PARIS, December 28 – Who said what in 2010 – a selection of the best sporting quotes of the year:
"I sent texts to my mum and dad saying ‘I’m going to die’"
Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor following the attack on his country’s team coach at the Africa Cup of Nations. An assistant coach and squad spokesman were killed.
"It was nothing – the team bus burst a tyre, causing panic"
Africa Cup of Nations’ organisers’ initial explanation for the machine gun ambush on the Togo team bus in the restive northern Angolan enclave of Cabinda.
"In my profession you are used to seeing people pass away, but for acceptable reasons – disease, age. But when you see a young athlete pursuing his dream at the Olympic Games end in such an accident, it hurts."
Olympic chief Jacques Rogge, a doctor by profession, on the death of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili hours before the Vancouver Games opening ceremony in an horrific training crash.
"I was down. I was angry. I wasn’t happy with who I was. I was doing things that morally, inside, I knew were wrong. I’ve come out the other side."
Tiger Woods after becoming immersed in a series of sex scandals which not only cost him his marriage and several major sponsorship deals but hit his form, leading to his being dethroned by England’s Lee Westwood as world number one.
"It’s about hitting balls when it’s raining, pumping iron like Mr Universe, trying to get stronger every day."
Westwood explains how he has made it to the golfing summit – in Woods’ place.
"I didn’t know what I was thinking out there, especially once the match got past 25-all. I wasn’t really thinking."
An exhausted John Isner after the American’s epic 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/3), 70-68 win over France’s Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon, the longest tennis match ever played.
"If it hadn’t been me that brought everything to a head, it would have been someone else. It was a timebomb waiting to explode."
French striker Nicolas Anelka says the unrest in the French World Cup camp under coach Raymond Domenech which culminated in a dressing room row and his being sent home was no surprise.
"This was (like) a punch from Muhammad Ali. I have no strength left for anything."
Diego Maradona is poleaxed after a World Cup lesson dispensed by Germany.
"He can’t take charge of his own children. I don’t know how he manages it on a football pitch."
– Kay Webb speaking before her husband, referee Howard Webb, took charge of the World Cup final
"Today is a reward for beautiful football"
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque salutes his World Cup winners.
"I think it was the wrong decision"
US president Barack Obama’s blunt assessment of FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
"The power of gas and oil."
Spanish daily El Mundo on the naming of Russia for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar four years later.
"Who’s the whore now Wayne?"
Disgruntled Manchester United supporters vent their anger at Wayne Rooney as the saga of his shock decision, subsequently retracted, to quit United in the wake of lurid tabloid allegations over his liaisons with a prostitute, reached boiling point.
"One team played very good, one team very bad. One deserved to win and one deserved to lose. Humiliated? No."
Real Madrid Jose Mourinho gives Barcelona credit where it is due after a 5-0 Liga thrashing which exposed a gulf in class.
"My brother is innocent. He has been trapped in an international conspiracy to defame our cricket team and country."
Mohammad Ijaz speaking out in defence of his elder brother of Mohammed Aamer, one of a trio of Pakistan players implicated in a spot-fixing sting by a British tabloid.
"To 12 special guys, I asked them to play with their hearts and with passion and by God they did."
European Ryder Cup winning captain Colin Montgomerie pays tribute to his team after the defeat of the US at a rain-drenched Celtic Manor.
"If Seb’s drowning in the ocean I’d go in and help him out."
Aussie Mark Webber shows a little team spirit towards Sebastian Vettel despite some keen rivalry as the German races on to become the youngest champion in Formula One history.
"If Lewis wins a race he has to go and speak to Vodafone. If I won a race I’d chase the girls."
Sir Stirling Moss says the post-race Formula One experience was a bit more entertaining back in his day.
"I think they out-batted us, out-bowled us and out-fielded us during the entire game."
Australian captain Ricky Ponting gives a frank admission on why his Ashes hopefuls started off on the wrong foot against England.
"No-one has asked me if I want to make a comeback."
Amid suggestions this year’s Australians needed Shane Warne to come out of retirement, fellow legend Richie Benaud joked he was disappointed the selectors didn’t call on him to return.