"They should. That's exactly what should happen if we don't repeat . . .They won last year, and I'm the new addition. The fans expect to repeat. Everybody in L.A. expects a second ring. And if we don't then yeah, they should point it right at me, throwing tomatoes and everything."
-- Ron Artest, before this season started, about blaming him if the Lakers don't repeat
"There is nothing wrong with the ball either, if kicked by talented feet."
-- online comment by "BriM" on Guardian website about the Jabulani ball in the World Cup
"Xavi, for one, could conceivably be the star of the tournament given that he had more assists (20) last season than any other player in Europe's top leagues and runs an average 12.5km every match. At Barcelona they call him "maqu" – the machine. He is a work of perpetual motion. El Mundo Deportivo has described him as "majestic, an exhibition – his football a recital that never ends".
----- about Spanish midfielder Xavi, before Spain lost to Switzerland
"My father was frightened of his father, I was frightened of my father, and I am damned well going to see to it that my children are frightened of me."
--- King George V (1856-1936)
"Only war and catastrophe can create this sort of national unity." -- Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski, authors of "Why England Loses", a book about soccer and the World Cup
"One of the key things of fandom is this yearning, this sense of loss, revelling in failure, and the World Cup appeals to those instincts. Because England have only won it once, everyone knows every detail of that 1966 triumph. Most fans would be able to name the 11 that won it, so they become revered in a way that much better players aren't." --- Jonathon Wilson, author of "The Anatomy of England"
“The years go by and (Diego) Maradona continues to be the most popular athlete in the world, the most loved and also the most hated. Maradona is a very popular god because he is the most human of the deities, a dirty, arrogant, overbearing, deceitful, swaggering, vicious god, and all this serves only to multiply his prestige. The problem with Maradona is that the gods don't retire. It's very difficult to return to anonymity after being adored in the highest altars.” --- Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan intellectual and author of Soccer in Sun and Shadow
"I suffered a lot. I'll be a bit rude here but those who come to the stadium to whistle at me and make monkey chants and throw banana skins have not had the chance to travel and educate themselves like we did . . . .I had to deal with it so often I found ways of making a point against racism. When we played Real Zaragoza they chanted like monkeys and threw peanuts on the pitch. So when I scored I danced in front of them like a monkey. And when the same thing happened against Real Madrid I scored and held my fist in a Black Power salute." When he joined Barcelona he said he would "run like a black man to live like a white man". Eto'o nods at the memory: "People didn't really understand the deep meaning of my words. Some treated me as a racist but the reality was there. What I was trying to say is that [as an African] I need to do more than others to be recognised at the same level."
--- Sameul E’to, who plays for Cameroon in the World Cup, in the Guardian 6.8.10
(Editor's note: quote/unquote is aggregated in St. Louis by Wilson, an avid fan of The Beautful Game.)