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Who’s saying what at the World Cup

Fernando Santos joked that Cristiano Ronaldo is in such good form because of his own coaching skills © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

MOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jun 20 – AFP Sport picks out some of the best quotes at the World Cup:

“He has a great coach.”

Portugal boss Fernando Santos’s tongue-in-cheek response when asked why Cristiano Ronaldo is excelling at this World Cup.

“These are our best boys. This matters to them. They love their country. They understand that this is the World Cup.”

— Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko after Russia confounded their critics by producing the best ever start of a World Cup host nation with Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Egypt following their 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia.

“I don’t know why everything is clicking for me at this tournament.”

— Russia’s three-goal hero Denis Cheryshev is as bemused as most at the radical turnaround in the team’s fortunes.

“You’ll see him tomorrow (Thursday). Olivier does not have the same style of play as the others. When he’s not here, we realise his usefulness even more.”

— France coach Didier Deschamps on striker Olivier Giroud, who did not start their opening win over Australia.

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“If you could be a little bit more positive as well, that would be cool.”

— Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane asking the media to lay off his France teammate Paul Pogba, who told French television at the weekend that he was “the most criticised player in the world”.

“The Polish team will have to regenerate and recuperate.”

— Coach Adam Nawalka’s blunt verdict after Poland’s 2-1 opening loss to Senegal.

“He gets targeted a lot. He gets fouled a lot, lots of knocks.”

— Philippe Coutino on his Brazil teammate Neymar, who was fouled 10 times in the five-time champions’ opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

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