The verbals: sports quotes of 1994

`Today, God is a Bulgarian'
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The Independent Online
I did it my way. And I did it to the end, without changes, without giving in. Carlos Alberto Parreira, much criticised coach of Brazil's World Cup-winners.

We emerged from hell and came within touching distance of paradise. We shouldn't look for alibis. Arrigo Sacchi, coach of Italy, who overcame a poor start in the tournament to reach the final.

Germany weeps. The rest of the world laughs. Blick, Swiss newspaper, after Germany were knocked out by Bulgaria.

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.

The boys call me Valderrama but I feel more like Val Doonican. Andy Townsend, who died his hair blond for a bet.

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.

Thanks for the own goal. Andres Escobar's murderers, when the Colombia defender was shot dead after putting the ball in his own net against the US.

That Hagi's got a left foot like Brian Lara's bat. Don Howe on the Romanian playmaker.

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, after Diego Maradona failed a drugs test.

Today, God is a Bulgarian. Hristo Stoichkov after beating Mexico.

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

I heard it on the ambulance receiver, and I feel like nothing's wrong any more. Romanian man who jumped from his ambulance in his pyjamas when he heard of Romania's win over Argentina.

You must show some control and not let it affect your work. You must especially guard against accidents happening because of lack of sleep. Keep the TV down low. When you see a great goal, keep your emotions under control. Don't shout loudly or applaud. People's Daily, Chinese paper, gives advice on late-night World Cup watching.

Hang on. Hold fire. It's about time we stopped and looked at ourselves. Our game is heading into a state of anarchy. It's a professional game run by amateurs. Gordon Taylor, PFA chief executive, on football's recent tribulations.

It's not on when one chairman calls another a coward and threatens to hit him over the head with a champagne bottle. Taylor on the dispute between Aston Villa's Doug Ellis and Leicester City's Martin George over Brian Little.

I don't think one wants to believe everything one reads. George Graham, Arsenal manager, on Danish bung allegations.

I don't mind if we pick up a few yellow cards. I'm looking for a team that fights. Steve McMahon, Swindon's new player-manager, sent off in his first game.

Who bombed Old Trafford? Uwe's dad, 1941. T-shirt at Maine Road, where Uwe Rosler plays for Manchester City.

I play with passion and fire and sometimes I do harm. But I have no regrets. Eric Cantona.

You wonder who Merson or Arsenal know. The whole thing stinks. Merson should be kicked out of football. The people who run football had the chance to show some teeth and failed miserably. And Merson must be laughing his head off. Terry Dicks, rent-a-quo t e MP, on the decision not to prosecute Paul Merson over his cocaine confessions.

Zimbabwe loves Bruce, Screw The Sun. Placards in the crowd during Zimbabwe's World Cup win over Zaire, following the paper's match-throwing allegations.

The Sun ain't gonna print any more. Banner supporting Bruce Grobbelaar at Southampton's first game after the story broke.

A deliberate vendetta against our club, and not so much against the club, as me personally. Alan Sugar, Tottenham chief executive, on the FA's punishment for irregular payments.

We're looking for a strong, purposeful leader who will stay with us a long while. We've decided to approach Maggie Thatcher. Sugar, after he had sacked manager Ossie Ardiles.

The game is getting faster and foul play is becoming a problem. Subbuteo spokesman on the introduction of red and yellow cards.

Manchester United 0, Heaven 1. This will be one of the great signings. Banner at Old Trafford on the day of Sir Matt Busby's funeral.

He will be up there now with Bill Shankly and Joe Mercer and I can just hear Shanks saying, `come up and join the top table'. Tommy Docherty on Sir Matt.

He's very polite and charming, and he relaxes the other players, tipping soft drinks over them. Sister Paola, Franciscan nun and friend to the Lazio team, on Paul Gascoigne.

An agreement was made to partake in a sexual activity for a sum of US currency. They told me they were baseball players and I told them they were under arrest. Michael O'Neill, New York police officer, after the arrest of two San Diego Padres for trying to pick up prostitutes in Manhattan.

If we'd had WBO judges, we might have got a different result in the Wars of the Roses. Barry Hearn, boxing promoter.

He just wants to get in there and mash 'em. If you broke his arm, he'll kick you. Then if you broke his leg, he'd bite you. And if you took his teeth out, he'd nut you. This boy wants to fight. Brendan Ingle, boxing trainer, on Naseem Hamed.

I call him James Van Gogh because of his visits to the canvas. Clifton Mitchell, Derby boxer,on his opponent James Oyebola in a British heavyweight title bout.

He can't cook. Michael Chang, asked if Pete Sampras had any weaknesses.

Maybe we should just have a good old brawl, guys streaming out of the locker-rooms onto the court and picking sides and fighting in teams - Europe versus America. Jim Courier, asked how to brighten up tennis.

That must have been one of the most boring finals in history. Fred Perry on Sampras' victory in the Wimbledon men's singles over Goran Ivanisevic.

Tennis stunts your personal growth. Martina Navratilova.

It was murder out there. There were far too many no-hopers. I was seeing carnage everywhere. Willie Carson, Derby winner on Erhaab.

Like a great painter, Geoff's greatness will not be fully appreciated until he has gone. Colin Herridge, Rugby Football Union liaison officer, on Geoff Cooke's resignation as England manager.

Don't ask me about the emotion in the Welsh dressing room. I'm someone who cries when he watches Little House On The Prairie. Robert Norster, Welsh team manager, after victory over France.

It's like being a big fish in a little pond and then going out to sea. Chris Boardman, cyclist, on turning professionand riding the Tour de France.

I had Tommy shovelling gravel 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and crawling on his knees every time I could. He was a whipped puppy when I got through with him. He's no rich ski kid. Tommy Moe Snr, on the Alaskan childhood of his son, Tommy Jnr, winnerof the Olympic downhill.

I've never turned down a job, except pose for Playgirl. Eddie `the Eagle' Edwards.

I have been a bit of a Clark Kent figure. Now it's time to step into the phone box and change into Superman. Damon Hill, Formula 1 driver.

And now excuse me while I interrupt myself. Murray Walker, excitable motor racing commentator.

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