World of Sport

Quotes of the Week: ‘Mario is Mario, he does strange things’

World of Sport

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"Obviously I would like him to put that into the back of the
net. But Mario is Mario, he does some strange things sometimes. Hopefully he
will get better and maybe learn from these sort of experiences." Manchester
City midfielder James Milner,
commenting on THAT miss by team-mate Mario
Balotelli
in a friendly match against LA Galaxy which prompted manager Roberto
Mancini to haul off the Italian.

"We were all pretty impressed with the way Mancini handled
it. That said it all really. Our coach Bruce Arena would have done the same,
I'm sure. You can say it's a friendly but you don't want to see that out on the
pitch. Maybe in the beer league or something things like that go on. But not at
our level. We're a good enough team and even though we're a step below the EPL
we know we're a good side. If we were losing 8-0 and he'd done that we might
have had a whack at him. But we ran them close all game so I'm not sure he was
being disrespectful." Mike Magee,
who scored Galaxy's second-half equaliser, weighs in on the subject.

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As does Magee's team-mate David
Beckham
: "I was surprised at first, but I have watched it back a few times
and from his mannerisms I believe he thought he was offside. But it doesn't matter
whether you think it was offside or not. You have to be professional and score
the goal. There are a lot of young kids watching these teams and great players
who come out here. Mario has been a great player for quite a few years and he
is still very young. He will continue to get better I am sure. I am not the
Manchester City manager, thank goodness, but he thought he was offside."

"You are not going to see me puffing around the pitch. There
is a saying in Bulgaria that great quality doesn't require much effort."
Languid Manchester United striker Dimitar
Berbatov
explains his oft-derided style on the pitch. Twenty goals and a
share of last season's Premier League Golden Boot suggest the Bulgarian's got
the right formula, no matter how frustrating it may be for fans to watch.

"It was one comment too far. I've got to stand up for my
caddie. JP is one of my closest friends. I've had to deal with it for three
years and not really say anything. He's just kept at him and at him. I just had
to say something. I don't care if he criticises me, I can take the criticism.
JP can't stand up for himself. It started in Switzerland back in 2008 and it
was just one comment too far. JP has taken me from 200th in the world to Major
champion and fourth in the world." Rory
McIlroy
explains why he got embroiled in a Twitter row with broadcaster Jay
Townsend, who had criticised the Northern Irishman's "shocking"
course management.

"I want to go to bigger and better things. I'm ready to fight
anyone - let's bring on the big, big names. Floyd is a fight in the future -
one that could happen in the next 12 months." Amir Khan talks up the possibility of fighting Floyd
Mayweather Junior following the Briton's destruction of Zab Judah.

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"Rivalries are exciting for me and for the sport. That's what
women's tennis really needs and men's tennis doesn't lack. To be able to create
those types of rivalries in the women's game is important." Maria Sharapova appears to be well
aware of the declining interest in the women's game - but she is determined to do
something about it, starting with re-igniting her rivalry with Serena Williams.

"The islanders (Britain) are the pirates of the world, a
bunch of pirates. The stuff from Triesman was all nonsense. The British are
p***** off because they lost and they won't take that lying down. Look me in
the face and tell me that I'd say something as stupid as that, asking for a
bribe in front of everyone, right there in the stands? I will make their lives
hell." Head of Brazilian football Ricardo
Teixeira
, accused by former FA chairman Lord Triesman of demanding
inducements to vote for England's failed 2018 World Cup bid, should perhaps
look into going on a PR course.

"Bang the goals in at one end, keep them out at the other and
you'll be up at the top. If you don't keep clean sheets your goal tally has to
increase by 20 per cent. It's all about understanding what's required to
achieve success." West Ham manager Sam
Allardyce
has been doing his maths homework ahead of the new Championship
season.

"He is not settled, with his injury and his situation. That
has to be sorted out soon." - Arsene
Wenger
explains why Cesc Fabregas will not play in the Emirates Cup before
echoing the thoughts of a nation which has become bored to tears by the ongoing
Barcelona transfer saga.

"I would love to play them. It is not something I would be
fearful of, rather it is time we were playing them again. It would mean some
banter on the Manchester United training ground with guys like Rooney and
Ferdinand - and maybe a couple of solid kicks aimed at team-mates." Surely
Darren Fletcher isn't so stupid to
incur the wrath of Alex Ferguson should Scotland be drawn with England in World
Cup qualifying?

"While our coverage from 2012 may not be as extensive as it
has been up to now, the bare facts are that the BBC needs to save money. Given
the financial circumstances in which we find ourselves, we believe this new
deal offers the best outcome for licence-fee payers. In a sense this partnership
with Sky is another example of how the landscape of sports broadcasting has
been transformed in recent years. There was a time when the BBC and other
public service broadcasters could expect to televise all the big sports
themselves. Now though we have a 'mixed economy', with some events on satellite
while others are on terrestrial." Ben
Gallop
, the BBC's head of Formula 1, puts forward the reasons behind the
Beeb's share deal with Sky to broadcast F1 in 2012.

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"If you are an athlete who is looking to make it to maybe the
semi-finals, then you might want to enjoy the whole experience of the Games and
the opening ceremony is a big part of that. To take that opportunity from them
is wrong." Two-times world 110m hurdles champion and Olympic silver
medallist Colin Jackson feels for
the British athletes who have been told they cannot take part in the opening
ceremony at next year's Olympics.

"I am not alone, I am not a dictator as has been said, I am
not alone, I work with my executive committee, with my administration, and with
a lot of advisors." And finally, Sepp
Blatter
responds to accusations that his presidency of FIFA is a
dictatorship.

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