Football / World Cup USA '94: Underdogs, hot-dogs and Koemanballs: A Bulgarian deity, a bolshy Diego and a fat old tart. A month in the States brought a diversity of statements. Complied by Phil Shaw

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Through football we're trying to show that Colombia is about more than cocaine, violence, terrorism and death. Francisco Maturana, Colombia coach, on the eve of the tournament.

The atmosphere is not right. The US public look at a game as a day out to eat hot-dogs and popcorn. In Europe the fans can't eat because their stomachs are tight with tension. Antonio Matarrese, Italian FA president.

Get ready. The first 0-0 tie might be only hours away. Mike Lopresti, USA Today columnist, previewing opening match.

Journalist: Does it suit you being the underdogs? Bora Milutinovic: I must tell you I do not like for me or my players to be called dogs. Exchange at press conference held by US's Serbian coach.

Out on the pitch the Italians looked no different to us. It was like playing Bournemouth on a wet Saturday. Jason McAteer, Ireland's Bolton midfielder.

Pele will always be king but Diego is a god. Argentinian supporters' banner before Maradona's fall from grace.

We were complaining to the referee. But you learn every game. Next time, we'll hold the ball while we talk. Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria striker, after Maradona's quick free-kick made a goal.

Any player not inspired by that atmosphere should go and play golf with his grandmother. Clemens Westerhof, Nigeria coach, after playing Argentina at Foxboro.

It was a great day for all Arabs, for Muslims all over the world. Fuad Amin, Saudi midfielder, on defeat of . . . Morocco.

Our so-called world-class defender is playing like a fat old tart. Eddie Poelman, Dutch TV commentator, on Ronald Koeman's display v Saudi Arabia.

It was an ugly goal but a goal is a goal, even if it is scored with the belly. Romario on his 'toe-ender' for Brazil v Sweden.

Like playing in the middle of a desert in Arizona. Florin Raducioiu, Romania striker, on the Pontiac Silverdome.

Like playing in a hot-dog stand. Roy Hodgson, Switzerland manager, on the 'Sauna-dome'.

We're from Ireland, not the bloody Gobi desert. Jack Charlton on the heat in Orlando.

I've been looking for new kitchen curtains. Erik Thorstvedt, Norway keeper, on swapping jerseys with Mexico's multi-coloured Jorge Campos.

The 'Group of Death' - Matthew Lorenzo, Denis Law, Don Howe and Tony Francis. Stan Hey, Independent on Sunday reviewer, on ITV's coverage.

That Hagi's got a left foot like Brian Lara's bat. Howe.

(Fifa) cut off my legs just when I had a chance to prove to my daughters that I could play with 20-year- olds. Maradona on leaving the finals after failing a drug test.

I took those pills as if they were asprin. Thousands of players do it, but the cost is always higher for Maradona. Maradona.

I am upset by Fifa's stupidity. I consider ephedrine a medicine, and I take it every day to be at my best for my public. Luciano Pavarotti.

It's a shame the law allows only two substitutions. Otherwise I would have replaced all 11 players for the second half. Maturana, Colombia coach, on defeat by US.

I was going nuts, hugging all the US staff behind our goal. Hey, I might not score, but I get to celebrate too. Tony Meola, US captain.

Thanks for the own goal. Andres Escobar's assassins when the Colombia defender was shot dead.

Beating Argentina is the greatest moment for our people since the revolution. Anghel Iordanescu, Romania coach.

Today, God is a Bulgarian. Hristo Stoichkov after victory over Mexico.

A film called Passport to Terror will follow, and I think this referee will be in it. Des Lynam on Jamal Al-Sharif's card-happy performance in Bulgaria-Mexico.

Fifa were right to give a lead to the world, but they forgot to tell the players. Terry Venables on the refs' clampdown.

Our conclusion is that there are referees for the big countries and not for the small ones. Roger Van den Stock, Belgian FA official, after penalty-that-wasn't v Germany.

I've seen referees who aren't fit to officiate on Copacabana beach. Gerson, former Brazilian World Cup winner.

It's not the sex that tires out young footballers. It's staying up all night looking for it. Clemens Westerhof on his players' liking for US night-clubs.

Me dive? Never. I always go straight for goal. Jurgen Klinsmann.

That was a cynical foul, but a good foul. Gary Kelly did well to bring him down. Liam Brady, BBC pundit.

Bebeto was going at a hundred miles an hour. These guys are dribbling maniacs. Alexi Lalas, US defender, after defeat by Brazil.

Lalas (resembles) the love child of Rasputin and Phyllis Diller. Sports Illustrated.

The Divine Pony Tail. Italian fans' banner in praise of Roberto Baggio.

Playing in 130 degrees is exhausting - even for a keeper. People tell me I should be OK since I can keep a carton of water in the net. But I have this nightmare vision of me standing on the line, downing a pint of water as a 60- yard shot sails past me. Packie Bonner, Ireland goalkeeper, in Sunday Mail column 24 hours before costly error v Netherlands.

Packie Gonner] Mirror headline.

We are out. Beaten by Bulgaria - a team who, instead of training, liked to lounge around the pool, eating chips and sun-bathing. Bild editorial on Germany's exit.

Finishing second will be like finishing last. Carlos Alberto Parreira, Brazil coach, before his team's first game.

I expect to see people walking down the streets of every major city now, kicking balls when they should be going to work. It's going to be great. President Clinton in phone message to US squad.

Phil Shaw is co-author, with Peter Ball, of The Umbro Book of Football Quotations.

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