UNITED-REAL IN QUOTES
"People ask me why I don't retire after so many years in the game, but how could anyone with an ounce of passion for football in their soul voluntarily walk away from the opportunity to be involved in this kind of occasion?" Sir Alex waxes lyrical before Tuesday's fateful encounter.
"Can't believe @WayneRooney isn't starting!" Coleen Rooney vents on Twitter.
"Independent of the decision (to send Nani off), the best team lost. We didn't play well. We didn't deserve to win. " Jose Mourinho comes over all diplomatic after Madrid sneak through.
"The manager is not in a fit state to talk to the referee about the decision ... We have a very distraught dressing room and a very distraught manager." United assistant boss Mike Phelan explains Fergie's press conference no-show.
"It's dangerous play - it's a red card ... Whether he meant it or not doesn't matter. Nani's a quick boy to go down anyway. He's not the bravest player on the planet." Ex-United captain Roy Keane has no sympathy.
"It was quite a strange feeling. Not just for this game, but the first game too. I felt a little but shy in my game and I have feelings which I can't explain." Cristiano Ronaldo? Shy? No wonder he can't explain it.
"Nani's red was correct. The world will realise the truth over time ... I do my job perfectly." Defiant ref Cuneyt Cakir makes Graham Poll look self-effacing.
"It is hard to keep your faith when you have things like (Nani’s dismissal). That’s the third time we have been knocked out by a referee." But Fergie is having none of it as he finally breaks his post-match silence.
MCILROY APOLOGISES FOR WALK-OFF
“I wasn't in a good place with my golf game. I was, you know, mentally - you know, my head was all over the place. But at the same time, I have been struggling with my lower right wisdom tooth for over a year. " – Rory McIlroy explains why he left the course at the Honda Classic. Just don't mention the swoosh.
But, wait: what about reports that the poor recent form of McIlroy and girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki was down to a break-up?
McIlroy: "Just because I have a bad day on the golf course and Caroline loses a match in Malaysia, it doesn't mean that we're breaking up."
Wozniacki: "We've gotten so used to it, we don't really pay attention anymore - unless it's a rumour like the one the other day that we've broken up. Oh really? Thanks for letting me know."
"They think ‘she must be stronger, because she used to be a male’. But if they look at the science of it, and what the hormones do to the male body, taken over a period of two to three years, it dissipates. That's what they found, and which is one of the reasons why the International Olympic Committee has allowed post-operative trans people to participate in the Olympics." – Post-op transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox defends her right to compete as a woman.
"England didn't respect the game. They took the mickey out of cricket. England's mindset has been over-confident; they weren't prepared to do the hard yards." Michael Vaughan slams England's disastrous start to the first Test in New Zealand.
NOT A FAN OF ZIZOU
"This guy a advertising billboard with three neurones ... It is prostitution. This man is a whore; he is bald and stupid, like a d**k." Comments about Zinedine Zidane that earned French humorist Christophe Aleveque a €5,000 damages bill.
"If (Neil) Lennon complains about referees, he can come and coach in Italy, where all of us like complaining about the referees." – Antonio Conte before his Juventus side knock Celtic out of the Champions League.
"Dear friends, I was booked for a mild case of drink driving last night. It was a quiet night but I am very very sorry to all my friends and fans.” – Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, on loan at Juventus. He was in fact three times over Denmark’s legal limit.
“There is no truth to it. Dzeko is a good player though, but that’s beyond our resources.” (Mobile phone rings) “Anonymous call.” (Pretends to answer) “Hello, Edin!” – Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp plays his club's links with Man City's Edin Dzeko for laughs.
- Sports & Recreation