World Football

The Week in Quotes

Davide Astori's funeral service in Florence
© Getty Images

"Oh captain, my captain. Why did you not come down to have breakfast with us all? Why did you not pick up your shoes from outside of (goalkeeper) Marco Sportiello's room and then drink your orange juice, as usual?

Now they will tell us that life goes on, that we must look forward and pick ourselves up, but what will your absence taste like? Who will arrive every morning in the cafeteria, warming up everyone with his smile?

Who will ask us about what we did the previous night and have a laugh about it? Who will nurture the youngsters and give a sense of responsibility to the veterans? Who will form the circle to work on our 'two-touch play' and who will demolish Marco on the PlayStation?

With whom will we debate about Masterchef, Florence's restaurants, TV series or games played? Who will I lean on at lunch after a tiring training session? Come on, come back. You still need to finish watching La La Land to analyse like you did with all new movies.

Come back to Florence, they are waiting for you to renew your contract and acknowledge all the good and the positivity that you bring to us on a daily basis. Get out of that damn room, we will be waiting for you tomorrow at training.

In life there are people you've known forever but have never bonded with, and then there are the 'Davides', who warm to you immediately with a simple 'Welcome to Florence, Ricky'.

Wherever you are now, keep on defending our goal and enlighten the right path for us from the backline. Oh captain, my captain. Forever, my captain."
Fiorentina midfielder Riccardo Saponara says farewell to the late Davide Astori

"We dedicate this win to him but not only this match. I cry many times, I always believe in him because he was a fantastic player. It's very difficult during the match because we have to think of the game and our opponents. It is not easy but he’s always in our heart. And tomorrow we go to give last 'ciao' together with our team-mates. It's difficult but we have to continue our lives. I think for us he was important for our national team, he always brought positive emotion and always smiled. We would like to continue to smile in our heart."
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini pays tribute to Astori, speaking with BT Sport after Juve's 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, second leg

"We'll see, it's a tough question. I want to feel that I can perform and give back. I don't want to come just because I'm somebody. The door isn't closed for anything. I miss the national team. When you've played in the national team for 20 years and then you're not in it anymore, and you see the others playing in the national team, it's tough. It's tough in general, when you think that I'm injured and not playing. I want to play, with the club team, with the national team, it's the same thing. They (the Swedish national team) have done a good job. I don't think anyone needs to call. If I want to, I'm there, that's how it is. But one thing at a time. When I can do what I want to, I'll have other thoughts.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves the door open for a possible return to the Swedish national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

“Mohamed is a role model for this country. As a person, as a player, and as an Egyptian citizen.”
51-year-old Marwan Jalal Eissa, who lives in Egypt and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah's hometown, talks with the Independent about the winger's impact back home in Egypt

"Brazil have been doing very well and Germany are very strong, but it’s a tough question, particularly for this tournament. It will be so exciting to see because it’s very difficult to choose one team as a favourite for this World Cup."
Korea Republic legend Park Jisung speaks exclusively with about who he sees as the favourites at Russia 2018

"I remember having to fight against people who said women’s football is nothing. Of course, it’s never going to be as good as the men’s game. We’re never going to have the same speed or the same physique. Our game is never going to be that fast. But we can have the same technique. And if men’s football can thrill and inspire people, women’s football can, too."
Barcelona and Netherlands midfielder/forward Lieke Martens writes in The Players' Tribune

“The referee kept asking Hershel for his name, to which he replied ‘Watt’. The conversation then continued along the lines of: ‘Name?’, ‘Watt’, ‘NAME?’ ‘Watt’, etc. After a few seconds, the frustrated official clearly felt the mick was being taken and produced a red card. At this point, Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes joined the conversation and, with the player, explained that his name was indeed Watt and no mickey was being taken. The referee, to his credit then realised the error, saw the funny side and reversed his decision. He then trotted over to our bench and to East Thurrock’s to explain.”
Hemel Hempstead Town match reporter Allan Mitchell describes an amusing moment in which the referee mistook Sanchez Watt's name for dissent

Canada midfielder Ashley Lawrence congratulates team-mate Jessie Fleming on reaching 50 caps [Fleming turns 20 years old on Sunday]

“I think it’s the creative genius to what he does and a flair, but also there is a fundamental aspect to the flair. The work that he puts in, I’m assuming, based on the talent that he has, and combining that with the talent that he has and how that kind of shows when he’s out there on the pitch. So I think there’s a lot of comparison, really, around the creativity and the innovation that we bring to our respective sports and trying to, I guess, impact – I would say influence the next generation to try to push themselves as well.”
Basketball star Stephen Curry compares himself with football star Lionel Messi, speaking with the Daily Mail

"It was a pleasure to take 80 students of Las Americas Newcomer School to the cinema to watch Black Panther. And it's a school where students come from more than 30 different countries, most of them refugees and immigrants. We spent a great time, I’ve learned a lot from them."
Honduras and Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis, nicknamed 'La Panterita', treats 80 students from Las Americas Newcomer School, a school designed to help recent immigrants and refugees, to a private screening of the hit movie "Black Panther"

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