Moscow (AFP) – AFP Sport picks out some of the best quotes at the World Cup:
“I believe Argentina will play against England in the final.”
— David Beckham, who captained England to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2002 and 2006, makes a big call on the the back of England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia.
“Let us just say that I did not see anything to make me think England can become world champions.”
— Marcel Desailly, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, isn’t buying into the hype about Gareth Southgate’s men.
“Neymar gave off the impression he was playing by himself. He might be the greatest player but he has to think of the collective. He has to think of his teammates and play with them.”
— Desailly again, offering a withering assessment of how the most expensive player in the world performed during Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland.
“We are calm. Five matches is the minimum you need to be fully fit and he has already sped up the process.”
— Brazil coach Tite is unconcerned over Neymar’s path back to full fitness after injury.
“I dined with Mr Putin. You have to congratulate Russia for the organisation of the World Cup, and naturally the head of state himself.”
— Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter looking up to an old friend in Moscow despite being banned from the game for alleged corruption during his 17 years at the head of world football.
“I throw on two or three sprays of perfume. It gives me a feeling of happiness. Sometimes my teammates ask me if I’m not right in the head!”
— Germany’s Julian Draxler on his fragrant pre-match ritual.
— “We are all with him.”
Argentina forward Paulo Dybala on supporting Lionel Messi after his lowkey performance in the 1-1 draw with Iceland which has made Thursday’s second group game against Croatia a must-win affair.
“Football Is not For Arabs”.
— The new meaning of FIFA according to a joke doing the rounds on social media after Wednesday’s disastrous day for Arab football with Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia all crashing out of the World Cup.
“We apologise for our statement. It turned out to be too offensive.”
— Red-faced Burger King on pulling a provocative online advertising camapaign in Russia offering burgers to Russian women who get impregnated by football players during the World Cup. The ad appeared to be ineptly trying to poke fun at an inflammatory statement by a lawmakers who urged women not to have sex with foreign fans.