Saturday 03 September 2016, 09:06

The Week in Quotes

"I’m not someone who cries easily. I did everything not to...But I could see from his face that he was sad too. After everything that we did together, it was difficult." Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti tells Telefoot about having to say goodbye to Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the end of last season

"I have spent nearly half my life in a U.S. Soccer uniform, so making the decision to retire from international play was incredibly hard and emotional. But quite simply, after 230 caps, thousands of practices, many trips around the world, and having played in three World Cups, and three Olympics, it just feels like the right time. Now, I’m looking forward to being a USWNT fan. American Outlaws, where do I sign up?" USA midfielder Heather O’Reilly announces her retirement from international football on US Soccer’s official website

"When I was 13, there was a knock at our door. The men from AC Milan were asking me to join their football club. An opportunity to make it with a big Italian club. What would I choose? Well, it was not my decision, of course. My mamma was the boss. She still is the boss. My mother taught me a lesson that day: your home is the most important thing in life. Just a few weeks later, after being scouted at one of my youth matches, Roma made me an offer. I was going to wear the yellow and red." *Roma midfielder Francesco Totti writes about an approach from Milan early in his career, in The Players’ Tribune**

"I think this team can make history, it is just a matter of believing in themselves. I myself grew up as a player in a generation where we had to believe we could do it. We missed the 1990 and 1994 World Cups and we were known in France as a team that had good players, but when it came to winning, they never come around. So you need to understand you can do it. Believing in yourself is very important." *Thierry Henry speaks with Sky Sports about his new job as second assistant coach of the Belgium national team*

"Realistically I know myself, Russia will be my last opportunity to do anything with England, so I’m going to try to enjoy these two years and hopefully I can end my time playing for England on a high. I’ve had a fantastic international career so far, played a lot of games and I’ve enjoyed every minute, but as some point if it’s going to come to an end, whether it’s two or four years’ time, I’m not old, I’m 30 years of age and come Russia, I feel that will be the time for me to say goodbye to international football." England captain Wayne Rooney announces his plans in a news conference to retire from international football after Russia 2018

"It would have been a sin, something very sad, to not see him playing in the Argentina shirt. It would have had consequences for the team and impact at the global level. Fortunately, everything has been resolved in a normal way with return to the squad. We need to move on to achieve the goal of qualifying for the World Cup. We must look ahead because in less than a year we will know whether we will be going to Russia or not." *Javier Mascherano speaks with reporters at a press conference about Lionel Messi’s importance to the squad as they look to qualify for Russia 2018*

"It’s one thing I’ve always believed is to never give up, always believe in yourself, always believe that you can achieve things because anything is possible in life. That’s one thing I’ve always, always believed in. Once I reached one target, I always searched for another. I went from non-league, I made the jump to Reading and then I kept on going out on loan. I went to Sheffield Wednesday and then from there to Nottingham Forest and then I managed to get to West Ham to play where I always wanted to be, in the Premier League. As soon as I got to the Premier League, I said to myself, ‘International’, and now I’ve done that, so I’ve got to set myself a new target now." West Ham United midfielder Michail Antonio tells FATV about his journey to getting called up to the England national team ahead of their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Slovakia

"I didn’t expect that emotion. Thank you all for coming here. I’m feeling so thankful and we’ll see each other in the future again." A tearful Bastian Schweinsteigerbid an emotional farewell to the German national team in a 2-0 win over Finland in a friendly

"I’ll be watching now as a fan. I said a few words to the players after the game and told them: ‘Never underestimate putting on that green jersey on because it’s the best feeling in the world.’ It has been for me for 18 years. We’re very fortunate that we have a group of players in there who are desperate to play for their country and turn up when given the nod. I think the future is certainly bright." Robbie Keane** speaks with the Press Association following his last match for the Republic of Ireland national team, where he scored in a 4-0 friendly win over Oman

" Buffon told me to stay calm, do what I know and to have fun. I can't describe it. I want to thank the coach for this opportunity and my debut. I am quite emotional about it." *Gianluigi Donnarumma tells RAI Television about becoming the youngest capped player in the history of the Italian national team after a 3-1 defeat by France in a friendly*

"When my agent told me I asked him if it was a joke. the best club in the world was interested in me. I want to win titles at Barcelona and I would like to be the goalkeeper that wins the Champions League as a starter." New Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen speaks with Barça TV upon his arrival at the club

"We believe in ourselves greatly. Our goal is to qualify for the World Cup, and to give happiness to the people of the UAE. From the first day of our camp in Spain the team resolved to fight and to not shrink from anything because we are soldiers fighting for our country." United Arab Emriates’ Ahmed Khalil speaking to The National after bagging a brace in his country’s 2-1 victory over Japan​ in FIFA World Cup qualifying 

"I can’t lie, it was hard. I was in an orphanage without my parents. Things can go badly in those places. I look at where some of my friends are now and they’re not very well. I had little contact with my parents. I was resentful. As I got older, my mum and I increased contact, but it was irregular. We don’t have a normal relationship because we lost those big moments together when I was growing up. Now, my mum and I are reunited and back in contact." Portugal's EURO 2016 hero Eder speaking to the Daily Mail​ on his tough upbringing, growing up in an orphanage, before his father was sent to prison for murdering his stepmother