Mary Hannigan's Planet Football 2008 - Lest we forget, part I


The Exchanges: Jose Mourinho: "Maybe you should pick the (Inter Milan) team?" Reporter: "I would if you gave me part of the nine million euros you earn." Mourinho: "It's not nine, it's 11 - and with sponsors it comes to 14."

John Motson: "Bramall Lane is a fantastic place, and I believe one of the only grounds to host an FA Cup final and Test Match cricket."

Mark Lawrenson: "Stay in last night did you, John?"

Eamon Dunphy: "The Dutch look good but they haven't played a proper team yet."

Liam Brady: "They beat Italy 3-0 and France 4-1, the World Cup finalists! What do you mean by a proper team?"

Dunphy: "Sweden!"

Heavens above

"I asked the Holy Spirit where he was going to kick. He said 'left' and I said 'thank you'. I went to the left side and I saved the ball, so today I was very blessed."

- Bristol City goalkeeper Adriano Basso after a heavenly tip helped him save a penalty against Watford

"I must thank God for this success. Credit also goes to Steve Bruce."

- Wigan striker Zaki pays homage to the gaffer, and to Bruce.

"I am already a God and I didn't do anything!"

- Robinho on genuflecting Manchester City fans - before he'd actually played a game for the club.

Divided loyalties

"I want Everton - it's my dream. Everton want me, and Arsenal do too, so I'm waiting. I want to play for Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea. Chelsea is my favourite. If Manchester, Everton or Arsenal come for me, I will go. It's all very, very good. Manchester is my dream: I'd join them. And I like Everton. So I'm waiting."

- Rennes midfielder Stephane Mbia's come-and-get-me plea to half the Premier League.

"I'm English, without a doubt. I will never ever say I'm not English. English born and bred. I'm Turkish, though."

- Colin Kazim-Richards, the, eh, Englishman who played for Turkey in Euro 2008.

"Please stand for the national anthem of the Republic of Northern Ireland."

- The stadium announcer before the under-21 international between England and the Republic of Ireland at Southampton.

Are you sure?

"I am a dreamer and this has been one of my dreams."

- Manuel Pascali on his move from Parma to . . . . Kilmarnock.

"We have agreed to sell Robinho for human and footballing reasons. (And for a substantial amount of money)."

- Ramon Calderon, president of Real Madrid, after kindly freeing the Brazilian to Manchester City (for €42.5 million).

"If you took the goals out of it, I think it was pretty even."

- Then West Ham manager Alan Curbishley after a 4-0 hammering by Chelsea.

Now, now

"Rafa Benitez is taking pity on Newcastle - he's bringing on Dirk Kuyt."

- Matt Le Tissier with an update on Sky Sports from the Liverpool v Newcastle game.

"Younes wouldn't join Sunderland even if there was an earthquake. We have more interesting options than Sunderland. Don't even think about it."

- Rudy Raba, agent of Spurs' Younes Kaboul, who eventually created seismic waves by signing for Portsmouth.

"I've won a lot in my career. He has won a Super Cup and another little cup. Probably he needs to change mentality, but maybe he is too old to do it."

- Jose Mourinho sending best wishes to another former Chelsea supremo, Juventus manager Claudio Ranieri.

In a manner of speaking

"Gary Neville is the club captain but has been injured for the best part of a year now — and Giggsie's taken on the mantelpiece."

- Rio Ferdinand. No wonder Ryan's lost a bit of pace, having to carry that mantelpiece up and down the wing.

"Obviously Sky gets its money from prescription payers."

- Martin Keown. Obviously.

"They'll miss the physical presence of Van Hennegor, or whatever ye call him . . . . him from Castlemilk".

- Alex Ferguson on Celtic big lad, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.

Number crunching

"He's made Darren Bent a better player, and that's down to one word: man management."

- TalkSport's Jason Cundy loses count while heaping praise on Harry Redknapp.

"We've got six games left - two at home and three away."

- Coventry manager Chris Coleman. Two plus three = half a dozen?

"One, I don't know if he wants a two, and two I'm not sure I want to be one."

- Alan Shearer plays a one-two when asked if he wanted to become Kevin Keegan's assistant at Newcastle.

Terrace tunes

"There's only one Sheikh Mansour,

One Sheikh Mansour,

Just fill up your car,

And he'll buy us Kaka,

Walking in a Mansour wonderland."

- Manchester City fans celebrate their oil strike.

"You're just a fat Annie Lennox."

- Spurs fans to West Ham diva Dean Ashton.

"Does your livestock know you're here?"

- Colchester fans to their 'country bumpkin' pals from Norwich.

Harry's game

"The last time I heard of 3-2-1 was that show with Ted Rogers and Dusty Bin."

- Harry Redknapp a bit befuddled by Fabio Capello's attacking formation.

"If you can't pass the ball properly, a bowl of pasta's not going to make that much difference."

- Poo-pooing all this modern diet guff.

"I said to the Russian interpreter, 'Tell him to just ****ing run about'."

- On the technical advice he offered Roman Pavlyuchenko from the dug-out.