The year’s best soccer quotes

“Please God, he’ll still be here in February. I don’t see any way Robbie won’t be here unless someone comes up with £50 million or something for him!”

“The club is massive. I am a Celtic fan and did not have to ask much about it. I always wanted to play for Celtic and it works for all parties.”

— Robbie, clearly

“The first year (at Bohs) was difficult – I got rid of all the deadwood, all the Happy Harrys on a jolly-up. We brought in young players and the club has never looked back. The Celtic Tiger is gone, the gravy train is over. You can run me out if you want. But as long as I’m here, everyone will get honesty because I’ll give it and I’ll expect it back.”

— Roddy Collins blasts everyone and anyone just prior to the demise of Cork City FC — which, naturally, caused him to be run out.

“The referee gave only five minutes of injury time and that’s an insult to the game.”

— Alex Ferguson started the year as he meant to go on — an FA Cup defeat to Leeds proving a hard pill to swallow in January.

“I am afraid the chairman will need a hell of a tub of cream to get rid of me — I’m like a bad rash and not easily curable.”

— 2010 was the year of Blackpool manager Ian Holloway.

“I must be absolutely honest here, when I played against (Mario) Balotelli — and he knows this — I wanted to kill him. Now that he is my team-mate, I still want to kill him.”

— Inter Milan’s Diego Milito gives us a sneak preview of the Man City striker when he was still in Italy.

“Many national teams are interested. They asked us ‘what are you doing, what aren’t you doing?’ But for now we’re remaining loyal to what we signed. But in life I always say never say never.”

— Giovanni Trapattoni says a lot — but he never says never.

“Listen. This is a special approach in the Anglo-Saxon countries. If this had happened in, let’s say, Latin countries then I think he would have been applauded.”

— Earlier this year, there was that whole John Terry/Wayne Bridge business: Fifa president Sepp Blatter didn’t know what all the fuss was about.

“In my opinion, Terry has no moral code for what he did to Bridge. In my neighbourhood if you do that, you lose your legs, or more — you don’t survive.”

— Carlos Tevez begged to differ with Blatter’s stereotype.

“You know when you’ve got a noisy neighbour and they keep the radio on all the time? You can complain to the council, you can bang on their wall, you can go to their door, but they still keep their music on. So what do you do? You get used to it.”

— Another one for the Alex Ferguson annals but Man City still have the volume up.

“In the first half we were like the Dog and Duck, in the second half we were like Real Madrid. One minute I was pulling pints and collecting subs, the next I was on a luxury coach. At full time I was at them like an irritated Jack Russell who can’t quite get the mutt out of the hole — and they deserved that.”

— Ian Holloway is more than welcome to stay in the Premier League as long as he wants.

“It’s good to go a bit mad but I don’t throw teacups around. That’s not my style — I’d rather throw punches”

— Alas, Roy Keane may never get back to the top flight at this rate.

“I am very happy at Inter. I am not happy in Italian football — because I don’t like it and they don’t like me. Simple.”

— Jose Mourinho would ultimately leave Serie A with a Champions League medal and very little regret.

“They got him sent off, everyone sprinted towards the referee, typical Germans — you can’t dispute that.”

— Fergie again after Bayern Munich players Franck Ribery (France), Mark van Bommel (Netherlands) and Ivica Olic (Croatia) sprinted towards the referee to get Rafael sent off.

“They must be clever and forget their egos and realise that the only thing that matters is the team, not them. If they don’t understand that, I will need a gun.”

— If only French coach Raymond Domenech knew what was ahead when he said this in April.

“It was a blur. I woke up on Friday night with the operation done, but my mum and dad were telling me that I had nearly died. I am so happy to be alive now.”

— The Republic of Ireland’s Shane Duffy a week after a collision during a training match caused a laceration to his liver that required emergency life-saving surgery.

“Credit to North Korea. Their players did not react to defeat by fouling. They left with their heads held high.”

— Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz encouraged 7-0 losers North Korea to look on the bright side — whatever that could possibly be.

“We want to beat Argentina now so we can finally say we’ve beaten a big team.”

— German captain Philipp Lahm gives England a little slap as they exit South Africa.

“Luis Suarez’s hand was the Hand of God...and the Virgin Mary.”

— Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez praises his striker for the moment that broke Ghana’s hearts in the quarter-final.

“These people are clowns. I am dying with laughter.”

— Nicolas Anelka reacting to the news that the French Football Federation had given him that 18-match ban for speaking out of turn in South Africa.

“Yes, it is difficult to break them up because they were a beautiful couple.”

— Trapattoni shedding crocodile tears for the midfield pairing of Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews.

“If I was in Alex Ferguson’s company I would tell him first off that Manchester United never knocked Liverpool off their ****ing perch, as he put it. That’s nonsense. Graeme Souness did that.”

— Jamie Carragher sets the record straight.

“If he’s trying to say I should move somewhere like Stoke City and change my game to winning tackles and not winning games, then he’s having a laugh.”

— Darron Gibson on Trapattoni’s belief that he should leave Manchester United for regular first team football.

“If I drive a Volvo against a Ferrari on a straight, I lose. The Volvo is a good car because it’s our sponsor, but the Ferrari races faster.”

— Rafa Benitez reflects on that Gareth Bale demolition.

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