World of Sport

Quotes of the week: ‘It could have taken Rio’s eye out…’

"Respect to Joe Hart for protecting that idiot who ran on!! Love the banter between fans but there is a point when it goes too far...calm it!" Rio Ferdinand tweets about the incidents that saw him struck by a coin before a fan tried to attack the defender in Manchester United's 3-2 win at Manchester City on Sunday.

"I would like to apologise to all those affected by my actions yesterday, particularly Mr Ferdinand and the other players. I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football Club. I intend to write personally to Mr Ferdinand to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise to Manchester United and their fans. I would like to thank Joe Hart for his actions when I came on the pitch." Manchester City fan Matthew Stott apologises to a bloodied Rio Ferdinand after trying to attack the Manchester United defender. Only the intervention of City goalkeeper Hart prevents Stott from confronting Ferdinand. He is facing a life ban from City.

"It could have taken Rio's eye out. If the pitch hadn't been so wet when the fan came on and he slipped over, he could have attacked Rio." Manchester United winger Ashley Young is glad the incident did not end in tragedy.

"I went there thinking I'd find five or six other people. I went into the stadium while they [Udinese] were warming up. I shouted and said 'hi' to the team. When I went in the local fans booed me, I felt a bit offended. But in the end they clapped and invited me for coffee and a meal, and the club managers gave me a shirt. They wished me a Merry Christmas." Arrigo Brovedani becomes an overnight celebrity in Italy after he unknowingly finds himself as Udinese's solitary fan in Genoa for a Serie A match. His team won 2-0.

"Holiday today in Malaysia (sic). Went early xmas shopping. But all I want is 3 points. Hehehehe. Its been nothing short of a disaster. Its not where we are. But boy we put so much effort into this. Good honest effort. Keep your spirits up. Laughing smiling and being positive helps. Won't leave any stone unturned to try fix this. tough as it is. Hopefully santa gives us some early presents." Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes takes to Twitter to lament his club's season that sees the London club end the year bottom of the Premier League.

"I think we lost on penalties to a team who defended well. I cannot fault the effort we gave for 120 minutes. You have to give credit to Bradford on the night. That's part of the game. It's not a lack of quality. We couldn't convert our chances for different reasons and overall it was a real cup game. We will get over it. It's part of our club, it's what we do." Arsene Wenger tries to put a brave face on his side's defeat on penalties at League Two Bradford in the League Cup last eight.

"I've said it a lot, it's nice to beat records, but the win for the team is what is important and the points difference at the top. My goals are to win titles with the team, the Spanish league, Copa del Rey or Champions League is more important than any personal records." Lionel Messi plays down his success after taking his tally for the year to an astonishing 86 goals for the year with two for Barcelona against Real Betis - a haul that surpassed Gerd Muller's 40-year record of 85. He moves onto 88 a few days later with another two against Cordoba.


"Clarification guys thank you for the kind words, but... I was asked 'could' I play not 'would' I play..yes, I could..didn't say I would! It was a hypothetical question re if Michael Clarke asked me...Read my quotes 'I'm not asking Michael to ask me' Hope I didn't disappoint! (sic)" Shane Warne uses Twitter to distance himself from a possible return to Test cricket to face England next year only days after suggesting he may be back in the frame for an Ashes return.


"I don't know what the situation is in terms of leadership, as it stands I'm probably going to try and win a second Tour de France. I don't know, maybe we'll have two leaders, which is more than likely I guess. How that's going to work with the team I don't know." Having suggested he will focus on the Giro d'Italia, Bradley Wiggins will now make a serious attempt to defend his Tour de France title.


"I was waiting for about 20 years to get the call. I loved it the first time. I'm a great fan of the Ryder Cup. It's a great honour to be able to do it again." Golf legend Tom Watson is relishing his appointment as US Ryder Cup competition two years before it is staged in at Gleneagles in Scotland. He will be 65 at the next event, making him the oldest Ryder Cup captain in history.


"For the Lions to be successful as a brand they've got to start winning some tours. All the discussion after the [unsuccessful] 2005 trip to New Zealand was of wondering if the Lions were dead and would they be scrapped." Ahead of the tour of Australia, British Lions coach Warren Gatland believes future tours could be in jeopardy if the Lions continue to lose.


"I never had any doubts I would be back playing in tournaments to a good level. But the (knock to my) confidence was a big blow. I'm still getting that back, and I've got to take a lot of confidence from this. At one stage I was looking like not knowing if I was going to play again..and here I am playing and competing again." Mark Selby, the world's number one snooker player, admits he had doubts over his future before recovering from a neck injury to win the UK Championship with a 10-6 victory over Shaun Murphy in the final.


"We will rise again...there will be future fights." Manny Pacquiao vows to return after being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round of their non-title bout in Las Vegas.