‘He should be made wear one Doc Marten and one stiletto’: Best World Cup quotes and gaffes from Qatar

Desert Outtakes: A disconsolate Neymar; Rocky Morocco; Savage’s terrible prediction; Declan Rice gets hammered

“We’re the Rocky of this World Cup!”

Walid Regragui on his Moroccan marvels, only France delivering a knock-out.

Cruelty: “Are you Scotland in disguise?”

As if losing 6-2 wasn’t bad enough, Iran had this sung at them by the England supporters.


Speedster: “He should be made wear one Doc Marten and one stiletto, just to even things up a little.”

Stuart Pearce reckoning Fifa should do something about Kylian Mbappé‘s terrorising of full-backs.

Awkward: “ENG v IRA.”

The abbreviations used on the RTÉ website for the England v Iran game. Soon after: “ENG v IRN”. (Meanwhile, on S4C, for the United States v Wales game: “UDA v CYMRU.”).

What-might-have-been: “Instead of being in Qatar, I am here in the rain. But hey, that’s life.”

A rueful Vahid Halilhodzic, the Bosnian having been replaced as Morocco coach in August after leading them to World Cup qualification.


That’s how many billion Euros Fifa earned through four years of commercial deals related to the 2022 World Cup. So much for a commercial boycott, then.


Making Do: “When you are coach of Iran, if you don’t have dogs you go with cats.”

Carlos Queiroz on the quality of players available to him….. mind you, they were purring against Wales ...

Oops: “It’s only Iran – I could still play against them now and win, they’re that bad….. useless. Macclesfield would beat them.”

... Robbie Savage previewing Wales (0), Iran (2).

Match-fixing: “I have five boys but if I had five daughters I would probably let Jude Bellingham take them all out at the same time. I would. He is that kind of boy. With the greatest of respect, I wouldn’t let wee Jack Grealish near my granny.”

Ally McCoist picking Jude over poor Jack in the potential son-in-law stakes.

Incensed: “I don’t know why and I don’t understand it, but I’m sure we’ll have the answers from God later – he doesn’t fail, let’s see.”

Elma Aveiro waiting for divine intervention to explain why Portugal dropped her little brother, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ageism: “No chance, we’re too old.”

Kevin De Bruyne on being asked if Belgium could win the World Cup. He was kind of proved right, though.

Brave: “Obviously it was a very, very difficult decision. But I’ve spoken to Trent and he was very understanding.”

Australian manager Graham Arnold on leaving Trent Sainsbury out of his squad. While Sainsbury was understanding, his wife might not have been – she’s Arnold’s daughter.

Warming-Up: “If you’re at an orgy the night before a match, it’s not ideal. But hey.”

The now former Spanish manager Luis Enrique on whether his players should engage in nookie before matches. No-ish, then.

The GOAT?: “The comparison between Messi and my dad is made by those who don’t watch or understand football – we’re talking about two different planets.”

Diego Maradona Jr, whose dad was, well, you know.

Hammered: “I’m underwhelmed by Declan Rice. There’s a rumour going around that eventually he is going to pass the ball forward in this tournament.”

talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan being exceptionally rude about England’s midfield maestro.

The Main Man: “I don’t want to big him up too much because he is still young ….. but he’s one of the most gifted players I have ever seen, he has no weakness. I think he will be the best midfielder in the world.”

Phil Foden trying – and somewhat failing – to keep the lid on the Jude Bellingham love-in.

Safe Home: “Lotta bark, no bite.”

Memphis Depay paying, eh, tribute to the USA as they headed home.

Gutted: “I am psychologically destroyed. It is definitely the defeat which has hurt me the most, which left me paralysed for 10 minutes after the match, after which I burst into tears without being able to stop.”

An inconsolable Neymar after Brazil made their exit.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times