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Sport quotes of the week

By Peter Scrivener

Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafael Benitez
"You know we got 80m out of Madrid?"

"Liverpool had probably their best season for 20 years and still finished four points adrift. It will be hard for them to match last season, let alone improve on it."
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson starts the mind games early, even for him.

"It has to be Chelsea as the main threat. Ancelotti will change how they play. They will play the Milan way. It brought him two European Cups - it should have been three, because they should never have lost to Liverpool. So why should he change?"
And just in case Reds boss Rafa Benitez hadn't got the message, Fergie subtly rams home the message.

"Whenever I walk out of the changing rooms I'm half-expecting it. I'm thinking: 'Right, let's get it out of the way, get the booing done, and then I'll start building my innings'."
Australia captain Ricky Ponting on not letting England's Barmy Army affect his concentration in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

"When I'm with my pipe and slippers, it will give me a great memory and conversation piece."
England spinner Graeme Swann on "that ball" which deceived Ponting in the second innings at Edgbaston.

"People don't realise how into the horses I am. You don't want to shout your mouth because you can fall flat on your face but we'll have a lot of good horses coming out of here and we'll be very successful. I've no doubts that a lot of top horses will be trained out of here."
Manchester United striker Michael Owen not shouting his mouth off about his horse racing stables.

"A manager is supposed to encourage you, support you and provide you with opportunities. In my case it was the opposite. Briatore was my executioner."
Formula 1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr goes quietly after being released from his contract with Renault by team manager Flavio Briatore.

"It took Michael Phelps from 2003 to 2008 to go from 1 min 46 secs to 1:42.9 (for the 200m freestyle) and Paul Biedermann's done it in 11 months. That's an amazing training program. I would love to know how that works."
Michael Phelps' coach Bob Bowman gets involved in the swimsuit debate at the World Championships in Rome.

"I don't know whether to laugh or to cry, I've just been giggling and tears have been coming out."
Britain's Fran Halsall, laughing and crying, after winning World Championship silver in the 100m freestyle in Rome.

And it wouldn't be right to let this week's Quotes of the Week pass without some classics from football's gentleman Geordie, Sir Bobby Robson....

Sir Bobby Robson
They don't make them like this any more

"We didn't underestimate them. They were just a lot better than we thought."
After England squeaked past Cameroon at the 1990 World Cup

"Well, we got nine, and you can't score more than that."
His post-match verdict after a 9-0 defeat of Luxembourg.

"We can't replace Gary Speed. Where do you get an experienced player like him with a left foot and a head?"
Discussing the unique virtues of Gary Speed

"Some of the goals were good, some of the goals were sceptical."
Who knows?

RIP, Sir Bobby.


The Muppets
Sing along with the Sky Sports commentary team...

Sky Sports commentator David Loyd: "Graham Manou dododododo, Graham Manou dodododo, Graham Manou dododododododododododo (to the tune of the BN BN song, or the Muppets' Mahnahmahnah song for those of us who are slightly older).
Michael Atherton: "I'll go get the white coat."
I guess we'll find out by Friday if Athers found what he was looking for. (Rob Davison, UK)

Commentator one: "He (Ben Sahar) has his own law named after him in his home country.
Commentator two: "Don't suppose you know the name of that law do you?
Commentator one: "The Ben Sahar rule."
Commentators on the Espanyol v Liverpool game discuss the ruling that gives young Israeli footballers special dispensation when it comes to their national service - named after the Spanish side's new striker. (Stephen, UK)

"David Beckham insists he is happy at LA Galaxy, plus other rumours."
Taken from the BBC Sport website gossip column. Perhaps a revelation of the truth? (Jacob Simpson, Italy)

Louis Saha
Bottom half of photo censored - ed

"The visitors came out strong and claimed the first chance of the game. Fellaini pilfered Blanco in the midfield and immediately fed a streaking Saha."
From MLS.Net describing the recent All-Star game against Everton. Have to admit I though streaking meant something different. (Sarah, US)

"To be honest, I've had easier teams. What a way to start the season!"
Plymouth's stadium announcer gets a little tongue-tied after trying to pronounce the host of Lithuanian names on Hearts' team sheet for the friendly at Home Park. (Jon Allsop, Plymouth)

"We would have taken the game by the scruff of the neck if the offside goal had counted."
Dundee United player Danny Swanson on the 2-2 friendly with Irish sideUCD. (Andy, Scotland)

"Beijing. An amazing city. Had the Olympics and that put it on the map."
Commentator Warren Barton ignoring thousands of years of Chinese history at the Beijing Guoan v Hull City Asia Cup game. (35mileswest, Liverpool)

"Eighteenth isn't so bad."
Formula 1 driver Adrian Sutil after qualifying 18th - out of 20 - for the Hungarian Grand Prix. It could've been worse. (David, England)

"We've gotta wait for those apples to drop. We're not strong enough to shake the tree and then catch them."
Discussing Stoke's transfer activity, boss Tony Pulis aims for a sport of Mourinho-esque philosophy, but ends up coming over all Agadoo. (Philippa, UK) Don't start humming the song...too late? Sorry

"From day one Liverpool have asked for more than Madrid are ready to pay and it's very difficult to understand."
Real Madrid's sporting director Miguel Pardeza on the Xabi Alonso transfer saga. Sounds easy enough to understand to me. (Luke, England) Think they managed to work it out in the end.

"I met manager Gary Megson a few times. He spoke to me but as I can't speak English, I couldn't understand him."
Lee Chung-Yong, on trial at Bolton, and presumably speaking through a translator, has a fairly unproductive time with his potential new manager. (Paul Gorrie, England)


"You're just a naff high street shoe shop."
England fans try to put Australia's Michael Clarke off on final day of the third Test match at Edgbaston. (Rhys Humm, UK)

"There's only one Darth Vader."
More hilarity from the Barmy Army at Edgbaston when they spotted a group of fans dressed up as stormtroopers. (Mark Stuart, UK)

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see also
Robson in his own words
31 Jul 09 |  Football

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