“The hard core of this team is not even a melon’s pip”

IAN COLE rounds up the World Cup and the rest of the week’s sport in quotes. Image from the World Cup final courtesy of MATTHEW ASHTON

“I’ve made a small contribution in a very tough game, a very rough game. To win the World Cup, there are no words to describe it” Andres Iniesta, Spain’s World Cup final matchwinner.

“We are angry we lost, as we came so close. I know you cannot blame others but the referee favoured Spain. We had more yellow cards than we deserved” Dirk Kuyt complains about English referee Howard Webb, who issued 13 yellow and one red during the final.

“Holland made it very difficult for us to play comfortably. I’m here to speak about the beautiful things in football. It was rough at times, but that’s part of football” Vicente Del Bosque, the Spain coach.

“It’s not our style to commit horrible fouls. It’s not our kind of football. But I would love to have won it with football that was not so beautiful. Both sides, also the Spaniards, committed terrible fouls” Bert van Marwijk, on his side of “Dutch cloggers” who were panned after losing the World Cup final to Spain.

“If you find the greatest football tournament in the world boring, then you probably shouldn’t be there” Mesut Ozil is amazed at reports that England players were bored during the World Cup.

“Frankly, it has been the ‘ho-hum’ World Cup, the tournament that never quite took off. It tried. It threatened here and there, yet the overwhelming feeling has been one of vague anti-climax” Des Kelly in the Daily Mail.

“I don’t need a TV commentator next season telling me that Wayne Rooney or Frank Lampard are world-class after they have played well… against Wigan. Where were they at the World Cup finals?” Noel Gallagher.

“FIFA and Sepp Blatter have been patting themselves so hard on the back, it’s a wonder they haven’t coughed up some of their billions… The FIFA World Cup (since when did it become the FIFA World Cup, by the way?) has become a commercial monstrosity. For four weeks, South Africa has been an impoverished land hiding under a giant advertising hoarding.

“FIFA have sold just about everything connected with this great tournament” Andy Dunn in the News of the World.

“The fact their highlights package on semi-final night included a clip of Ned Boulting saying ‘Hi, I’m Ned Boulting, and I am in a shebeen,’ and another of Chiles being hit in the nuts during a kickaround, tells you all you need to know about ITV’s World Cup” Martin Kelner‘s critique of British broadcasters’ World Cup.

“Thanks guys. Not bad for a No2 driver” Mark Webber on race radio after winning the British Grand Prix for the Red Bull team who had used parts of his car for team mate and rival Sebastian Vettel.

“We do not have a No1 and a No2 driver. Both Mark and Seb are team drivers” Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, attempts to defuse the situation.

“I was with Nicklaus recently and a man came up to him and said, ‘I enjoy your work’. Jack laughed and replied, ‘I’ve never worked a day in my life’. And that’s how I feel about the game” Tom Watson, runner-up at last year’s Open at Turnberry, prepares for a return to St Andrews, aged 60.

“If you designed the hole now you would be shot. If you said now ‘I’m going to put a tee over an old railway on a practice ground and get you to hit over a disused course and over a hotel’, people would think you were off your head” Colin Montgomerie on the world’s most famous golf hole, the Road Hole, at St Andrews, which has had 40 yards added to it ahead of this week’s 150th Open.

“It was a great hole anyway. I didn’t really think it needed it. Horrible, one of the legendary holes in golf falling victim to modern technology. I thought it was going to be tricky anyway” Graeme McDowell, the new US Open champion, is not a fan of the changes.

“You should see his lad’s swing, it’s incredible. The grip, the swing, unbelievable. Given those genes I reckon we’ve got about 13 years left to win Majors. By the time he’s 15, he will probably be winning the Masters by about 25 shots” Ian Poulter on a chance encounter with 15-month-old Charlie Woods, son of Tiger.

“They discovered that what people who didn’t like cricket didn’t like about cricket was cricket. The rest of it – fresh air, falling asleep in a deckchair, drinking heavily, burgers, family fun, general rowdiness – was rather appealing. Find some way of removing the cricket and the counties would pack them in” Martin Samuel argues that Twenty20’s time has been and gone, quickly.

“It’s hard to keep getting beaten and keep picking them up. But this is unbelievable. I would have thought England are capable of beating anyone. Now my players realise they can beat anyone” Jamie Siddons, coach to Bangladesh, savours their five-run victory over England in the one-day international at Bristol, their first in 21 attempts. Yesterday, Bangladesh lost by 144 runs to lose the series 2-1.

“You’re right. And I’ll keep on hitting it there because you get just as many runs for that as you do for hitting lovely cover drives” Paul Collingwood to Doug Bollinger in the middle at Lord’s, after the Australia bowler sledged him for only scoring on the leg side.

“The hard core of this team is not even a melon’s pip. My task is to find a hard core within this team. Everyone wishes me luck, but I get the impression I’m towards suicide or the guillotine” Laurent Blanc takes over the France team after their World Cup flop.

“My Tour has finished” Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner, after Sunday’s disastrous 120-mile mountain stage, in which he came off his bike three times, admits that, at 38, he won’t be winning it for an eighth time.

“My body has given up on me. All last season I was taking a hell of a lot of painkillers and I was constantly having blood and fluid drained from my knee” Harry Ellis, the Leicester, England and Lions scrum-half, right, retires from rugby at 28.

“Maybe I need to do something controversial to grab the attention, but that’s not really me. Squash is not a glamour sport and it keeps your feet on the ground” Nick Matthew, Britain’s unheralded world squash No1

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