tests, Frank Schleck maintains his innocence.
"After everything I've done this year, it's like you still have to justify it. 'Oh yes, you've won the Tour, but it is going to be remembered for these people not being here?' I don't think all the people who came out from the UK to stand on these climbs in the past two weeks give a monkey's about that. For me, no one's actually praised me yet. No one's said, 'you've been there since the Tour of Algarve in February, winning races — you went to Paris-Nice, you've respected the history of every race you've been to, you've raced and trained and answered all the questions of the press all year. You've really taken it on. You came to this Tour as the favourite from Liège and I haven't dropped out of the first two of the GC [general classification] for three weeks now. You've answered all these doping questions as articulately as you can. But it's all still in the negative sense. It's 'don't you reckon that it's just because Alberto's not here?' All year it's been, 'have you peaked too early?' And even now, no one's actually said, 'Bloody good on you, mate, well done.'" — Bloody good on you, Bradley Wiggins, well done.
BEST OF THE REST
"It was probably the worst case I have ever seen and you felt so sad for Robert. We can only hope he finds a solution quickly" — Luke Donald's caddie John McLaren expresses his sympathy for Robert Karlsson, who had to skip The Open with the 'yips'.
"It hurt, it stings a bit. I closed my eyes with the shock of it as I tried to work out what had happened, but I wasn't out cold. Rory came over and said, 'Sorry, are you okay? I don't think this will help much, but here you are.' He was quite apologetic. I don't imagine he will be too happy with the fact I knocked it out of bounds - I'll apologise if I see him again"- 16-year-old fan Jason Blue gets struck on the head by a Rory McIlroy ball which then goes out of bounds — but it does get better from there for the youngster, after McIlroy signed him a glove and offered to put him up in a luxury hotel for the night.
"I looked at it and I was so disappointed. I called my husband and he giggled a little bit. Then I started laughing about it and I've laughed ever since" — It's probably just as well that you can laugh about it, Jerri Peterson, because that mis-spelt Oy-lmpic tattoo isn't going anywhere fast...