Lewis Ambrose

The Week in Words: Ronaldo challenges Messi and Mourinho’s on form

Another week, another bunch of quotes to sink out teeth into

The Champions League group stage is over, Cristiano Ronaldo has had a lot to say for himself, and Liverpool v Manchester United is just around the corner.

Let’s take a look at what everyone’s been saying.

Eden Hazard

On the abuse of Raheem Sterling


“Proper Chelsea fans just sing for Chelsea and enjoy the game.

“I am fully supportive of Raheem and this sort of racism cannot be in the stadium anymore.”

Javi Gracia

On refereeing decisions

“If VAR was ready today the result would have been different. I’m very proud of my players.”

Mauricio Pochettino

On Harry Redknapp winning ‘I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!’


“He won? Congratulations to Harry. See, one trophy for us!”

Cristiano Ronaldo

On why Juventus are better than Real Madrid

“It isn’t right to name someone specific but I can say that this is the best group in which I’ve played.

“Here, we are a squad, elsewhere, some players feel bigger than the others. Instead, here, everyone is on the same level, they are humble and want to win.

“It’s very different to Madrid, here it is more of a family.”

And on Lionel Messi


“I’d like him to come to Italy one day. I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he’s happy there then I respect that.

“Maybe it’s him who misses me. I’ve played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he’s still in Spain.”

Eden Hazard

On as possible move to Real Madrid

“You know me, I’ve always loved Real Madrid, even before Zidane. We’ll see what happens.

“Like I said, I’m finishing this year with Chelsea. I still have a year of contract. After this year, we’ll see.”

Carlo Ancelotti

Before Napoli’s final Champions League group game


“We have done very well so far and we will have a little advantage.

“The cake has been made, now we need the cherry.”

Jürgen Klopp

On Alisson’s last minute save to send Liverpool through


“I have no clue how he made that save. Thank God we have him.

“If I’d known how good he was, I’d have paid double … I think nobody expected a save in that situation. It’s a goal, no?

Karl Heinz-Rummenigge

On Ajax boss Henk ten Hag and the Dutch

“He’s a very kind man.

“It’s not always easy to be on good terms with Dutchmen as Germans.

“We have witnessed this with Louis [van Gaal, Bayern’s former coach]!”

José Mourinho

When asked about Paul Pogba failing to produce


“I don’t like your question. You can put the question from another direction. I don’t like the direction.”

Harry Kane

On Tottenham’s win, sorry, draw at Camp Nou


“We’re just buzzing that we’re through. A draw away to Barcelona’s not a bad result.”

Ernesto Valverde

When asked if he’d ever known a player to be as late as Ousmane Dembélé

“It happened to me!

“I knew you were going to ask about Dembélé. It’s true that some things have happened, we will try to solve things internally, and there’s not much more to say about this.

Thomas Müller

On his horrific red card challenge


“No, no, that was of course unintentional!”

Mauricio Pochettino

On being linked with Real Madrid

“I prefer that the newspapers talk about the things like you are telling me rather than talking about things like Tottenham is going to sack me or people are tired of me and we are in a difficult situation.

“Of course, if I need to choose one situation, I choose this one. I am not bored, of course.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

On the end of the Champions League group stages


“Now the beautiful part of the Champions League starts and I’m confident we will be fully ready for it.”

José Mourinho

On losing to Valencia

“I didn’t learn anything from this game. Nothing that happened surprised me at all.”

And on Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool

“I think trophies matter, yeah.

“I think it matters especially when you have the potential to fight for trophies and when you clearly say the objective is to win the trophies.

Frank Lampard

On racism in football

“I think in a bigger picture and there is one here – and this is not to exclude racism, racism is a part of this – but I do get disappointed with the amount of hate that goes on in the modern society and game.”

Bukayo Saka

On preparing for his full Arsenal debut


“My family were buzzing, they couldn’t stop smiling when I told them.

“But they managed to put me to bed early to focus on today, they were so happy.”

Laurent Koscielny

On his return after seven months out

“For a footballer to miss the pitch is difficult but now it’s the end of that and I am smiling.

“I start my season now.”

Jürgen Klopp

On Manchester United’s way of playing


“That’s football tactics.

“I’m not the pope of football tactics and tell people what they have to do. It is just football tactics.

Robert Pirès

On Lionel Messi

“I have played with Zidane, Henry and [Juan Roman] Riquelme, and against Ronaldinho and Cristiano, but Messi has something that nobody else has.”

José Mourinho

On Mohamed Salah


“He was a fast, fragile boy and now he is a fast, strong man.

“He was psychologically not adapted, coming directly from a small club in Switzerland [Basel] to a big club in the Premier League.

“It was too much. I remember I played him at White Hart Lane and at the Etihad and it was too much for him.

“Now he plays everywhere against any team – he can go to Barcelona, can go to Madrid and he plays like, ‘I am Mo-Mo Salah and I am afraid of no one and nobody’.

Thibaut Courtois

On Atlético Madrid boss Diego Simeone

“Simeone criticises Madrid so as to be popular with his fans.”