World Cup 2018: Mary Hannigan's quotes of the tournament
From Ally McCoist's history lessons through to Harry Maguire's massive head
Paul Pogba: “I think his personality is his biggest quality – the hairstyles, the emoji,” said Phil Neville on being asked what is Pogba’s greatest quality. Photograp: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty
“A bit kamikaze.” – Damien Duff on Japan’s unsuccessful approach to protecting a two-goal lead with last 20 minutes to go against Belgium.
“This guy Alisson is good and rumoured to be coming to Europe to play for one of the big clubs.” – Eamon Dunphy’s aim was less than true about the Brazilian goalkeeper who joined Roma in July 2016 and is now being pursued by every major club in Europe, as well as Liverpool.
Jon Champion: “This stoppage also gives us a chance to reflect on your time in Kazan, Ally. A place with a fairly turbulent history isn’t it?”.
Ally McCoist: “Unbelievable Jon, it’s probably my favourite place in the trip so far. It’s come a long way since it fell to Ivan The Terrible in 1552.”
“I’m a big fan of Samara Jon, I’ll tell you right now. You’re probably aware it’s Russia’s sixth largest city. Believe it or not, second World War, it was destined to become capital of the Soviet Union had Moscow fallen to the Germans. We’re obviously delighted that didn’t happen”. – Ally should be given his own show on the History Channel.
“If you’re at home reading a book, you need to get a life.” – Martin Keown with a message for bookworms who weren’t watching England v Colombia.
“Spain have had the possession but they haven’t had the cutting edge, a bit like the cutlery you get in an airport, the plastic version that is not incisive at all – that’s been Spain, plastic.” – George Hamilton with the best airport cutlery analogy of the entire tournament.
Gabby Logan: “Now I don’t think I’m the first person to point it out, but obviously the size of your head has been mentioned. Is this a family trait?”.
Harry Maguire: “Yeah, blame my Dad. Vards calls me slab-head.”
– Gabby scoops the award for the most peculiar and perhaps quite hurtful question put to any World Cup 2018 player.
“Diouf plays for Stoke, he’s a big, you know, goer, so they’ll be going, I think.” – Eamo Dunphy dissecting Senegal’s approach to their game against Poland.
“He was eating his steak rather aggressively.” – Martin Keown on observing referee Bjorn Kuipers being hostile towards his sirloin in a Moscow restaurant.
“Harry Kane is now ready to go to a big club.” – Cesc Fabregas trolls an entire half of north London.
“In 1950, when Uruguay last lifted the trophy, the city of Nizhny Novgorod had been struck from all maps by the Soviets in a bid to protect its secrets – the secret is certainly out about Kylian Mbappe. ” – ITV’s Sam Matterface with a link that was less than seamless.
“There’s a Bobby Moore statue outside Wembley – Harry Maguire’s presence in this team is almost as big as that statue.” – Martin Keown. Of course.
“Everybody was talking about the final! About ‘football’s coming home’! You were getting carried away! You were planning the final! Where the parades were! You were! You need a reality check! Get excited when they get to the final! This was a semi-final! You’re a grown man! You played the game! You know how hard it is to get to these big finals! Or even get to a World Cup! Relax yourself.” – Roy v Wrightie.
“He looks like he’s towing a caravan.” – But what Martin Keown felt Suarez wasn’t lacking was a caravan.
“He questioned my loyalty and I told him where to go, but one of my big regrets, really, was that I probably should have ripped his head off. But excellent coach.” – Roy Keane on Carlos Queiroz. No hard feelings.
“Why they didn’t throw the kitchen sink at Uruguay? They don’t have a kitchen sink – only a dishcloth.” – Eamon Dunphy on Saudi Arabia’s limited firepower.
“Argentinian fans will be chanting from dusk ‘til dawn - and probably overnight as well.” – The BBC’s Ollie Foster after Messi and Co got the better of Nigeria.
“I think his personality is his biggest quality – the hairstyles, the emoji.” – Phil Neville on being asked what is Paul Pogba’s greatest quality.