FIFA.com rounds-up the best quotes from the past week in world football, with sound bites from Sam Allardyce, Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alex Morgan and more.
“I was lost for words and can’t thank the players enough. I had no idea this was going to happen. We have already raised half for the operation with various activities. We have been going to a lot of lengths to try and achieve this. It is a long operation with a lot to go through afterwards, but hopefully, we will reach the goal that we have set out to do, which is for Jessie-Leigh to take her first steps.”
Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter Chris Smith speaking emotionally to the club’s official website after players at the English Championship club raised £8,000 for his daughter Jessie-Leigh, who suffers from cerebral palsy, as a surprise Christmas gift. The funds raised will help Jessie-Leigh have an operation to help her live more comfortably and potentially allow her to walk
“It was an extremely tough match. We were up against very difficult opponents who were able to get back into the game. They’re a very good side and they were in great physical shape. Personally, I’m very happy because I got three goals.”
A relieved Cristiano Ronaldo was full of praise for Kashima Antlers after leading Real Madrid to victory over the Japanese champions in the FIFA Club World Cup final last weekend
"I hope we can bring some joy, particularly over Christmas and new year, but over the long term, between now and the end of the season. The club itself seems to be very ambitious. Certainly the chairman and the owners seem to be taking the club forward in the right direction. I like the look of the squad and that's probably the reason that I am here because I feel the club can go forward from here, and hopefully, I can help it go forward."
New Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce tells the club's website of his hopes for the English Premier League outfit after succeeding Alan Pardew on Friday
“He is a natural born leader. I could say, jokingly, that he is the general and we, the staff and players, are his lieutenants and soldiers. On the field, he never loses his nerve and, above all his other qualities, he is a good man.”
Portugal assistant coach Jorge Rosario gives rare insight in his long-standing relationship with head coach and friend Fernando Santos
“I would like him to play up front with me just behind to knock balls deep for him. I'd leave him all alone with the goalkeeper. I saw that he's trained a bit with [Borussia] Dortmund and Manchester United. Speed isn't everything, but he'd be a great striker at Atletico. Usain Bolt would be perfect for our game. Me behind and him up front. The best!"
Antoine Griezmann tells France Football that he would enjoy playing the beautiful game with world and Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt
“My gut was telling me I needed to explore something to continue to help evolve myself as a player and challenge myself a little bit more. Every training is competitive. Going into a competitive environment like that where I need to show my best self every single day is going to definitely challenge me and make me prove my best every single day. I like that challenge. I also want to prove that I’m one of the best, if not the best in the world at my position, and I think there’s no better way than to go in and play with the best.”
Speaking to Sports Illustrated, USA forward Alex Morgan explains her reasons for continuing her club career with French and European women’s football powerhouse Lyon
“It’s disappointing we couldn’t win. But it’s good that we could show the world what Kashima can do. I think this will be a big boost not just for Kashima, but also for Japanese football.”
Despite falling to defeat in extra time, forward Shuhei Akasaki reflected on the positives after his club Kashima Antlers gave Real Madrid all they could handle in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016
"We would like him to end his career as a Barca player. We think he will stay at the club for the rest of his career. Leo Messi and Barca go together. He is the best player, we are the best club. I think he is convinced he is in the best team. I think he's convinced that he couldn't be in a better place.”
Speaking at his 2016 review, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu remains confident that Lionel Messi will see out his career with the Spanish giants
"It is our dream to win the Premier League. It is our premier competition. For us, it is our first step. I am very happy here - me and my staff as well as my family. I think we find that we are in a very good place to ensure we can work hard. It is a big club with lots of supporters and it is a fantastic club to achieve big things with. We finished third in the league last season. It was a tough summer because the way that we finished the season was bad. We showed some weakness at the end of the season that we need to try and work out, which is always important. When you compete with a big side, it is always difficult, but it shows we are a better team than last season. We have had some problems in the last months after Man City. There were more things that maybe made it difficult for us to compete at our best and I think now we are in a good position to try to achieve good results. We need to work hard because teams like Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, they have all improved. It is true that the Premier League is tougher than last season because all the big teams are improving their squads, but we are confident in ours."
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino tells Sky Sports of his desire to lead the North London outfit to the English Premier League title
"His training was special, detailed and pretty demanding - but absolutely ace. We did everything with the ball. With Heynckes during preparation, we would run like scared rabbits three times a day. But that was so everyone was 100 per cent fit."
In a conversation with the Stoke Sentinel, Stoke City and Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri speaks fondly of his time working under coaches Pep Guardiola and Jupp Heynckes at former club Bayern Munich
"We have to look at the amount of assists he created in other seasons [as well as goals] because this season he's created a lot, surely more. But I don't focus on the details of goals or assists. At the end of the day, I don't think [how many goals he's scored] is important. He's a fundamental player for us, not just going forward, but also in defence and I am happy with how he's playing. He's an ambitious player and his objective is to improve his numbers and I am sure he will."
Speaking at a midweek news conference, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique tells reporters that he is not worried with Neymar’s current goalscoring form at the club
"As a Chelsea man it is great to see, all credit to everybody there. Nobody would have fancied them to be anywhere near winning the league at that point and now they look the dominant team. I don't like to tempt fate, but I can't see anyone who has got the consistency to close the gap, so I fancy Chelsea strongly now."
Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard tell Sky Sports he is confident his old club can push on and win the English Premier League title.