Melons, eggs and mountains: the sporting year in quotes

'It looks like he's pulled a rabbit out of the bag'
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My dear, my penis is a mountain.

Translation of "Mila kura si planina" as opposed to the correct words to the Croatian national anthem "Mila kuda si planina" ["You know my dear how we love your mountains"] sung by opera singer Tony Henry before the game against England at Wembley.

Scotland can't afford to take their minds off the gas.

Andy Townsend, ITV pundit.

He has won an Olympic silver medal and you can't do better than that.

Graham Earl, before his December defeat to Amir Khan, on his opponent.

He'll be like a father-figure to him.

Jamie Redknapp, Sky Sports pundit, on the relationship between Peter and Kasper Schmeichel.

This is the icing on the gravy.

Lucas Glover, American golfer, on qualifying for the Open Championship.

Martin Jol was literally a dead man walking at Spurs.

Steve Claridge, BBC pundit.

An absolute holocaust.

Carlton Palmer, BBC pundit, on Sunderland's defending during the 7-1 defeat to Everton.

It looks like he's pulled a rabbit out of the bag.

David Pleat, ITV pundit,on the astute tactics of the Tottenham Hotspur manager Juande Ramos.

Arsenal are coming forward in wave after wave of waves.

Alvin Martin, Sky Sports pundit.

As the old saying goes,people in glasses shouldn't throw stones.

Alan Smith, Sky Sports


I'm 30 now but back thenI was 19. That's seven years ago.

Lee Bowyer, footballer, now of West Ham United, on the infamous chair-throwing incident at a branch of McDonald's in 1996.

I can't stand it when Lewis, or anyone else, is made out to be a godlike character ... If Lewis was driving for Red Bull I'm sure he would race extremely well, but he'd be battling for points.

David Coulthard, of Red Bull, on Lewis Hamilton.

There's more chance of me flying Concorde to the moon blindfolded than there is of you taking Wales to the World Cup.

Robbie Savage, Wales international, to the side's coach, John Toshack.

You people sometimes are like those serial killers you see in films who send out these horrible messages. The serial killer who cuts out the words, "I am going to get you" or "your wife is next". You are the very same.

Gordon Strachan, Celtic manager, to reporters.

Professionally, it would be a logical choice, but my personal view is that he is the most insincere man I know in football.

Tony Cascarino on the possibility of David O'Leary taking over as Republic of Ireland coach.

Playing against a small team it is not easy when they have nine men behind the ball.

Rafael Benitez, Liverpool manager, after a goalless draw in the Merseyside derby.

Put shit hanging from a stick in the middle of this passionate, crazy stadium and there are people who will tell you it's a work of art. It's not, it's shit hanging from a stick.

Jorge Valdano, Real Madrid technical director, on Liverpool's brand of football.

It doesn't matter whether it's cricket, rugby union, rugby league we all hate England.

John O'Neill, Australian RU chief executive, before the World Cup quarter-finals.

The fire is always ready but now it looks as though you are burned on the village green quicker than ever before.

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager, on the managerial merry-go-round.

I held a meeting with my players. I told them about the agent and that allegedly he had paid some of hisfee to the player. All ofthem wanted his phone number because theyhad never heard of anagent who wanted to givea player any money.

Harry Redknapp, Portsmouth manager, after being questioned by police over alleged corruption.

It's just a game of football. There are 1.2bn people in India who couldn't give a shit what happens to Reading.

Steve Coppell, Reading manager, after a defeat.

This is one of the saddest days of my career.

Steve McClaren, following his sacking as England manager.

When it came to trying to catch the ball, I honestly thought I was going to hurt him, so uncoordinated was he.

Duncan Fletcher, former England cricket coach, on Andrew Flintoff turning up drunk to training during the Ashes.

I don't think my life was in danger.

Flintoff on the "Fredalo" incident.

Never. Not in a million years.

Unnamed county chief executive, asked if he would employ Fletcher as coach.

If we go up, I will do a striptease.

Sophia Loren, actress and Napoli fan. They did, she didn't.

Young players are a little bit like melons ... Sometimes you have beautiful melons but they don't taste very good and some other melons are a bit ugly and when you open them, the taste is fantastic.

Jose Mourinho, then Chelsea manager.

Omelette, eggs. No eggs, no omelettes. It depends on the quality of the eggs.

Mourinho on his Chelsea squad.

I want to thank all Chelsea FC supporters for what I believe is a never-ending story.

Mourinho, on his departure.

I will travel to Los Angeles in order to steal and rip up Beckham's contract with the Galaxy. If I fail, I have a proposal: to retire the No 23 jersey and hang it above the Bernabeu. What a player! What an honour to have him in our army! God save David Robert Joseph Beckham!

Tomás Roncero, columnist for the Spanish paper AS, after Real Madrid won La Liga.

This was as good as I could have been.

Tim Henman announces his retirement from tennis.

They will have a problem with speech. Apart from that the lads could unexpectedly have problems between their legs. Nothing serious. Simply some small discomfort, lethargy, ache and, if all goes according to my plan, an itch.

Haitian priestess on the ultimately unnecessary curse she put on England ahead of the crucial European Championship qualifier in Russia.

I had 52 messages on my phone within an hour of the final whistle and some were from people I'd never heard of, which was a bit worrying.

Brian Ashton, England rugby union coach, after the World Cup quarter-final win over Australia.

If you guys can't beat those French bastards, it's a waste of time for all of us.

Kenny Rogers, country singer, to the England RU team, who had adopted his song "The Gambler", before the semi-final.

Whatever they say from 12,000 miles away, I bet they wish they were sitting where I am now.

Ashton, before the final.

My son Foster is a fan of soccer. He was a goaltender. His brother was a defenseman.

George Gillett, Liverpool co-owner.

For those for whom I was a hero, I'm sorry. They'll have to find new heroes now.

Bjarne Riis, 1996 Tour de France winner, admitting that he took drugs from 1993 to 1998.

It had nothing to do with money. I was simply having a lot of fun. It was exciting to be in the trenches, to be at World Championships and Olympics and Super Bowls.

Victor Conte, former owner of the BALCO laboratory, on why he became involved with performance-enhancing drugs.

If I go back someone will come straight up and stab me. I'll lose my life.

Al Banghura, Watford striker facing deportation to his native Sierra Leone.

I couldn't find London on a map if they didn't have the names of the countries. I swear to God I don't know what nothing is. I know [the Washington Redskins linebacker] London Fletcher. He's black, so I'm sure he's not from London.

Channing Crowder, Miami Dolphins linebacker, before the NFL game against New York Giants at Wembley.

We call it the Andrex Premiership: soft and overly expensive.

Lawrence Dallaglio, rugby player, on how he and his colleagues refer to their footballing counterparts.

The Government should get involved. If this happened on the streets, you'd be arrested. This is a human rights situation.

Sol Campbell, footballer, on abusive fans.

I'm worried he'll portray me as an idiot on skis.

Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, former Olympic ski jumper, on the plan for Steve Coogan to play him in a film.

Some players have psychologists, some have sportologists. I smoke.

Angel Cabrera, golfer, after winning the US Open.

Who will take my place? They haven't found him yet.

Peter Alliss, 76, BBC golf commentator.

Can we put ladybirds in it?

Patrick Harrington, four, son of Padraig, on the Claret Jug won by his father, at Carnoustie.

We can indeed. We'll put ladybirds in it.


They have my credit card number, and we will say, "How much do you need this week? Lets do it."

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager, on the club's frequent trips to the Football Association disciplinary panel.

Ninety-nine per cent of the letters and e-mails are supporting us and that's not bad. That's as good as Saddam Hussein did, and he was fiddling the figures.

Ken Bates after retaining control at Leeds United.

No one has ever approached me. I obviously wasn't the right material.

Tim Henman, former British No 1, on rumours of match-fixing in tennis.

I don't know if I'll be doing it at what is he now, 82?

Paul Jewell, Derby manager, on Sir Alex Ferguson.

If it was a boxing match it would be Muhammad Ali against Jimmy Krankie.

Adrian Boothroyd, Watford manager, before his side's game against Manchester United.

If he was a footballer he'd be in A&E by now.

Brian Moore, rugby union pundit, while James Hook was having his dislocated finger put back into place during the Wales v South Africa game.

The lads will be having a conversation and he'll write down the words. Five minutes later he's laughing.

Darel Russell, of Norwich, on his Czech Republic team-mate, David Strihavka.

We sing better than your wife.

DC United fans to LA Galaxy's David Beckham.

I am not "The Special One". I'm the Normal One. But my wife says I am special.

Avram Grant, Jose Mourinho's replacement at Chelsea, in his first press conference.

I don't think she should be planning any weddings.

Manchester City spokesman, on allegations of Sven Goran Eriksson's affair with a Manchester woman, Marisa Cauchi.

I feel like a woman at the minute. I can't stop crying. All that's missing is a pair of tits.

Ricky Hatton, boxer, after losing to Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas this month.

Chokin' freakin' dogs.

Dottie Pepper, former US Solheim Cup golfer, on the present American team, inadvertently on air during this year's event in Sweden (won by the US).

They searched the house and took a computer away that I bought my wife two years ago I think she learnt to turn it on four weeks ago.

Harry Redknapp, Portsmouth manager, after the police raid on his house during an investigation into alleged football corruption.

It's the worst Olympic image since Fatima Whitbread bent down to pick up that javelin.

Alan Carr, comedian, on the London 2012 logo.

I know my place. I'd love to be more famous but as a female cyclist I don'tstand a chance.

Victoria Pendleton, triple world track champion.

For sex, Thierry Henry, but for companionship, David Beckham he's such a lovely man.

Dame Helen Mirren, actress, asked to pick a favourite footballer.

The wife did not teach the husband to swing a golf club.

From Greg Norman's divorce petition challenging his wife's claim to half of his fortune.