Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli praises Lionel Messi in an interview with beIN Sports Spain

“She is a world-class player and one of the most respected players in the U.S. Her determination and character will make a big difference for this club. She will bring here a legacy of values, hard work and professionalism, which will also help our young players to develop. It is a privilege for us to be able to bring her to Arsenal Ladies.”
Arsenal Ladies manager Pedro Martinez Losa speaks with the club’s official website on bringing USA World Cup winner Heather O’Reilly to North London

“One thing I’ve noticed is that like me, he’s mad about football, he lives football 24 hours a day and I’m like that too. When I’m not playing, I’m watching, or playing a video game, doing something linked to football, so I think this is very important that I’m the same as him, and I hope to learn. As I said, I’ve come here to learn, I’m going to give my all to learn more and more from him and my team-mates.”
Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus speaks with Manchester City’s official website, after his move to the club was confirmed, about manager Pep Guardiola

“I do think the penny has dropped for him and, as a player – development-wise, I think with the right coach, the guy’s got ability of someone like Neymar. I’d go that far. Neymar’s at Barça, so it’s hard to compare…but the ability he’s got, it’s up there.”
Everton midfielder Yannick Bolasie praises former Crystal Palace team-mate Wilfried Zaha, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live

“I came here because I have targets, it’s a big challenge for me. I could have also gone to Real Madrid or Barcelona, they were interested. I chose to return because I had that in my heart. It was my feeling that brought me here. I want to win with Manchester United, I’ve never won with them. I had always said that I would return — I didn’t know when — because it’s a club that I like a lot. I hadn’t finished, I left because I wanted to play. I hadn’t done what I had wanted to do here. I want United to become the great United again. That’s my challenge here.”
France and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba tells SFR Sport he ignored interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid to re-join the English club

“I’ve got more objectives beyond playing in my seventh Cup of Nations. I want to play at the 2018 World Cup too. We have the chance to qualify for the biggest competition of them all for the first time since 1990. I want to be a part of that and wear my country’s jersey there.”
Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary speaks exclusively with after becoming the oldest player to make an appearance in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations

“Zlatan taught us to become leaders! He is a player who improves everyone who plays with him. With PSG, it was impressive to see that he was still training like an 18-year-old boy. He was also an example to follow in the locker room. He was a leader. Sometimes, just watching him train, you wanted to do more to not appear ridiculous. He brought a victorious mentality to Paris.”
Italy and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti talks about former team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s influence on his career, in an exclusive with Goal

“I am not flash at all really, never have been. If fans want to talk to me in Tesco, I will. I am a normal person like anyone else. I just play football.”
Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser speaks with the Guardian after impressive displays in the English Premier League

“I thought maybe I would stop, then I thought it would be a sabbatical, but now I do not think I will return to coaching. So much has happened in my family, you become a human being again with your nose pressed to the facts.”
Former Netherlands national team coach Louis van Gaal speaks with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf about life after coaching

“Actually, they were teasing me, saying that the Mkhitaryan one was better! It’s crazy that two similar goals were scored in one week. I don’t know if I got inspired, it’s destiny. He did very well as well, but I think mine is better! But to be serious, it was funny in the dressing room, we were all surprised by what happened.”
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud jokes that his scorpion kick was better than Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s, on Soccer AM’s Facebook Live Q&A

“People would say to me: ‘I can’t believe you are playing here, you’re too big for here,’ and I would ask them why. I’ll never be too big for anything. I was born in a house without a light or a toilet, so why would I forget who I am or where I come from? It is where I started – why should I be sad about playing there?”
Togo captain and forward Emmanuel Adebayor speaks with the Guardian at the Africa Cup of Nations

 “I wasn’t a crack. My wife always points out to me just what I’ve achieved here in only four years. In such a short time here, they have a certain affection for me, even though I’m from abroad, and the people that love me see it as a larger recognition than what I have received in Argentina, in Spain, or in places where I have been for much longer.”
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino speaks with the Independent about his success in north London as a coach in comparison to his playing career

“Luis Enrique has helped me enormously. He gave me confidence straight away, as did my team-mates, which enabled me to work calmly. It’s the ‘Mister’ who asked the club to sign me. If I had to throw myself off a bridge for him, I would do it without hesitation. With a look or a smile, he gives you the confidence necessary to succeed.”
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic pays tribute to head coach Luis Enrique, speaking with France Football

“Four years ago, I could not afford to watch this match on the television. Now people in the game centre back home were watching me score this goal. Maybe the kids who could not afford the 50 naira were waiting outside, kicking a ball or a balloon around. Maybe somebody came outside after the match was over and told them “Manchester City won. Kelechi scored.”
Manchester City and Nigeria forward Kelechi Iheanacho writes in the Players’ Tribune about scoring in the Manchester Derby

“I don’t think I need to explain to people what this football club means to me, but when I knew coming back was a serious option, I wanted to make sure it was a substantive role and a role in which I could really help the organisation. This gives me a great opportunity to learn and develop as a coach, while at the same time offering my knowledge, ideas and experience to the young players at an important period of their development.”
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard speaks with the club’s official website about his new role as youth coach