MOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jun 19 – AFP Sport picks out some of the best quotes at the World Cup:
“I’ve seen a couple of those Russian dolls, they make me look a bit chubby. I’ll have to get one.”
— Harry Kane on being told there are Russian dolls or “matroyshka” in his likeness appearing on souvenir stalls in Moscow’s Red Square.
“Maybe a bit of justice has been done at the end to get one at the back post. I think there could have been a couple of penalties. It shows good character to get on with it and that’s what we’ve done.”
— Kane after his 91st-minute goal broke Tunisian hearts.
“Leo has kicked a thousand penalties which have been a thousand goals so who am I to say something after a penalty.”
— Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado refuses to wade in on the debate over Lionel Messi’s role as penalty-taker despite the Barcelona star missing four of his last seven spot-kicks for club and country.
“I can understand that he was frustrated that he didn’t get the result that he wanted. If we would be in his position we would probably be as frustrated as him.”
— Defender Birkir Saevarsson says he understands Messi’s frustrations at Iceland’s tactics in their 1-1 draw.
“I think you need to start! I need a substitution now!”
— Iran coach Carlos Queiroz, pointing to midfielder Masoud Shojaei after speaking at length during a chaotic press conference a day before meeting Spain.
“A coach who loses a match is never right. We always wonder about what we’ve done right or wrong, we don’t need journalists for that. When you’ve lost your opener obviously you’re not happy.”
— Morocco coach Herve Renard doesn’t feel the need to explain what went wrong in his team’s shock opening 1-0 loss to Iran.
“We don’t doubt him and he doesn’t doubt himself either.
“I embraced him. We know goalkeeper is a special position, with a special psychology, and we have no doubts. Honestly.”
— Spain coach Fernando Hierro defends under-fire goalkeeper David De Gea.
“If it was just one game, we’d have had a parade on the streets of Saransk, but we have more games to come, so we will save our celebrations”
— New Japan coach Akira Nishino in playful mood after his team pulled off an opening shock in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat of Colombia