Sport quotes of the year 2010

From Tiger Woods' extraordinary public confession to Wayne Rooney criticising 'loyal supporters' at the World Cup, it has been quite a year for outspoken sportsmen
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Christmas crackers

"Graeme Onions – he's a legend, isn't he?"

Captain Andrew Strauss after Onions helped England to a draw with South Africa in Cape Town

"It's the people's race and from a jockey's perceptive, that's why it's important. At least I can think that I've sort of done all right as a jockey."

Tony McCoy after winning the Grand National on board Don't Push It

"I was very nervous in the last three to four holes but in the play-off I was very calm and confident. It was just amazing, just great."

Martin Kaymer after his triumph at the US PGA Championship

"Amir showed he had some balls. He demonstrated he has no quit in him."

Amir Khan's trainer Freddie Roach commends his fighter after he survived a late onslaught to beat Marcos Maidana

"Don't care. I have had Australia rammed down my throat for the last 15 years by the Channel Nine team, who tell me how great they are."

Sir Ian Botham revels in England's innings victory over Australia in Adelaide

"I've never felt as nervous on a golf course in my life as I did out there. Trying to do it for my 11 team-mates, trying to do it for all these people, trying to do it for Monty, trying to do it for Europe. It's a lot of pressure, it's amazing."

Graeme McDowell after holing the Ryder Cup-winning putt at Celtic Manor


"Gary Neville is stupid – a bootlicker. It was blatant crawling what Gary did when he said I was not worth €35m. He did it just to look good to the manager. Why the hell is this moron talking about me if I never had any problem with him?"

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez responds to comments from Neville

"I just thought I was on a piece of dirt that the crowd had trampled down. It never once crossed my mind that I was in a bunker."

Dustin Johnson after missing out on the US PGA Championship

"Nice to see your home fans booing you – that's loyal supporters."

Wayne Rooney after England's World Cup draw with Algeria in Cape Town

"I told them they could no longer be heroes for our children. They have destroyed the dreams of their countrymen."

French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot on the French team's strike at the World Cup

"If we don't take action, the game of rugby is going to die, be killed stone dead because the public won't come to watch."

Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter reacts to a fine for criticising refereeing standards

"There have been dogs roaming around the village, the apartments are filthy and there are piles of rubble lying around."

Commonwealth Games chairman Michael Kavanagh on the scene in Delhi

"I met with David Gill last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad. I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract."

Wayne Rooney states his desire to leave Manchester United

"I have spoken to the manager, David Gill, the Glazers and all of them have confirmed to me that this is the right club for me to be at and the club is going to continue being successful and winning things."

Rooney changes his mind

"Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too. Its a fuck up!!"

Kevin Pietersen reacts to his being dropped from the England squad

"At the end of the day, he pointed the finger at everybody still involved in cycling, everybody that's still enjoying the sport, everybody that still believes in the sport, everybody that's still working in the sport, was in the crosshairs."

Lance Armstrong on former team-mate Floyd Landis's doping accusations


"It was probably the greatest conversation I have had with someone in my life."

Cesc Fabregas after a chat with Arsène Wenger about his Arsenal future

"The driver was a legend, a great guy, he got us out of trouble... Looking behind there were two guys with a handgun and one guy with what looked like a machine gun."

Jenson Button following a carjacking attempt before the Brazilian GP

"In Sainsbury's. Looking for mashed potatoes and rubber gloves – Marigolds, small size."

Lee Westwood reveals how he heard the news he had become world No 1

"I bought the tractor for my farm. Being a farm boy it was one of my big dreams. We're going to have a lot of fun."

Louis Oosthuizen celebrates his triumph at the Open

Stocking fillers

"For all that I have done, I am so sorry. I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply."

Tiger Woods apologises for his infidelities

"Some of the tennis girls, they're sluts. They go with every guy and make a bad name for themselves."

Laura Robson endears herself to her fellow professionals

"This is a special approach in Anglo-Saxon countries. If this had happened in, let's say, Latin countries, then I think he would have been applauded."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter on the John Terry/Wayne Bridge affair

"I know what JT's like and nothing surprises me about him so I'm not going to comment on that guy. I think everyone in football knows what the guy's like."

Craig Bellamy on John Terry ahead of Manchester City's trip to Chelsea

"People in glasshouses should not throw stones."

Terry's reply to Bellamy

"International football is no longer the pinnacle for players. The pinnacle of a career, for many of the top footballers now, is getting the big contract, the Bentley and the blonde."

Ipswich manager Roy Keane after Bridge's international retirement

Christmas puddings

"I can cry like Roger. It's just a shame I can't play like him."

Andy Murray after losing to Roger Federer in the Australian Open final

"I'm a gypsy and I've been a gypsy for many years. It doesn't matter where I live as long as it's a good football project."

Sven Goran Eriksson offers his wares

"There is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose. No wonder there was total collapse of the English side."

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt after his side were accused of match-fixing

"I wish personally and on behalf of the Pakistan Cricket Board to withdraw the comments. I never intended to question the behaviour and integrity of the England players nor the ECB."

Butt withdraws his allegations

"I have to say thanks to the Executive Committee of Fifa because for 2018 and 2022 we go to new lands, because the Fifa World Cup has never been in Eastern Europe or the Middle East. So I'm a happy president when we speak of the development of football."

Blatter again

"If we win the cup then I will run naked to the Obelisk in Buenos Aires."

Diego Maradona makes a promise if Argentina lifted the World Cup

"We have a saying in Spanish, which is: 'White liquid in a bottle has to be milk'. If I see John the milkman in the Wirral, where I was living, with this bottle, I'd say, 'It's milk, sure."

Internazionale manager Rafael Benitez on the Liverpool ownership battle

"We played well. Germany are a good team, the referee made a big mistake, we got caught on the counter-attack, this is football."

Fabio Capello following England's World Cup exit in Bloemfontein

"Pakistan has won a Test match against Australia for the first time in 15 years and against England for the first time in nine years. Does that make me resign from this current situation?"

Pakistan captain Salman Butt

"The only good thing about the Olympics is the opening and closing ceremony. They do a lovely showbiz job. Otherwise, it's complete nonsense."

Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone

"I don't ever start stuff, I just retaliate a lot."

Mark Cavendish plays down his row with team-mate Andre Greipel

Ho ho ho...

"We have a seven-year plan to take the team into the Champions League and make it a big club."

David Sullivan after completing his takeover at West Ham

"He can't even control his kids so I wonder how he can even control a game of football."

Kay Webb on her husband, Howard, being chosen to referee the World Cup final

"If we get [a first home win] against Man City, it would be absolutely laughable. Look at them donkey-lashers – go on! The fans aren't going to accept that because you have just been beaten by Blackpool – that bunch down there, them Seasiders, that tangerine mob."

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway

"It is energy, it is dance, it is rhythm, it is music and it is Africa!"

Blatter defends the much-criticised vuvuzela

"He's got all the skills to pay the bills, but you've got to have the heart to play the part."

James DeGale on Audley Harrison

"It's like sex. If you really enjoy something, you want to keep doing something. Maybe Michael is the perfect example – he hasn't run out of legs so he's coming back for more fun."

David Coulthard on Michael Schumacher's return to Formula One

"Look, I'm a coach, I'm not Harry Potter. He is magical, but in reality there is no magic. Magic is fiction and football is real."

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho after his side's unbeaten start to the season

"I'm going to see a movie tonight, a really deep, dark, grimy drama. A harrowing account of life's struggles. Toy Story 3."

England spinner Graeme Swann

"Sometimes you look in a field and see a cow. You think it is a better cow than the one you see in your field. It never really works out that way."

Sir Alex Ferguson on Rooney's U-turn

"He was amazing. They're just doing some drug testing now, the dope testers are here, and I hope they're testing him."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp on Gareth Bale's performance against Internazionale

"I have been recognised before but not so often. Now even the chef wanted a picture. He said he was a Bolt fan but that he respected me."

Tyson Gay after beating Usain Bolt in Stockholm

"I try to keep fit. I had a new hip put in two and a half years ago and it's made a big difference to my life. I did Pilates the other day and it was hilarious. All this 'breathe in and stabilise' stuff. The instructor never told us to breathe out again, so for two minutes I was holding my breath. Nearly killed myself."

Former Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan copes with the pressure

"I've developed another side of my brain."

Gavin Henson gets back into competitive action on Strictly Come Dancing


"I've got big problems with the people running football. They are so wrong it's frightening. I think the game is in trouble and you cannot have the Bosman ruling they've got at the moment."


"Muhammad Ali is one hell of a fighter but Floyd Mayweather is the best. Sugar Ray Robinson is one hell of a fighter but Floyd Mayweather is the best."

Floyd Mayweather Jnr

"You can put your hand in the fire and not get burnt. If it had been a clear case of doping it would have come out that week. The food poisoning occurred due to eating a steak from Spain."

Alberto Contador after a positive drug test on the Tour de France

"Thank you for helping me during the World Cup but [he's] probably a little bit old. I think David knows that he has no future with the national team because we have to change."

Capello "retires" David Beckham

"It sounds like they want to get biblical – I was Judas tonight but last year I was God. I should be Moses because I led them from the wilderness to the promised land."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle after a visit to his old club Burnley

"He is banned from Tweeting. The next time he does that I will break both his ankles."

Leicester director or rugby Richard Cockerill after Jordan Crane revealed his injury concerns on Twitter

"I knew it was tight – probably about two metres."

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on Frank Lampard's disallowed goal at the World Cup

"I don't know who [Jack] Wilshere is but the next time I play against Arsenal I will keep a close eye on him."

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli

"You get managers sending their teams out to stop other teams playing – the Stokes, Blackburns, Wolves. They can say it's effective and they have got to win games but the fact is the managers are sending out their players so pumped up there is inevitably going to be problems."

Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy

"It was the most difficult two hours of my career. We worked hard to keep the focus on football as much as possible."

Howard Webb after the World Cup final

"I'm not a wheeler-dealer."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp disagrees with a reporter

"It's a typical bullshit rule. We had the King of Spain with 5,000 security guards and I can't have a physio."

Mark Webber is angered by new rules banning physios from the F1 grid