Sweden's four-goal hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic was asked to consider the fact England centurion Steven Gerrard had given his England career a mark of six or seven out of 10. 'What would you give yourself?' The ever-bashful forward answered: "Ten."
Gerrard, meanwhile, was asked to reflect upon Ibrahimovic's fourth goal - a sensational overhead kick. "It is the best goal I have seen live. Everyone knows how special that was but this one tonight — an overhead kick from 25 yards when the ball is six feet in the air — only certain players can do that. And he is a special player. I congratulated him after that. He said some nice things about me before the game which was really nice and if I could return the compliment — that was one of the best individual performances I have seen. He is not everyone's cup of tea but he is certainly mine."
"That's the way it is with the English. If you score against them you're a good player, if you don't score against them you're not a good player. I remember Lionel Messi before the 2009 Champions League final for Barcelona... then he scored against Manchester United and suddenly he was the best player in the world. Maybe now they'll say something like that about me." - Ibrahimovic again, on the vagaries of English supporters 'rating' players.
"Sometimes when he is doing these things in training or in a match you think it is impossible. You think you are watching a computer game where you can do all these incredible things, because it is not possible to do that. He has been really good taking care of the young guys. They had him as a hero growing up and now he is there with them." - Sweden coach Eric Hamren said.
"Two players on the pitch with a surname beginning with Z. One was over hyped. The other scored four goals. Zlatan v Zaha." - Daily Mirror journalist John Cross under-hypes England forward Wilfried Zaha after what he must have felt was an underwhelming six-minute showing in Stockholm. Oh, and Ibrahimovic would not be happy about his name being mixed up.
"Edin's one of those players that can start a game or be a substitute or come on off the bench or not come on off the bench." - Manchester City assistant manager David Platt attempts to clarify the role of super-sub striker Edin Dzeko.
"He'd been out on a school trip and when he got back I sat him down and put Sky Sports News on. The squad flashed up and there was a confused look on his face. I said: 'That's my name, you know.' And when he realised he was made up. I'm sure he'll be allowed to stay up late to watch the game." - Leon Osman reflected upon the magical moment when he broke the news of his England call-up to his seven-year-old son, Cole.
"There will be no bidding war. He's staying here. If we lost Luis then we've got no strikers. I don't think we can afford to lose anyone. He's certainly not someone we want to sell or move on. He's been a brilliant player to work with and we want to add to our squad, not take people out of it, especially a world-class player. Luis has already shown in the summer his commitment to the club, he's signed a new deal." - Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is banking on the loyalty of temperamental striker Luis Suarez. Good luck with that.
"The penalty was horrible but you probably noticed the state the pitch was in, it didn't have any stability. I tried to take it slowly but it didn't work out...these things happen." - Brazilian superstar Neymar attempts to blame the pitch for one of the worst penalties of all time in his country's match against Colombia.
"This is a story that began in 2009 with the 'team of warriors' who escaped relegation, then became champions in 2010 and now again. My story is Fluminense's story." - Fred pitches his new script to studio executives and producers after he was the captain, top-scorer and talisman for Brazil's title-clinching Fluminense side.
"I'm training, I do the maximum, and the coach made his choice. It is difficult to accept. It is a little hard. You will have to ask the coach. I just stay professional." - Hugo Lloris rather unconvincingly insists that he is far from striking over his continued omission from the Tottenham side.
More knockout quotes
"I'm not going around getting opponents out of graveyards, fighting guys well past their best like some other heavyweights in Britain." Tyson Fury takes a shot at the recent bouts of British heavyweight rival David Price on the day his own next opponent is revealed as Kevin Johnson, the American last seen boring a packed York Hall to tears in a three-round Prizefighter tournament.
"What we're doing is the opposite to cheapening the sport, it's promoting it. You see the pain and anguish Freddie goes though. How can that be negative in promoting the sport? To say it cheapens boxing is a complete and utter load of nonsense. It's a case of the green-eyed monster I'm afraid. Freddie's worked his nuts off and we're promoting the sport in a very positive way. We could have done white collar or amateur boxing, but that's not real. This is real." - Barry McGuigan, trainer for Andrew Flintoff's switch from cricket to boxing, has his resolve tested by the very notion of boxing promoters taking a moral high ground against the crossover.
"Six medals was a good harvest. However, a nation of 1.2 billion should do better," - Indian president Pranab Mukherjee was both happy and disappointed by his country's showing at the London Olympic Games.
"He's a great mover. It's not like you go into a match with Novak saying 'oh that's amazing, he got the ball back'. Even when he's in defence he stays somewhat offensive, which is what separates him from the rest. He stays on the offensive, taking time away from you. Today we had longer rallies, shorter rallies, and there was some great stuff out there." - Roger Federer explains to everyone why Novak Djokovic is so good at playing tennis.
"Just make quicker courts, then it's hard to defend. Then attacking style is more important. It's only on this type of slow courts that you can defend the way we are all doing right now. I think it would help from time to time to move to something faster. That would help players learn different styles, to realise that coming to the net is a good thing, not a bad thing." - Federer argues in favour of faster courts and more variety, echoing the thoughts of tennis fans everywhere.
- Sports & Recreation
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic