World of Sport

‘I am not sending my 12-year-old niece to fight al-Qaeda’ – Quotes of the Week

World of Sport

Welcome to another week and another hoovering up of the best, funniest and most remarkable quotes from another week of sporting drama...

THE EURO 2012 FILES

It's over

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Smile, Samir...

Nasri: "You're always writing s*** stories about us."

Reporter: "Well get lost, then ..."

Nasri: "You tell me to get lost? Come here and we'll sort it out..." — Diplomacy after a defeat at Euro 2012, thy name is Samir Nasri.

"After seeing the latest game, I think Rooney only understands Scottish. That's because he only plays well in Manchester, where Sir Alex Ferguson speaks Scottish" — You thought he'd gone away, but Fabio Capello still has something to say about England

"Capello is entitled to his opinions, I suppose, but I always think it's a bit cheap to kid on a player who was so anxious to do well" — Roy Hodgson gives a terse response to the old boss.

"Joe Hart was doing some strange movements, so when he dived I decided to take it like that and it went well. It put a bit of pressure on their takers and in fact Ashley Young missed his penalty after that" — Andrea Pirlo explains the method to his madness in dinking a penalty straight down the middle in the shoot-out against England.

The dream still lives

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'Saint Andrea of Brescia'

"There's no use going to Rome and not seeing the Pope. We want to go home with the cup" - Pirlo again, this time after beating Germany. He's got a way with words.

"All opinions should be respected, but when a team always wants to attack against an opponent who are shutting up shop, who are only trying to stop you hurting them, football is not as attractive as when the game is open, with two teams who are looking to win. We feel identified with our style of play, and a few years ago this style changed the history of Spain for good" — An altogether more diplomatic tone from Andres Iniesta, who is forced to defend the reigning European and world champions from suggestion that the way they play is, well, a bit boring.

"After the game, when I went to my mum, I said 'these goals are for you'. I waited for this moment for so long and I wanted to make my mum happy" — That Mario Balotelli is a nice boy after all, isn't he?

And the man who doesn't know when he's beaten...

"I'm confident I will win it."  — Cristiano Ronaldo talks up his chances of collecting the Ballon d'Or at the end of the year, despite his side being beaten by Spain in the semi-finals. 

ANYONE FOR TENNIS?

"In my whole life, ever since I was eight years old, (my) whole life I didn't do this many foot‑faults. It was like 11. It was never called when it was like 30‑love or 40‑love. It was always when it was 30‑all or in a tiebreak. I mean, what is this? Is it Davis Cup or is it Wimbledon? After this match, the whole credibility of this tournament went down for me... After I don't know how many, I stood a little bit back so they cannot call (foot-fault). They still did it. So it was outrageous, outrageous. It's Wimbledon, Centre Court, and they do this. I mean, this is BS" - Ivo Karlovic calls 'BS' on what he reckons is pro-Andy Murray officiating at Wimbledon.

"Equal pay doesn't work in sport. We talk a lot about it but I don't think it works. I think right now that men's tennis is better than women's tennis. In Grand Slams men spend twice as much time on court as the women. When Rome became a joint tournament it was to save the women because I remember a final with 20 spectators" — Gilles Simon stirs the tennis prize money debate.

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Maria Sharapova also dazzles with flexible joints

"It was a big challenge and nobody supported us. It's been a few years since we have gotten that. We're all really proud of it and we continue to build the sport and make it bigger. I'm sure there are a few more people that watch my matches than his" — Maria Sharapova has her say on the debate.

"She's way hotter than he is" — Serena Williams compares Sharapova to Simon, although we're not entirely sure that's the point…

FOOTBALLERS WILL BE FOOTBALLERS

"Money cannot buy you happiness and what I have found from the people in China is love, happiness, sincerity and warmth [and] I can't wait to get started here" - The reasons that striker Yakubu is leaving England for China are strictly footballing ones, and nothing at all to do with reported wages of £100,000 a week.

BEST OF THE REST

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Charles van Commenee knows how to have a good time

"I am not sending my 12-year-old niece to fight al-Qaeda. We are going to the Games. It's fun. I didn't see an emotional wreck, just a happy 18-year-old young man who's very level-headed. A lot of people in athletics make it sound as if they are living a hard life, as if they have to go to the coal mines in Azerbaijan every morning or maybe have to work for the Daily Mail every day. That's what I call tough" Charles van Commenee, UK Athletics chief, discusses whether Adam Gemili should attend the Olympics with his usual tact.

"A couple of years ago we came very close to an agreement with the City of Westminster and the Mayor's office but we ran into the small problem of cost" — Any problems with staging a British Grand Prix through the streets of London? Details, Bernie Ecclestone, details…

"We can huff and puff as much as we like and have all sorts of external reports but this situation can only be resolved by India accepting that the spirit of cricket is more important than generating billions of dollars; it's more important than turning out multi-millionaire players" — Tony Greig pulls no punches at the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture.

"Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me" — David Beckham misses out on the Olympics, much to the disappointment of Games marketers.

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