Saturday, May 8, 2021

Who’s saying what at the World Cup


tiamin rice

Argentina’s forward Lionel Messi reacts during a training session of the Argentina’s national football team at the team’s base camp in Bronnitsy, near Moscow on June 15, 2018, on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match against Iceland at the Spartak stadium. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN MABROMATA

AFP Sport looks at the best quotes from the second day of the World Cup which produced a thrilling 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal:

“For me the most important thing is to emphasise what the team did against one of the favourites to win this World Cup.”

— Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t want to take all the glory after his hat-trick secured a dramatic point for Portugal in their Group B opener

“If the game against Morocco was the World Cup final for us, the game against Spain will be the Universe Cup final.”

— Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is under no illusions as to how important his side’s second match against Spain will be, after their 1-0 win over Morocco

“Anything smarter to ask?”

— Croatia midfielder Luka Modric isn’t impressed when asked about his role in a corruption scandal that has seen him accused of perjury

“I hope he can enjoy the World Cup. We say ‘if he doesn’t win the World Cup he can’t overtake Maradona’ and I think those comparisons should be put to one side.”

— Claudio Tapia, head of the Argentina Football Association, on the endless debate over Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi

“All the best at this World Cup to Fernando and a magnificent team and group of lads — our Spanish national team. We feel part of your strength, union and passion.”

— Julen Lopetegui sends his best wishes to the Spanish team after being sacked on Wednesday and replaced by Fernando Hierro

“In Nigeria a journalist asked if my players can meet Russian girls. I said ‘no, of course not. The only one who can meet a Russian girl is the captain, because he’s living with her’.”

— Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr, on captain John Obi Mikel and his Russian girlfriend

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