Sports quotes of the week: 22Jun2007

Smoking, drugs and sex – some of this week’s best sports and journalism quotes, from Angel Cabrera, David Beckham, Dame Helen Mirren and Lance Armstrong. Add your favourite sports or journalism quote from the past week in the Comment box below

“Some players have psychologists, some have sportologists. I smoke” – Angel Cabrera explains the secret of his success after winning the US Open

“I’m sad to be leaving and I didn’t expect to be leaving. It was the most difficult time of my career not being involved in matches or in training, and things being said about me that weren’t true” – David Beckham says adios to Real Madrid ahead of helping them to win La Liga

“It was probably my proudest moment in football. The players are crestfallen — they gave their all, physically and emotionally. They have sweated blood for their country tonight” — England under-21 manager Stuart Pearce after his side, 1-0 up after 89 minutes, lost their European semi-final against Holland 13-12 on penalties

“Preparations are definitely on track. The enthusiasm in South Africa is phenomenal. I am absolutely convinced that, all together, we will deliver the best FIFA World Cup ever because it will be played in Africa” – Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa, during a visit to some of the 2010 World Cup venues

“If I cheated, how did I get away with it?” – American cyclist Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France seven times, defies his detractors to produce anything other than circumstantial evidence of doping

“Bonds’s records should stay in the record books. With a little syringe next to every one” – chapter heading in new book by Sports Illustrated‘s Rick Reilly that further criticises baseball slugger Barry Bonds as he closes in on Hank Aaron’s 755 home run career record

“We needed a shot in the arm and he gave it to us” – San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy with an unfortunate choice of words on Bonds

“For sex, Thierry Henry, but for companionship David Beckham – he’s such a lovely man” – Dame Helen Mirren asked to pick a favourite footballer

“Our members will make it clear that they will no longer accept the cuts, the poor pay and the worsening working conditions to maintain the excessive profits of ever-more greedy media companies” – union official Jeremy Dear announcing a Stand Up for Journalism Day on November 5

Bill Elliott, in The Observer, on the toughness of the US Open course at Oakmont, where five of the world’s top 10 players failed to make the cut:
“There is a consensus that the way this piece of Pittsburgh real estate is set up verges on the daft, if not the downright malicious. There is nothing wrong with a bit of malice, but the United States Golf Association may be turning what should be a celebration into a freak show…

“It always has been this way at Oakmont. Right from its construction in 1903, the man who supplied the money, steel magnate Henry C Fownes, wanted his baby to be the mother of all golfing examinations. This was a testosterone-fuelled ambition along the lines of ‘mine is bigger than yours’. Depending on your point of view, perhaps your size, this is either laudable or it is juvenile.”

“If you want to win, you have to pay up to £100,000 a week to a player who can hardly read or write and he earns four or five million pounds. It’s crazy” – Fulham chairman Mohamed Fayed

“Powerful people in football know I am a man of integrity. This investigation is the joke of the century. What evidence do they have against me? They have defamed my name and I can assure you, they will pay very dearly for this” – Pini Zahavi on the Lord Stevens-led football transfer bungs inquiry

“I can’t understand why my name features in this report. I volunteered full information and I’ve heard nothing further from them” – former Newcastle manager Graeme Souness

“We have a plan. It involves us spending but it will be part of a plan, not just spending like a drunken sailor” – Liverpool co-owner George Gillett

41% – number of respondents who voted “Don’t care” to an online poll on Virgin Media which asked: “Will Tim Henman ever win another game?”

“If he were alive today, comedian Dave Allen could count our potential medallists on the fingers of his left hand” – Steve Cram, chairman of Lottery-funded elite performance organisation, the English Institute of Sport, writing in The Guardian, daring to look ahead to the athletics World Championships

Martin Samuel, in The Times:
“Not content with setting the bar for human improvement at a level that would have tested the finest minds of the Renaissance, Waltham Forest, one of London’s five Olympic boroughs, has unveiled its slogan for the Games. “It’s happening here,” it boasts. And guess what is happening there? The biggest and best swimming pool, the one used by club swimmers and triathletes and talented teenagers with dreams of competing for Great Britain in 2012, is to close next month.”

”Albert van den Berg bending over backwards like a giraffe at the watering hole” – interesting imagery from rugby commentator Craig Marais in the South Africa v Samoa Test

This week’s winner of “spot the essential contradiction” award:
“They may have conceded 10 tries but at no stage did they take a backward step, and for watching South Africans and Australians, French and maybe even English fans, there was suddenly a shaft of hope. Maybe this autumn’s World Cup isn’t such a foregone conclusion, after all” – John Inverdale, the eternal optimist, on New Zealand’s drubbing of Canada

“You can say what you like about my hairstyle, but it’s never caused epilepsy and cost significantly less than £400,000 to design” – Boris Johnson MP on comparisons with his haystack-like hair and the widely disliked London 2012 logo