World of Sport

Quotes of the Week: ‘Balotelli is as valuable as the Mona Lisa’

World of Sport

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"No Italian club would be able to afford him. Balotelli is as valuable as the Mona Lisa. And City have been very clear - they don't want to sell" - Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola, compares his client (who has scored only one league goal this season) to a priceless work of art.

"Who is Mourinho? Is he president of Celta Vigo? (Celta's president is Carlos Mourino). Ah, the Real Madrid coach. I assume, between professionals, (Mourinho and Diego Simeone) know each other." - Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo, utterly deadpan

"The big problem is that to win games you need to score. If not, you lose or the game finishes 0-0. At the moment we are not scoring a lot of goals, as we did last year. When we get chances we need to score - we need to resolve this problem if we are going to win. It can be embarrassing if, when you play, you don't play at 100 per cent. But when you do play 100 per cent, you can lose." - Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is not embarrassed at his side's European exit

"Have you seen the league table?" - A QPR club spokesman explains why the annual Christmas party has been cancelled this year

"Since some people have used the expression 'It's a joke' in recent days, I would like to say that this is the real 'joke'. Yes, I'm referring to one of Ecclestone's phrases: my father always taught me that you have to have respect your elders, above all when they reach the point that they can no longer control their words. So I will stop there. Certainly, old age is often incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities." - Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo hits out at 82-year-old Formula One 'supremo' Bernie Ecclestone

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"He is enormously grateful for the opportunities that he has been given by owners and trainers over the years, and for the support of his many fans. Racing has been good to Frankie, and he knows that his privileged position brings with it responsibility. For this reason, he is determined to rebuild his reputation when he returns to the saddle in six months' time. He also accepts that he has let down the sport he loves and all those associated with it, as well as the wider public. But most of all - and this is his greatest regret - he has let down his wife and children." - Frankie Dettori's solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore on behalf of his client

"Frankie could make excuses - he has, after all, regularly been tested for prohibited substances throughout his career. He is clear, however, that the responsibility for his current situation lies squarely with him. From the start of France Galop's inquiry, he has acknowledged to them that he has made a mistake and that the fault was his." - More on behalf of Mr Dettori

"If your best friend says 'mate, I want you to seriously consider making a commitment to Australian cricket and coming back out of retirement', (to) make myself available for selection, that's a different scenario. Especially with back-to-back Ashes coming up next year, it could be a 12-month thing where you take three spinners with you and say, 'Righto, work with these spinners and see how you go for 12 months.' That's a different kettle of fish. You asked me if I think I could still play international cricket if I wanted to just turn up, do my bowling and if the first Test match was in three weeks, do you think I could play? I'd have no hesitation in saying yes - and I think I'd do pretty well." - Shane Warne reveals that he would return - if asked - for Australia in time for the Ashes

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"Clarification guys thankyou for the kind words, but... I was asked 'could' I play not 'would' I play..yes, I could..didn't say I would! It was a hypothetical question re if Michael Clarke asked me... Read my quotes 'I'm not asking Michael to ask me' Hope I didn't disappoint! Sorry @MClarke23 [Michael Clarke] if you woke up to calls! See you soon buddy.... Ps although my future wife @ElizabethHurley loves seeing me dressed up in my cricket whites !!!!!!! Xxx," - Warne hastily backtracks with copious errors on Twitter

"It's going to be tough to get the motivation back for Rio ... There's always a drive and determination going into any competition, but admittedly it'll be hard to beat getting a medal in front of a home crowd." - Tom Daley on why it will be so very hard for him to find the motivation required to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio

"As a driver he will continue to develop, to get better. We are yet to see the best of him. Only time will tell what Sebastian is capable of in the future but the exciting thing is we are yet to see the best of him." - Red Bull boss Christian Horner scares everyone by suggesting that Sebastian Vettel is still far from his peak

"We have a very nice home of our own and I would hope very much we would contemplate playing the match here. With our modest little stadium here at Twickenham, with the further investment we might be able to make it into a decent spot to play rugby. We equally believe we are very good hosts here and that we could hold a decent game here and would very much want to do that. Shock, horror and astonishment that I would suggest that!" - RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie responds, with only a hint of sarcasm, to a suggestion from Wales that England's World Cup match against them could be played at the Millenium Stadium

"I don't want to pour cold water on it but I don't think it should be in the Olympic Games. I still think of Olympics as track and field and not golf, to be honest with you. When the professionals go to the Olympics, they go for the wrong reasons ... I'm probably talking like a dinosaur." - Eight-times Major winner Tom Watson does not want to see golf at the Rio Olympics

"I apologise to the referee, it was not on purpose. I was ashamed when he fell." - Cherno More Varna defender Sasho Aleksandrov was given a six-match ban for body-checking the referee during his side's 4-0 Bulgarian Cup loss against Levski Sofia

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