Classic quotes

Béla Guttman, Benfica coach, on why the club, who could win two consecutive European Cups in the early 60s, could not win the Portuguese title in the same seasons: "There's not enough bum for two chairs."

João Pinto, FC Porto right back and captain, asked what he thought the score of a game would be: "Predictions? Only at the end."

Otto Glória was Sporting coach in the early 60s. The team drew their first game of the 1961-62 season against Lusitano Évora in Alvalade, without key players Geo and Diego. He responded to whistles from the crowd with the now timeless: “I can’t make omelettes without eggs!” Sporting beat FC Porto 2-0 away in the next game but Glória resigned following criticism of him in the in-house Sporting newspaper.

Paulo Bento, former Seleção coach, when at Sporting: “If the ball had hit [central defender] Tonel’s hand, it would have been a penalty ... if my gran had wheels, she’d be a truck - it’s the same thing.”



Captain João Moutinho has a dig at the referee of Sporting's 2-2 CL draw with Fiorentina: "Portugal is small – everyone knows that."


Paços de Ferreira coach Paulo Sérgio on the marathon trip – four days – to Moldova in the Europa Cup: "It seems like we're going on foot."


FC Porto left back Aly Cissokho, miffed at AC Milan over his aborted transfer due to 'dental problems': "I'm fine and don't have any problems with my teeth,
which are perfect and always have been."


Benfica's new signing Ramires: "When I was a kid, I ran from my grandmother, from dogs ... everything I did involved running. That's why it comes so easy to me today."



António Oliveira, president of hard-up Estrela da Amadora, on new signing Luís Vidigal: "When I told him the salary, he spent three minutes laughing his head off."


Cristiano Ronaldo on being voted sexiest man at Euro 2008: "It's good to know that I have women on my side. Rather women than men."


Serbian Vladimir Stojkovic, fed up with his status as reserve ´keeper at Sporting: "I'm the best goalkeeper in Europe!"


Brazilian central defender David Luíz tries to make himself popular at the Luz: "My ambition is to be at the best clubs in the world and unfortunately, at Benfica, I'm not."


José António Camacho prepares his Benfica team for their Taça de Portugal tie against Moreirense by likening the second division side to AC Milan: "I told them that as far as I'm concerned, it's as if we were playing against Kaká, Pirlo and Ronaldo."


Luíz Felipe Scolari comments on his 5-year tenure of the Selecção coaching job: "These past five years have been very positive … if they hadn't been, it wouldn't have been five years."


FC Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira finds something positive from his side's 0-2 reverse at Sporting: "This defeat strengthens our confidence"


National team coach Luíz Felipe Scolari fires a warning shot ahead of Euro 2008 squad selection: "Those players that are two or three kilos overweight with a fat arse and are worried about other things, like nightlife or the catwalk, could miss the bus"


(Goalkeeper Quim ahead of the difficult trip to Vitória de Setúbal: "We'll have to be Benfica"




Coach Jaime Pacheco hangs on at Boavista: "The players need me."


Belenenses president Cabral Ferreira on the news that his club will face Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup: "We're prepared to overcome this opponent, and if it doesn't happen, never mind."


Benfica's Rui Costa on the arrival of new coach José António Camacho: "It would be stupid for us players to think that a change of coach will resolve all the problems."


Front page headline in sports daily O Jogo: "Camacho demands shinguards in all training sessions"


Benfica coach Fernando Santos refuses to bemoan the departure of key players and a spate of injuries that have weakened the team: "The Wailing Wall is in Jerusalem, not at the Luz."


Rui Costa goes some way to answering his critics with two goals against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League: "I can still serve Benfica"


Izmailov on his winner against FC Porto in the Supertaça: "I've never been so happy"


Real Madrid central defender Pepe commits himself to the Selecção: "Even if I'm called up for Brazil, I will always opt for Portugal"


Benfica's injury prone forward Pedro Mantorras - as positive as ever: "I'm still a phenomenon … within my limitations."


Benfica coach Fernando Santos fears the worst as rumour has it that his captain may be on his way out: "Simão leaving would be a terrible nightmare"


Nacional president Rui Alves on his team's participation in the new Taça da Liga ('League Cup'):."Our sole objective is to get knocked out as quickly as possible"


Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson casts doubts on whether the €25-million winger is prepared for the Premiership: "Nani should have stayed at Sporting for another season."


Cristiano Ronaldo's response to the question "Do you think you're the eighth wonder of the world?": "No, I'm the seventh wonder of the world"


Coach Laszlo Boloni, ahead of a possible move to Marítimo: "At this moment I'm at home on holiday, looking after the garden."


Luíz Felipe Scolari on rumours of a move to Chelsea: "It's shooting season – you take a shot and sometimes you get one, other times you don't."


Anderson on his move to Manchester United from FC Porto: "It's a dream the size of the world."


FC Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira on the return 'home' of former FCP players Jorge Costa and Aloísio, now head and assistant coach at Sporting Braga, who visit FCP this weekend: "Fortunately, they're not playing!"


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco on 'The Special One'. "Mourinho is a mental case." (Mourinho had said that Pacheco had "one neuron, and that isn't working" after Pacheco had criticised the way Chelsea play.)


Placard held up by an FC Porto fan at the FCP v Chelsea CL game: "Vítor Baía - give me your baby!"


Placard held up by an FC Porto fan at the FCP v Chelsea CL game: "Mourinho - give me your salary!"


Dynamo Bucharest director Cristi Borcea upon arriving in Lisbon ahead of the UEFA Cup match with Benfica. (There was a real earthquake in Portugal on Monday, the strongest in 30 years): "The earthquake will be on Wednesday."


Eusébio, confronted with a review of his career on a This-is-Your-Life-type TV programme, on the occasion of his 65th birthday: "I can't watch this footage any more – I just start crying."



Chelsea coach José Mourinho comments on the long Christmas break in Portugal: "Empty stadiums and salaries late ... and we professionals stop for a month!?"


(Front page headline of A Bola ahead of Benfica's game with Belenenses, coached by … Jorge Jesus): "Be careful of Jesus at Christmas."


José Cachide, vice president of Beira-Mar, on plans to move the club back to its old Mário Duarte stadium from the luxurious but expensive to run Municipal Stadium: "I'd prefer to have a Fiat 600 that goes to a Ferrari that's run out of petrol."


Sporting defender Marco Caneira, critical of playing conditions at Alvalade: "We're going to write a letter to Santa for a decent pitch."


Luíz Felipe Scolari explains (...) his choices for Portugal's game against Kazakhstan: "They're options that I make according to my ideas, which only I know and I don't need to disclose."


Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira lays into the referee of the previous Sunday's game against Estrela da Amadora. Carlos Xistra showed 18 cards, three of them red, one of the reds going to Miccoli ahead of the trip to FC Porto: "A hymn to stupidity!"


Gil Vicente president António Fiuza: "The FPF has done us a favour by banning us from the Taça [de Portugal] - in recent years we've only ever lost money from the competition."


Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira looks in his crystal ball: "Benfica will be a colossus in Europe, if not the world, by 2011."


Austria Vienna coach Frenkie Schinkels ahead of their Champions League qualifier with Benfica: "No one in Austria expects us to knock Benfica out ... not even my wife."
[Benfica won 3-0 on the night, 4-1 on aggregate]


Beira-Mar's new signing Mário Jardel, offered a seafood supper by a local restaurant for every goal he scores: "They're going to lose money."


Chelsea coach José Mourinho, asked to comment on whether Cristiano Ronaldo should stay at his current club: "Well, if he wants to win a championship, he should leave Manchester United ... ha ha … no, just kidding!"


Luíz Felipe Scolari looks for reasons why Portugal went out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage: "Portugal is an ugly duckling in the world of football."


Cristiano Ronaldo tries to pour oil on troubled waters after Portugal v England: "Rooney even congratulated me on our going through."


Ricardo, asked who he wanted to dedicate the three penalty saves to that put England out of the World Cup: "To my wife, my daughter ... and God."


Luís Figo, hopeful of a long stay in Germany: "I came here with a large suitcase."


TV presenter Merche Romero on her boyfriend Cristiano Ronaldo: "He's a force of nature.".


Luíz Felipe Scolari after victory over Angola in Portugal's World Cup opener: "One down, six to go."


European Union President Durão Barroso sets the pole high for Portugal: "The sky's the limit."


Midifelder Hugo Viana, desperate to play in Germany: "I'll even play in goal – I just want to be out there."


Luíz Felipe Scolari gets all misty eyed over his team: "The players have got so much love to give."


Portugal's top scorer Pedro Pauleta reacts ironically to the observation that he doesn't score in Finals: "I've got 46 goals and they were all scored in kickabouts."


Benfica midfielder Beto defends himself against the critics: "Not even Jesus was liked by everyone."


Luís Figo thinking wishfully: "God willing, in 40 years I can look back and see myself lifting the Cup."


FC Porto's Ricardo Quaresma, passed over for Germany: "I expected to be called up, but that's ok - nobody's died"


Belenenses goalkeeper Marco Aurélio on the trip back to Lisbon from the north, where his team lost to Gil Vicente and were relegated: "It was the longest journey of my life."


Scolari backs out of the England deal:."I won't be the England manager."


Standard Liège captain Sérgio Conceição on reaction in Belgium and Portugal to the recent incident with a referee that saw him banned for four and a half months: "They made me out to be a terrorist!"


Inter Milan's Portuguese international Luís Figo sets his sights high: "For me, only winning the World Cup will be a success."


Sporting coach Paulo Bento, critical of the refereeing in the Taça game against FC Porto, including the sending-off of Caneira: "If at least it had stayed at 11 against 12, we might have won. With 10 against 12 it got more complicated."


Luíz Felipe Scolari, Brazilian coach of the Portuguese National Team: "I feel more Portuguese than Brazilian."


Rio Ave 'keeper Mora after Benfica beat his team in controversial fashion: "I feel like I've had my house burgled and my car stolen."


Boavista coach Carlos Brito, unhappy at a recent spate of penalties given against his side for dubious handballs: "It would be better to sign players with no arms." .


Benfica coach Ronald Koeman after his team unexpectedly knocked Liverpool out of the Champions League: "Everything's possible in life."


A contradictory (?) Luíz Felipe Scolari on the possibility of Quaresma and Hugo Viana going to Germany: "All the players know that they have to apply themselves to go to the World Cup. If some of them suffer a slight drop in form, that won't influence anything because I've been working with some of them for a long time." .


The ever-optimistic Penafiel 'keeper Nuno Santos. Penafiel have 11 points from 24 games and are 15 points from safety: "We can make a small miracle happen."


National team coach Luíz Felipe Scolari on the FC Porto winger, widely regarded as currently the best player in Portugal: "Quaresma has been playing reasonably well."


Unloved Benfica midfielder Beto, whistled off the pitch when substituted in the Champions League game against Liverpool at the Luz: "B*ll*cks to the fans that whistle me."


A pragmatic Petit after his side go down 0-2 at Vitória de Guimarães: "Playing like that, Benfica won't get to be Champions."


Dynamo Moscow's Danny in support of teammate Costinha, in dispute with the club over the cleaning of his own boots: "Can you imagine Zidane cleaning his own boots at Real Madrid?"


Referee Paulo Paraty on Marítimo's Dutch captain Mitchell Van der Gaag, sent off for protests in the game against Vitória de Guimarães: "The red card I showed him will never be shown in any game ever again - he came and apologised, and so I autographed the card and gave it to him."


Nacional president Rui Alves, allegedly threatened by Sporting's Ricardo Sá Pinto after Saturday's game: "Only the intervention of some Nacional players prevented him repeating what he did a few years ago to a National Team coach." [Sá Pinto famously duffed up national coach Artur Jorge before an international because he hadn't been selected]


Sporting goalkeeper Ricardo explains why he has the shape of a dog's paw shaved into his hair: "Everyone knows I love dogs. And dobermans have been the victims of great injustices in the past ... I think I owed them this tribute."


On his 64th birthday, Eusébio remembers his four goals in Portugal's classic 5-3 victory over North Korea in 1966: "On that day, I was anywhere but on Earth."


An optimistic Luíz Felipe Scolari speaking from Brazil: "We have a team that can get to the Final [of the World Cup]."


Académica 'keeper Pedro Roma, critical of the match officials after the 3-0 defeat at Benfica: "We had to face two teams today."


Benfica coach Ronald Koeman cuts training short after Anderson kicks Miccoli: "OK - everybody on the bus!"


Gabonese striker Antchouet signs for Vitória de Guimarães: "I can't promise goals."



FC Porto president Pinto da Costa, asked for his response to Felipe Scolari's comments re the non-call up of Vítor Baía and João Pinto: "As a matter of principle, I don't respond to cowards."


Inter's Luís Figo plays it cagey: "Portugal can win the World Cup."


Coach Luís Norton de Matos leaves strife-torn Vitória de Setúbal: "Enough is enough."


Banner held up by Braga claque Red Boys before their home game against Académica: "What will it take for Sporting Braga not to be robbed? Money? Trips? Prostitutes? Violence?"


Striker Hélder Postiga takes a sideswipe at coach Co Adriaanse as he parts for St Étienne: "I don't confuse FC Porto the institution with some of the people who work there."


Erstwhile FC Porto captain Jorge Costa, on his way to Standard Liége of Belgium, responds to FCP coach Co Adriaanse, who had said: "Jorge Costa was once a good player ...: "At least I have a past ..."


Luíz Felipe Scolari on the World Cup draw that puts Portugal up against Mexico, Iran and Angola: "We can't complain."


Eusébio's plea to the players ahead of what was to be an historic victory for Benfica over Manchester United: "Make history, boys!"


Front page headline of A Bola after Sporting get 1-1 draw at FC Porto:
"Lions' sweat puts out Dragons' fire."


FC Porto fans unfurl a banner with tricky winger Ricardo Quaresma in Hogwarts uniform.: "Harry Potter!"


Nacional coach Manuel Machado after his team go top of the Liga: "First we're going to think about staying up."


FC Porto's Dutch coach Co Adriaanse: "I'm very happy and I'm staying until 2008."


Gil Vicente coach Ulisses Morais after his team's 2-0 Liga defeat at Vitória de Guimarães: "They committed thirty thousand or so fouls."


Manuel José, Portuguese coach of Egyptian club Al-Ahly, African Club Champions: "I don't like them to call me 'The Egyptian Mourinho' ".


Félix Mourinho on his son, José: "His arrogance isn't arrogance - it's professionalism!"


António Figueiredo, president of cash-strapped Liga de Honra club Estoril Praia, predicts trouble ahead for Portuguese football: "Before the start of next season, between 10 and 20 clubs from the Liga and Liga de Honra are likely to close their doors."


Inter Milan's Luís Figo, in an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca, yearns for cosier times at Real Madrid: "I miss my breakfasts with Raúl."


A stroppy FC Porto coach Co Adriaanse questioned on the consequences (i.e. possible sacking) of a defeat against Paços this weekend: "Paços de Ferreira will have three more points, and Porto won't have any."


Players' Union president Joaquim Evangelista warns that the cash crisis at Vitória is not an isolated case: "Vitória de Setúbal is just the tip of the iceberg."


Benfica coach Ronald Koeman on Naval counterpart Manuel Cajuda in an on-going war of words ahead of their Liga meeting: "I don't know him and I don't want to know him."


Front page banner headline of weekly tabloid Tal e Qual, on Cristiano Ronaldo's sexual accusers."They're prostitutes!"


Vitória de Guimarães coach Jaime Pacheco on the match officials after his side lost 1-2 in the UEFA Cup at Russian club Zenit: "After so much work, so many kilometres and so much dedication, it's a shame that three people spoiled the show."


Player's agent Jorge Mendes on Cristiano Ronaldo's situation following the police's questioning of him over accusations of sexual assault: "It's all a product of the young girls' imagination and fancy."


Sporting president Dias da Cunha grasps at straws to explain away Sporting's dire run of form: "Some of Sporting's results are down to the press we have in Portugal".


Sporting claque Juve Leo unfurl a banner during the home defeat to Académica, letting the powers that be know what they think of things given the current crisis at the club: "Mediocre Directors, Incompetent Coach, Soul-less Players - This is not our Club!"


FC Porto coach Co Adriaanse gets defensive following Porto's humiliating Champions League defeat to Artmedia: "The fans have to be patient. If they whistle and wave white handkerchiefs ... I'm leaving."


An RTP commentator, as Wender kisses the name 'Lucas' tattooed on his arm after scoring for Sporting against Halmstad: "And Wender dedicates the goal to Lucas - I hope that's his son."


Brazilian striker Luís Fabiano, now of Seville, speaks of his passage through an unstable FC Porto last season: "I was on a ship adrift on the high seas."


Sporting president Dias de Cunha gets into training for the new season, commenting on Sporting 0-1 Udinese: "The refereeing was perfectly disgraceful!"


An ironic Luís Figo ahead of his signing for Inter Milan after a bitter departure from Real Madrid: "Let's see if I can still play a bit."


FC Porto's Jorge Costa, asked about his position at the club after being left out of the squad for Amsterdam: "I haven't stopped being captain."


Leo Lima, released from FC Porto on the say-so of Dutch coach Co Adriaanse, throws a couple of darts back over his shoulder: "Brazil are five-times World Champions. Holland have nothing. The Brazilian school is better, no discussion."


Sporting's new striker Deivid sets his sights high for the new season: "I hope to score 32, 33 or 34 goals."


FC Porto president Pinto da Costa rejects the possibility of the club's stadium being re-named for commercial purposes: "No money in the world would buy the name of the Dragão."


Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira on the representatives of full-back Miguel, in dispute with the club: "There are gangsters in this country."


Sporting president António Dias da Cunha on the troublesome Brazilian striker who has yet to confirm he is staying at the club: "Liedson is certainly not going to be another Jardel."


South African striker Benni McCarthy, sowing the seeds of a transfer out of FC Porto: "If it hadn't been for Mourinho, I would have left long ago."


FC Porto will hope their new signing Anderson has significantly more qualities than this: "If I had one per cent of Ronaldinho's qualities, I'd be very happy."


FC Porto striker Claudio 'Pitbull' on times at Brazilian club Grêmio, before he came to Portugal: "I didn't use to celebrate my goals by imitating a dog ... but when I scored, the crowd would start barking ..."


Fighting talk from Benfica's new coach Ronald Koeman: "I came here to win!"
(... although he gave himself an escape clause later on when he said he couldn't actually promise the title for next season).


CSKA Moscow coach Valeri Gassaev ahead of the UEFA Cup Final in Lisbon: "We haven't come here to take part in Sporting's celebrations."


Benfica coach Giovanni Trapattoni ahead of the crucial Benfica v Sporting clash: "Let's see who deserves to be Champions."


Coach Co Adriaanse, confident that his AZ Alkmaar would beat Sporting and go to the UEFA Cup Final at Alvalade; they didn't:."On the 18th, I'll be back in Lisbon."


National Team coach Felipe Scolari on possible complaints from players about the late World Cup qualifiers against Estonia and Slovakia at the end of May/beginning of June: "No one's obliged to play for the Selecção. They just have to send a letter and I won't call them up."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco after his side crashed out of the Taça at Vitória de Setúbal: "Many of my players are fathers, and I don't like to see fathers crying. Many of them are crying."


Vitória de Setúbal coach José Rachão after his side went through to the final of the Taça de Portugal: "I'd like to thank my parents (who have both passed away), my wife, my children, my brothers and sisters and my in-laws (who have also passed away)."


Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira: "If we're champions, the country, not to mention the world, is going to stop."


Felipe Scolari reiterates the importance to the national team of Luís Figo, currently taking an extended break from international football: "The Selecção needs him, even if he's 40 or 50."


RDP radio comentator on the state of some of Middlesborough's fans before the UEFA Cup tie at Sporting: "Bacchus would have been proud of them."


Estrela da Amadora coach Toni on hearing that his side face Benfica in the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal: "We have a one percent chance of going through."


FC Porto's new coach José Couceiro ahead of his first ever Champions League game, against Inter Milan: "I'm not in the least bit nervous."


Referee Pedro Proença defends himself after being accused by Sporting Braga players of verbal abuse during the game against Vitória de Guimarães at the weekend: "I don't use that kind of language."


Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira responds to criticism that the club could not secure the signing of Argentinian Maxi Lopez, who signed for Barcelona: "Benfica is no ice cream parlour, buying Super Maxis or Cornetos left right and centre ..."


FC Porto striker Hugo Almeida, at Boavista until the end of the season: "It's a pain to be loaned out."


Carlos Alberto, released by the club, on FC Porto's Spanish coach Vítor Fernandez: "I don't think he likes Brazilian players."


FC Porto coach Vítor Fernandez, asked what he would like the result of the Sporting v Benfica derby to be: "I'd like them both to lose."


Benfica's Petit, not in favour of technological solutions to aid refereeing decisions: "One of these days we'll have robots playing football"



Benfica captain, Simão, responds to heckling from onlookers at a Benfica training session: "We're human beings! Keep calm - respect us!"


Marítimo coach Mariano Barreto responds to criticism from his predecessor Manuel Cajuda, now at Beira-Mar: "Opposite my house there's a great big field with a donkey grazing in it. If it lives to be 150, it'll never be a racehorse."


Sporting coach José Peseiro, still optimistic after losing to Porto: "We were eight points adrift, now it's six, which means we've been worse off."


Sporting's Hugo Viana on scoring a wonderful goal against Panionios just days after being involved in a serious car accident: "I thank God that I'm still here."


Luís Figo still keeping the door open for a possible return to the national team: "I'll never be able to say 'never again'."


Beira-Mar's Paraguayan defender Alcaraz gets it a teensy bit wrong: "João Paulo [Estoril] isn't going to have the chance to celebrate any goals today." (Estoril put five past them.)


Benfica's Brazilian international defender Luisão on the referee of Benfica v FC Porto: "I've never seen anything like it!"


Carolina Salgado, wife of FC Porto president Pinto Da Costa, banned from Benfica's VIP section following an incident in the corresponding game last season, watched the Benfica v Porto game on the terraces from behind a banner alluding to Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira's infamous auricular attributes: "Big Ears! I'm over here!"


José Mourinho avoids beating about the bush at Chelsea: "It's difficult to get on with my ego ... but the players are going to have to live with it."


Gil Vicente coach Luís Campos at the TV flash interview following Gil's fifth defeat from six at home to Braga: "I'm only here so that I don't pay another fine. It's impossible to speak after a game like that. Good night everyone."


Sporting coach José Peseiro seems hopeful after a series of poor performances and results: "I feel able to continue."


Chelsea coach José Mourinho suppresses a smirk as his side dispatch his former club FC Porto 3-1: "We beat the Euopean Champions."


Benfica Director of Football José Veiga welcomes Argel and Everson hacking bits out of each other in training Monday: "It's a good sign - it's a sign that they're training aggressively, in the good sense of the word."


Portugal coach Felipe Scolari, asked if he might call up Brazilian Derlei once the FC Porto forward is naturalised: "I only speak about Portuguese players."


Manchester United assistant coach Carlos Queiróz has a dig at the Portuguese Football Federation over the use of Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal's internationals: "When I use a hire car, I don't normally worry much about holes in the road because if the car breaks down, someone will pay for the damage."


Sporting Braga president António Salvador on the crowd trouble at the Braga v Guimarães game: "Football is a festa, not a war."


Sporting's Chilean striker Pinilla on the Sporting crisis: "The fans don't know the word 'patience'."


Sporting president Dias da Cunha responds to protests from the crowd at the team's 0-1 home defeat to Marítimo: "While I'm president of the club, Sporting will not be governed from the terraces."


Benfica coach Giovanni Trapattoni gets cagey before the UEFA trip to Bystrica. "'Favourite' is not in my vocabulary. 'Favourite' is a very dangerous word."


Sporting coach José Peseiro ahead of his team's 0-2 defeat at Vitória de Setúbal: "I'd rather win 5-4 than 1-0."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco on forward João Pinto after he was sent off in the second game of the season: "Now that he doesn't play for Sporting or Benfica ... he's going to be a martyr."


Estonia coach Dick Pijpers flatters Portugal after his team found themselves on the wrong end of a 0-4 drubbing: "We were playing against the strongest national team in Europe."


Portugal coach Luís Felipe Scolari; it was 0-0 against Latvia until the game was stopped by a streaker. Five minutes later, Portugal were two-up: "The key moment was when that young woman came on and stopped the game ... but seriously though ...."


Portugal coach Luís Felipe Scolari after Portugal win their first World Cup qualifying game 2-0 against Latvia: "Portugal took an important first step today. There are eleven steps left to qualify for the Finals."


National team coach Felipe Scolari reacts to pressure from, among others, Manchester United, who wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to be relieved of international duty for two World cup qualifying games: "I don't interfere in the the work of others - but others won't interfere in my work either, and that has to be made clear."


Coach Trapattoni's analysis of Benfica's failure to qualify for the Champions League against Anderlecht: "We lacked energy and personality."


FPF president Gilberto Madaíl's rationale for the possibility of FC Porto's Brazilian striker Derlei, soon to be naturalised, being picked for the Selecção: "We live in a world of globalisation, so why not, in times of need, resort to those that speak the same language as us, have the same mentality and even like bacalhau and potatoes?"


Benfica Director of Football José Veiga on the deplorable state of the Coimbra pitch ahead of the SuperTaça: "It's total incompetence - it's like we're in the Third World."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco after Sunday's bloodbath 'friendly' against FC Porto: "My team responded with belief, dignity and fighting spirit. That's how I want and like my teams."


Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira takes a dig at his oppo at FC Porto, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, after coach Luigi del Neri was sacked before the season has even begun: "If it had happened at Benfica, I'd have been called incompetent."


Sporting's Cameroonian forward Doaula is optimistic about the forthcoming season: "I'm going to explode!"


FC Porto 'keeper Vítor Baía on not being picked for Portugal: "I at least deserve to know why."


Benfica Director of Football José Veiga reacts to Real Sociedade's paltry offer for central defender Ricardo Rocha: "We're not in the sales!"


FC Porto president Pinto da Costa has some advice for Real Madrid coach José Camacho, who wants to take FCP defender Ricardo Carvalho to Madrid: "He should sit down while he's waiting so that he doesn't get varicose veins."


João Pinto on why he chose Boavista over a lucrative Middle Eastern contract: "There are more important things than money."


FC Porto president Pinto da Costa on Hélder Postiga, who has returned to the club from Tottenham. Postiga scored a cheeky chipped penalty at Euro 2004: "He's been practising taking penalties with his head."


The rejuvenating effect of being Benfica coach on Giovanni Trapattoni, 65: "I feel like I'm 20 again."


Chelsea coach José Mourinho on the Greece phenomenon:."Maybe football's changing."


Deco in confident mood ahead of the Euro 2004 semi-final: "We're better than Holland."


Czech Republic's Heinz on why he might consider the possibility of moving to Sporting: "Why not? The stadium's superb and the climate is nice."


Portugal coach Felipe Scolari tries to rein in the euphoria following the quarter-final victory over England: "We haven't won it yet."


Portugal's coach Felip Scolari on the whereabouts of Luis Figo after he had been substituted against England: "I heard that Figo was in the changing-room with an effigy of the Virgin Mary in his hand, watching the penalties."


Coach Felipe Scolari after Portugal qualify for the quarter-finals of Euro 2004: "Now I'm going home to give my wife a hug, because I don't know if I'll be able to manage anything else."


Portuguese Sports Minister José Luis Arnaut blames alcohol rather than football for the trouble in Albufeira: "It's not hooliganism."


Russian midfielder Mostovoi gets philosophical after being removed from the squad following his criticism of training: "Life goes on .. and so does football."


Sporting's new coach José Peseiro has some [possibly famous last] words to say about his new job: "When I leave Sporting, I'm leaving with a lot of titles."


President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio tries to take the pressure off the Selecção: "We're not going to make this a matter of life or death."


National coach Felipe Scolari sets himself a concrete target for Euro 2004. His contract ends on July 31st: "I don't think I can stay on if we don't get to the last eight."


FC Porto coach José Mourinho's hopes for the Champions League Final. He got his wish (but didn't seems so crazy with joy himself after the game): "We have to leave here crazy with joy!"


Rui Costa dreams of victory at Euro 2004: "It's worth dreaming."


FC Porto's Deco gives the Final of the Champions League against Mónaco its due importance: "This is the game of our lives."


Wishful thinking from Benfica coach José Camacho: "Next season we have to be as good as FC Porto and win everything."


Sporting president Dias da Cunha proves once again that he is on a different planet. "This game (v V. Guimarães) proved once again that Sporting are the best team in the Championship."


Derlei got some help to score the penalty against Coruña that put FC Porto into the Final of the Champions League. "I knew that God was with me."


Felipe Scolari on another game - vs Sweden - where the result depended on mistakes from his own team - an own goal and a 'frango': "Strange things have happened in these games."


FC Porto coach José Mourinho compliments Markus Merk on his display in the FCP v Depor CL semi-final first leg: "In ten or twelve years of European football, I've never seen refereeing like it."


FC Porto winger Maciel on the effort needed to keep in touch at the club."100% is not enough."


Sports daily A Bola highlights Vitória's improvement and attempt to escape from the relegation zone under the guiding hand of coach Jorge Jésus. "Just by coincidence and nothing else, this Easter has seen the resurrection of Vitória de Guimarães, coached by Jesus."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco does not like what he sees at the club after returning from a spell with Mallorca. The team have lost four and drawn one of his five games in charge: "I feel disenchanted and a little bit ashamed."


FC Porto president Pinto da Costa gets the knife out for National Seleccionador Felipe Scolari: "What concerns me most is the fact that in a very short time, that exceptional empathy that existed between the Portuguese and the Selecção has been destroyed."


União de Leiria's Edson claims divine inspiration for his goal against Alverca: "I believe I was illuminated ... It was a marvellous shot - a work of God."


Football Federation president Gilberto Madaíl doesn't want the final of the Taça de Portugal to be played at its traditional home: "The National Stadium is five-star ... but only sentimental ones."


Normally mild-mannered coach Toni reacts bitterly to being messed about by the Vitória de Guimarães president, who allegedly offered him the coaching job at the club, then said he had done no such thing: "For me, Pimenta Machado is dead."


A fan, who ran onto the pitch during training for relegation-threatened Vitória de Guimarães Tuesday: "I'm 51 and I've never seen Vitória in the Second Division. Have some shame and work!"


FC Porto coach José Mourinho after his side beat Boavista 1-0: "Yesterday I said that we're nearly, nearly, nearly Champions. Today we're nearly Champions."


FC Porto hero Costinha, scorer of the vital Champions League goal against Manchester United, confesses to some splendid indiscipline: "I wasn't even supposed to be in that position!"


Comic strip 'Beard and Hair' in A Bola:
Customer: "Karadas, the Rosenborg forward wanted at the Luz, says that Benfica are a great team and above average in Europe."
Barber: "The things people will say to escape from the cold ..."


Boavista president João Loureiro sacks coach Erwin Sanchez: "This was the most difficult decision I've had to make as president."


Lisbon Mayor Pedro Santana Lopes responds to the controversy generated by McDonald's apparent exclusion of disabled kids from one of their promotions: "On our own initiative, we're going to take kids with disabilites to the games ... with or without hamburgers."


FPF president Gilberto Madaíl wanders off on a peculiar flight of fancy: "At this moment, I compare the organisation of Euro 2004 to a big tent that has everything you need inside ... All we have to do now is pitch it."


FC Porto coach José Mourinho ahead of the CL match with Manchester United. The game was to prove him wrong ... at least for the time being: "The Champions League was not made for Portuguese sides."


Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson turns on the diplomacy ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash: "It seems like FC Porto buy their Portuguese titles in Tesco's."


Sporting president Dias da Cunha blames the referee after his side could only draw with Gil Vicente: "This was the system in all it splendour."


Jorge Cadete, former Celtic player on trial with Scottish side Partick Thistle, who play Celtic at the weekend: "It would be great to play against Celtic because the fans still adore me."


Sporting president Dias da Cunha on the authorities' insistence that all the Porto fans sit together at the Sporting v FC Porto game Sunday: "The security authorities dropped their trousers for Porto."


Ahead of Saturday's Sporting v FC Porto clash, Sporting full back Rui Jorge and his coach Fernando Santos didn't seem to be able to get their stories straight: (Rui Jorge) "It's an important game, but not decisive." (Fernando Santos) "This is going to be the most decisive moment of the championship"


José António Linhares, president of Liga de Honra club Salgueiros, who deceased footballer Miklos Fehér represented for half a season. "Mikki is going to continue to score goals where he is."


Belenenses' new coach Augusto Ignácio after his side have two sent off against Sporting: "We shot ourselves in the head!"


Boavista's Martelinho reacts to suggestions that the team is basically a bunch of cloggers: "When Petit was at Boavista, he was considered a clogger. As soon as he went to Benfica, he had guts and spirit ..."


FC Porto coach José Mourinho, asked how long he will stay at FC Porto: "Things end."


Alverca coach José Couceiro hits back at abuse from the home crowd: "I can't be doing with some of the idiots and cowards in the stands."


FPF president Gilberto Madaíl appeals for solidarity from the Portuguese in the run-in to Euro 2004: "Everybody must understand that we all have to row in the same direction."


FC Porto's Benni McCarthy on new team-mate Maciel: "He's like a Ferrari up against an Opel Astra."


Portugal coach Felipe Scolari on Portugal's chances at Euro 2004: "I put Portugal among the great favourites, along with France, but we should watch out for Spain and Germany."


Sporting coach Fernando Santos, asked whether he would condemn striker Silva's dive for a penalty for Sporting's first goal in Sunday's Lisbon derby. He wouldn't. "I may be Santos, but I'm no saint!"



Pimenta Machado, president of Vitória de Guimarães, third from bottom of the SuperLiga, gives his coach Augusto Inácio a last chance versus Rio Ave this weekend: "I'm going to place my trust in Inácio once again ... but everything has its limits."


Customer: "Pauleta says he doesn't understand why the spectators started whistling the National Team after five minutes."
Barber: "They were probably distracted for the first five."
(Cartoon strip Barba e Cabelo, A Bola)


National coach Felipe Scolari, needing work on his diplomacy: Journalist: "I'm not from Porto, I'm from Lisbon." Scolari: "Thank God for that."


Vitória de Guimarães coach Augusto Inácio continues to blame the referees for his team's ills. Vitória are currently third from bottom: "We should be second."


União de Leiria president João Bartolomeu casts doubts on the impartiality of the Hungarian match officials, presented with gifts by the hosts Molde of Norway, who beat UDL in the UEFA Cup: "I don't know what they got, but I saw the bags!"


Benfica coach António Camacho gives his spin on the growing contestation of the refereeing in Portugal: "It would be ridiculous to defend myself or the interests of Benfica by criticising the work of the referees - that would really be something out of the third world."


Vitória de Guimarães president Pimenta Machado on the state of things after his side lost their fifth successive league game Saturday, at home to FC Porto. Vitória had a good goal disallowed: "We're on the brink of Euro 2004 and we have one of the most disgraceful championships in Europe."


Vitória de Guimarães coach Augusto Ignácio, asked if he's 'sleeping on hot coals' after five straight defeats: "I sleep in a soft bed."


Candidate for the Benfica presidency Jaime Antunes responds to current president Manuel Vilarinho, who implied that the team were a bunch of "burros" - donkeys - after the 1-1 draw at La Louviére of Belgium in the UEFA Cup: "Benfica is not a zoo!"


FC Porto president Pinto da Costa on Benni McCarthy's two-match ban for an aggression on Sporting's Beto: "We were expecting McCarthy to be suspended for 20 games and be arrested. In the end he only got two games, 10% of what we expected, and he's still free."


Mallorca's Portuguese coach, Jaime Pacheco, as outspoken as ever: "Players are like children, and sometimes you have to treat them like that to get them to react."


Benfica hard-man Fernando Aguiar tenders approximation to fellow hard-man, team-mate Petit, after a bust-up in training: "We're friends and room-mates. We're going to have dinner ... and he's paying!"


National team coach Felipe Scolari admits the poverty of Portugal's play versus Spain: "There were only a few handkerchiefs being waved. There should have been more."


UEFA Inspector Ernie Walker on the work done to complete the ten EURO 2004 stadiums: "What's happening in Portugal is a miracle!"


FC Porto coach José Mourinho takes an early opportunity to split hairs: "I never said we'd be champions again ... but I think we will be."


Boavista's new coach Erwin Sanchez tries a quip to play down the club's shakey pre-season: two goals scored in eight games, one from a penalty: "Maybe the players are saving themselves for the Championship"


Sérgio Conceição gets cryptic as to the reason for choosing his shirt number for new club Lázio: "I'll explain why I chose 53 when I leave the club."


Boavista president João Loureiro, annoyed at a perceived lack of cooperation on the part of the authorities, this time the Oporto City Council: "We're fed up of Boavista being the ugly ducklings of EURO 2004."


Sporting's new signing, ´keeper Ricardo, on his move from Boavista to a Grande: "This is one of the happiest days of my life - after the birth of my son."


FC Porto's Brazilian/Portuguese midfielder Deco on the prospect of spending another season at the Portuguese club: "We all know that Portuguese football doesn't have the dimension of other championships .. not FC Porto, because fortunately I'm in a club that's managed to show its worth in Europe ... It's not a question of wanting to leave FC Porto ... I have a contract with this club and I'm fine here ... but I'm not going to say that I'm indifferent [to the interest of Barcelona and Real Madrid] ... I want to prove myself in another championship - if I spend my whole life at Porto, even if I play well, people are going to say that I didn't prove my worth in European or World terms, but only in Portuguese football ... and I want to grow as a player outside Portugal. That's an ambition I have ... I'd like to leave, but I don't want to create trouble, nor demand a transfer ... that's not my way of doing things ... I'm not going to create conflict in a club that's given me everything and that I respect very much."


Former Benfica president João Vale e Azevedo, still in custody awaiting trial on charges of embezzlement while he was in the top post at the Luz: "If it hadn't been for me, Benfica would have had to close its doors"


Former Boavista 'keeper Ricardo, possibly heading for Benfica. He occasionally takes penalties: "Scoring goals is like an orgasm; it's total ecstasy."


Sporting president Dias da Cunha on plans by the Liga to allow clubs to postpone the submission of proof that their tax and social security payments are up to date: "It's a veritable scandal! A disgrace!"


José Couceiro, coach of Alverca, newly promoted to the SuperLiga, has a moan about lack of support for his team: "Five or six fans travel to away games ... and four of them are family! ..."


Sporting's Mário Jardel after Sporting's 3-4 home defeat to bottom club Vitória de Setúbal: "I've done a lot of wrong things this year ... I apologise to everyone."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco, soon to leave the club, suggests that he wouldn't mind succeeding Camacho, whose negotiations with Benfica have stalled over money: "I'd do it cheaper..."


Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni, on his way out, maintains a diplomatic stance to the end: "In general, Portuguese football is third rate."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco, continually asked if he is going to leave Boavista: "I think of Boavista as I think of my mother."


The SportTV commentator on hearing the half-time whistle after a dire first half between Marítimo and Boavista in Funchal: "Thank God for that!" (The second half wasn't much better).


Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni, angry at the time it took the Liga to send notification of Mario Jardel's suspension, meaning he will miss the Benfica-Sporting derby: "Even a donkey wouldn't take as long to get from Porto to Lisbon as this news."


Sports Minister José Luis Arnaut on the first official day of sales of EURO 2004 tickets: "From the information we have, I think we'll be able to sell between 85 and 90% of the tickets, But we're confident that we'll be able to do even better."


The cartoon strip Barba e cabelo in A Bola: "The fact that Porto's opponents are Celtic opens up a good chance of victory in the UEFA Cup ... if they have the same kit as Sporting, maybe they'll play like Sporting."


FC Porto's resident artist Deco on whether the threat of a yellow and exclusion from the UEFA Fup Final will make him hold back in the second leg of the Semi: "If I have to commit a foul that stops Lázio winning and going to the final, I'll do it, certainly."


Sporting's Ricardo Sá Pinto on his return to the Sporting side after a long lay-off through injury. He scored a penalty against Marítimo: "You know that I'm not narcissistic or egocentric, but I dedicate this goal to me - only I know what I've been through."


Benfica's Slovenian midfielder Zlatko Zahovic, responding to rumours about a possible move at the end of the season, touts for popularity from Benfiquistas: "To be in Benfica or another club is the same thing."


Bilro, scorer of União de Leiria's winner against Paços de Ferreira in the Taça semi-final: "This was a gift from God."


The Socialist Party get shirty about the name of the Euro 2004 mascot: Kinas, instead of Quinas. "It tramples on the dignity of the Portuguese language and national symbols."


Manuel Correia, coach of cash-strapped Segunda club Felgueiras, on living with several months' salary overdue: "It's not nice to start a training session with court officials and bailiffs at the gate"


The Sporting Board come out in defence of Laszlo Bölöni, under increasing fire over the team's disappointing results: "We can't sit back and watch the public lynching of a competent, honest and hard-working coach."


Vitória de Setúbal coach Diamantino Miranda. "Playing with 15 or 16 against FC Porto is difficult. Playing with ten for more than an hour is even more difficult."


The president of the Associação de Futebol de Porto, Adriano Pinto: "The majority of Portuguese clubs are on their way to banruptcy"


Sporting president Dias da Cunha quotes a Portuguese saying as a response to Benfica SAD president Luís Filipe Vieira in their recent war-of-words: "The braying of donkeys doesn't reach heaven."


Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira after Portugal 2-1 Brazil: "It was like Portugal were playing in the final of the World Cup."


The Barba e Cabelo comic strip in A Bola: "Deco's adaptation to the Selecção is almost complete ... he's speaking to his teammates, he's got to know the flag and the national anthem ... he just needs to start negotiating match bonuses to be 100% Portguese"


Brazilian 'keeper Marcos Reis: "Scolari is going to set the Portuguese Selecção alight'


Real's Director of Football Jorge Valdano on rumours that Luís Figo could be exchanged for David Beckham: "The chance of Figo leaving Real Madrid is not remote ... it's impossible."


FPF President Gilberto Madaíl, defending the possibility that newly-naturalised midfielder Deco can love two countries at the same time: "A country is not like women, clubs or political parties."


Farense's goalkeeping coach Luís Manuel touches on the financial crisis facing the Segunda club: "I'm owed 15 months' salary."


Vitória de Setúbal central defender Hugo Alcântara careful not to mince his words after his team's 0-2 reverse at home to Moreirenese: "Vitória's fans are right to protest. The team is a disgrace. We're a disgrace."


Benfica Coach José Camacho rouses his troops for the last match at the Luz, won 1-0 over Santa Clara: "The history of the club was made by other players, and these can now also be a part of it, if they win the last game in this stadium."


Well, Pelé should know ...: "Eusébio is eternal."


National Team coach Felipe Scolari gets tough after rumblings in the camp about the possible inclusion of 'Brazilian' Deco in the squad: "I'm the one who gives the orders. Whoever wants to play, plays; if they don't, there's the door."


FC Porto coach José Mourinho after his side lost 0-1 to Panathinaikos: "We lost, but we left the pitch to a standing ovation. That's fantastic!"


Boavista president João Loureiro gets behind his man: "Jaime Pacheco has said that he'll be the coach of Boavista for as long as I want him to be, ... I say he'll be the coach of Boavista for as long as he wants to be."


Eusébio, Red Cross ambassador, looks forward to meeting the kids of East Timor: "I'll be like a kind of grandfather who's going to play with them a bit."


Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission accompanying the Euro 2004 preparations, suddenly getting worried about access to Benfica's new Luz Stadium: "At this moment, we need to break the national sprint record to get the protocol signed, the bids for the job in and the work finished in time for the start of the Championship, which is going to be very, very difficult."


FPF president Gilberto Madaíl reassures the Portuguese about the future 'purity' of the Selecção: "Deco is an exception; Portugal will not be Brazil's 'B' Team."


Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni gets fed up with journalists asking about the renewal, or not, of his contract beyond the end of the season: "Leave me alone!"


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco comes over all enigmatic after his team's 2-3 defeat to Hertha: "At the right time, I'll tell all."


António Mexia, chairman of the Executive Committee of Galp, Euro 2004's new sponsor, hopes for the impossible: "I hope the final's between Portugal and Spain ... or Portugal and Brazil."


Benfica coach José Camacho, asked about his plans for next season: "I wasn't born here and I'm not going to die here."


FC Porto's captain Jorge Costa's defence of his slap on Benfica's Simão, for which he earned a two-match ban: "If I'd wanted to hurt him, I would have done it with my foot or my fist."


Portugal's Brazilian coach Felipe Scolari finds an optimistic angle after Wednesday's 0-1 defeat at the hands of the Italians: "I started off with a 1-0 defeat for Brazil as well, and I ended up World Champion."


FPF president Gilberto Madaíl tries to play down rumours of unrest over money in the National Team camp: "I don't believe that any player who represents his country ... can be at all worried about any bonus due."


Manuel Pinto Coelho, one of the players' doctors, suggesting that the Brazilian striker, in a spot of disciplinary trouble with his club Sporting yet again, is human after all: "Mário Jardel is not a robot!"


FC Porto coach José Mourinho backs, belatedly and fruitlessly, the inclusion of Vítor Baía in Scolari's first National Squad: "Vítor is by far the best goalkeeper in Portugal."


Lisbon Mayor Pedro Santana Lopes on the late start to the promotional campaign for next year's tournament, to be held in Portugal: "I think it's surreal what's happened with the promotion of Euro 2004 ... but c'est le Portugal."


Belenenses' new coach Manuel José on Marinho Peres, who resigned from the club two weeks ago: "He's one of my best friends - he always finds me work."


Cartoon strip Barba e Cabelo - 'Beard and Hair'- in A Bola after Benfica drop two points at home to Moreirense: Customer: "Could it be that Benfica aren't being helped by the 'Camacho Effect' any more?" Barber: "Well, I don't know ... I'd say that Camacho is starting to come under the influence of the 'Benfica Effect'."


SuperLiga president Valentim Loureiro appeals for Portuguese football to be taken seriously: "... football is an excellent factor of economic and social development that projects Portugal and Portuguese culture internationally."


Mário Jardel, with a hat-trick at the weekend and six goals to his credit, gets optimistic. There are just 15 games left: "Can I score as many as last season? It's difficult to get to 42 but not impossible."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco bemoans his bad luck re injuries: "All I need now is for a player to report in pregnant."


FC Porto coach José Mourinho feels for the 40,000 that had to sit through the FCP v Boavista derby: "Poor people!"


FC Porto coach José Mourinho explains his attitude to Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco after the FCP v Boavista derby. Both coaches had exchanged words in the week running up to the game: "I don't shake hands with people I don't know."


Banner unfurled by the Benfica claque Os Diabos Vermelhos at the Benfica v Ajax friendly. The club's Slovenian midfielder apparently said something incriminating on last weekend's trip to Marítimo. The answer to come at the next home match: "Do you know what Zahovic said about Benfica?"


Portuguese referee Paulo Paraty hints that a referees' strike is a possibility: "Perhaps if people have a weekend without football, they'll have a chance to reflect a little..."


Benfica coach José Camacho learns fast: "Benfica is the club that has the most admirers ... and the club that has the most enemies."


Parma's Brazilian full-back Júnior, a possible reinforcement for Benfica, speaking of the new Portuguese national coach: "Scolari is like a father to me."


Vitória de Setúbal coach Luis Campos, critical of the referee after the Boavista 1-0 Setúbal result: "Portuguese football is garbage ... The stadiums are empty because people don't believe in our football."


Minister of Sport José Luis Arnaut, not completely satisfied with how Euro 2004 is being organised: "I have to admit that there's been some difficulty in having a dialogue with UEFA [over Euro 2004]."


FC Porto react to the police charge on their fans after the Sporting v FC Porto match: "The panic generated by the heavy-handed intervention of the police could have caused another Heysel, in the country which is going to stage Euro 2004."


Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira laments the circumstances of Vitória de Guimarães v Benfica: "I'm deeply concerned ... that a game between second and third in the table should be surrounded by an atmosphere from the third world."



Liga president Valentim Loureiro calls for action over the 'dirty money' scandal: "[If nothing is done] European football will be forced to conclude that Portugal ... is a common banana republic."


Sporting president Dias da Cunha stirs the 'dirty money' scandal currently brewing: "There's a lot of money passed under the table in football, there's a lot of creative accounting and there's a lot of dirty money."


Home Secretary Nuno Magalhães seeks to reassure us that there will be effective security at EURO 2004: " ... there isn't going to be any civil war."


Asked about a possible transfer out of the Luz, perhaps Benfica's star winger Simão Sabrosa doth protest too much ...: "I have no offers, and at this moment I have no intention of leaving Benfica. I haven't received any proposals and even if any come in, I'm not leaving"


Those hoping that referee José Pratas would reveal, at the moment of retiring, the reason for the occasional apparently partial performance were disappointed: "I'll continue, as I've always done, to support my team, which is, and will always be ... the referees."


Bobby Robson on Benfica's alleged offer to take over from Jesulado Ferreira as the club's coach: "They gave me an hour to make a decision. I only needed a minute to refuse their offer."


Benfica defender Argel welcomes the arrival of coach José Camacho: "Before, we only had a horse. Now we've got a horse and a jockey."


Benfica's midfielder Petit, sent-off with Quaresma in just another friendly Sporting-Benfica derby: "Ricardo Quaresma came in hard and when I protested, he head-butted me."


Beira-Mar's Ricardo Sousa comes over all bitter after his team go down 2-3 to a late penalty at Belenenses: "I have a family to support, and the referee picked my pocket in the last minute of the match."


Challenged about the size of National Coach Felipe Scolari's salary, FPF president Gilberto Madaíl gets a little defensive: "It isn't normal for us to reveal the salaries of our coaches and staff, just as it isn't normal to know this about companies."


Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni turns on the gamesmanship ahead of the Sporting v Benfica clássico at the weekend: "Benfica are the technically in Portugal, and they have a squad full of stars."


Press release from Benfica, referring to perceived prejudice in terms of refereeing decisions: "The club is fed up and can no longer tolerate hearing that to err is human since to err so much is clearly inhuman."


Sporting's Ricardo Sá Pinto after a punch up in training with his team-mate Rui Jorge: "Rui is like a brother to me."


Sporting winger Ricardo Quaresma, apparently underwhelmed by the reported interest of the Big Boys in his services: "Manchester United? Juventus? ... What I want at this moment is to play for my club, continue to progress and ... one day we'll see."


Boavista president João Loureiro adjusts the club's ambitions downwards: "No one heard me say at the beginning of the season that we were candidates for the title ..."


Sports Minister José Luís Arnaut is optimistic that EURO 2004 will leave an awful lot of people with a positive impression of Portugal: "Ten billion people are going to see our organisational ability."


Varzim president Luís Oliveira, upset that Benfica are blaming the referee for the 2-1 defeat by his club: "Benfica are bad losers."


Marítimo president Carlos Pereira after João Pinto's dive had central defender Mitchell van der Gaag sent off on Friday. The expulsion turned the game Sporting's way: "If need be, I'll make a collection to help João Pinto build a swimming pool at his house."


Felipe Scolari gets ever nearer to the Selecção: "On a scale of 0-10, the chances of us reaching an agreement are 8."


Front page headline in A Bola. Benfica are in a a press blackout, but several players went into the studios Thursday to record a song for a CD by one of the club's claques. "They don't talk ... but they do sing."


The Santa Clara board get behind their coach ... for now. The team are bottom of the SuperLiga: "At this moment, Manuel Fernandes has the full support of the board."


It's all gloom in the Segunda, according to Chaves president Castanheira Gonçalves: "It's the biggest crisis ever. If urgent measures are not taken, it will be the end."


Boavista president João Loureiro ahead of the Second Round second-leg UEFA Cup tie at Anorthosis Famagusta of Cyprus. (The club has had a poor start to the season): "I believe that this game is going to be a turning point for us."


Belenenses coach Marinho Peres after his side went down 1-3 at Gil Vicente: "I don't underststand why they don't give penalties in favour of Belenenses, but whatever ... A hug for everyone."


Paços de Ferreira coach José Mota after his side shipped seven at Benfica: "Today we were the Santa Casa da Misericórdia." (The Santa Casa is a national charitable institution)


Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni, asked if Sporting can win the title again given the five-point distance between them and FC Porto: "Next question please ..."


President of Brazilian side Vasco da Gama, Eurico Miranda, asked for his opinion about Luiz Felipe Scolari as possible coach of the Portuguese national team: "He earns too much, he's not Portuguese and he's stroppy."


Former Sporting and FC Porto coach Octávio Machado gets ironic over the FPF's opinion that a foreign coach is the best option for the national side: "I think we need to hire foreign administrators for the Portuguese game."


Luís Figo denies that he was given cloves of garlic as a performance- enhancer during the World Cup: "I don't believe that garlic helps you to play well and win games."


Académica president Campos Coroa makes the defence for his club against suspicion of money-laundering, rife throughout Portuguese football: "We don't launder money here at Académica because ... well ... there isn't any."


Gil Vicente coach Vítor Oliveira, prophetic ahead of his team's 3-0 win at Alvalade: "To win any points (against Sporting), we have go to the limits of committment and concentration and hope that Sporting have a bad day."


President of the Liga, Valentim Loureiro, responding to charges that Portuguese football is rife with corruption: "The fact that there are corrupt people in football does not mean that the whole of football is corrupt, ditto other areas."


Mário Jardel's wife Karen, ostensibly the reason for her husband's recent depression and absence from the game, at her 31st birthday party: "I'm very happy to be here at Jardel's side. Everything's back to normal."


FC Porto president Pinto da Costa calls for clarity over the clubs' tax situation: "If there are nine clubs behind with their taxes, the tax authorities should say which ... if not, someone could say that three of you journalists are pickpockets, and I'd be suspicious of all of you.".


Boavista ´keeper Ricardo explains what happened between him and Sporting's Chilean defender Contreras in the tunnel at half-time of last weekend's Boavista v Sporting. Contreras had just done a fine impression of a sack of spuds to win a penalty for Sporting: "All I said to him was to go and take dives in his own country."


President of the Liga , Valentim Loureiro: "Portuguese football continues to be the scapegoat for everything bad that happens in the country."


Boavista president João Loureiro after Boavista go down to Sporting, allegedly with help from the referee: "Portuguese football is - as the president of Sporting says and I agree - a great big lie."


Columnist Miguel Sousa Tavares in A Bola, after the FC Porto v Benfica 'clássico' that had 35 minutes actual play and 73 (!!) fouls: "This has been a depressing week for those who like football, and for those who think that the essential thing about football is that it should be a spectacle worth watching."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco ahead of the vital game with Sporting: "If necessary, we'll go back to the way we used to play, committing any foul that's necessary."


União de Leiria captain João Manuel gets diplomatic ahead of the game with FC Porto and their star Brazilian midfielder: "Deco's an artist at diving."


Prime Minister Durão Barroso, shadow PM at the time of the decision to stage EURO 2004 in Portugal: "If I had been Prime-Minister, there would never have been a EURO 2004 in Portugal."


Vitória de Guimarães coach Augusto Inácio after his team go second in the SuperLiga: "How far can we go in the SuperLiga? We're humble - we'll take each game as it comes."


Former FPF vice-president António Boronha commenting on negotiations to cut a tax deal for national team players: "The players of the Selecção cannot be regarded as the elephant at the zoo whose trunk you put a coin in to ring a bell."


Boavista president João Loureiro backtracks after severing ties with local rivals FCP in the wake of the painting by FCP vandals of the black Boavista panther blue prior to the Boavista v FC Porto derby in September: "Relations with FC Porto are not cut ... merely suspended."


Luís Figo, in protest at a perceived lack of coordination behind the scenes of the national team: "I have my prestige, and if coming to the national team means losing it, I'd prefer not to come."


Referee José Carvalho didn't see Vitória de Guimarães coach Augusto Inácio take his players off for nine minutes in protest at the referee's performance in a friendly with São João de Ver: "What? Did something happen? I didn't see anything."


Benfica's new president Luís Filipe Vieira traces Benfica's medium-term objectives: "We believe it's possible to reach the total of half a million paid-up members. That's our objective."


FPF president Gilberto Madaíl on being asked what is wrong with Portuguese football: "It's all down to a fragile financial structure and a lot of people talking at the same time."


Luis Figo on the delay in appointing a permanent national coach: "This situation is something that should have been sorted out ages ago - we're wasting time."


Mário Jardel's estranged wife Karen in supportive mood: "I'm absolutely certain that Jardel will be the top scorer in Europe again."


Boavista Vice-President Tavares Rijo: "As long as we don't have an unexpected earthquake, the Estádio do Bessa will be inaugurated on August 1st, 2003."


Benfica's Simão Sabrosa calls for unity following a couple of hiccups in the club's SuperLiga campaign: "All for one and one for all - that's the motto of our club."


FC Porto coach José Mourinho gets logical after the 1-1 draw at Beira Mar: "What could we have done to win? Scored more goals than Beira-Mar."


Vitória de Guimarães coach Augusto Ignácio after his side go equal top following a 5-0 roasting of Santa Clara: "The buzz around the team is fantastic, but don't ask for the Moon and the Earth at the same time. Take it easy!"


Sporting Braga coach Fernando Castro after the 2-3 defeat at Belenenses: "Playing with two, three or 18 central defenders would have been the same - we defended really badly."


National Team Coach Agostinho Oliveira on the need for hard work in the National Team: "Next to the player that wears a dinner suit to go to the casino there has to be one that wears overalls."


Leixões president José Manuel Teixeira ahead of the second leg of the team's tie against PAOK - Leixões eventually lost on aggregate: "The players have to die on the pitch!"


Famous last words (?) of União de Leiria captain Bilro in support of coach Manuel Cajuda. UdL have had an horrific start to the season: "The team has been, and will continue to be, with the coach."


Maria José Morgado, former Assistant Director of the Judicial Police, to national daily O Público: "Football is a world of money-laundering."


Mário Jardel, questioned about his fitness on his return to Sporting, reduces the striker's role to its bare essentials: "I don't have to run much - what I have to do is score goals."


Paços de Ferreira's Renato Queiros, scorer of his side's second goal in the 3-1 win over Boavista. Two months ago, he was playing in the Segunda B. "I'm not going to be able to get to sleep tonight."


Sporting's Mário Jardel on his return to the Sporting fold: "Jardel is a human being, made of flesh and blood like any other. The best thing for me is to train again."


After the team's patchy start to the season, Man Utd's David Beckham diverts criticism away from Portuguese coach Carlos Queiróz: "When new coaches arrive at clubs like Manchester United, they have to win the respect of the players; Carlos Queirós already has that respect."


Benfica coach Jesualdo Ferreira on FCP coach José Mourinho, who has criticised the 'help' Benfica have been getting from referees: "It's strange, but the coach of FC Porto talks more about my team than he does about his."


Sporting forward Luís Filipe opens up a door for Jardel to return: "Jardel did nobody any harm, and nobody in the group did him any harm, so there are no anti-bodies with respect to him."


Headline in A Bola. Sporting's ´keeper Nélson was the only one in the side given any merit in the 0-0 home draw with Varzim: " 'Admiral' Nélson saved from the shipwreck."


Vitória de Guimarães president Pimenta Machado after
his side lost 0-2 to FC Porto:
"It's impossbile for Guimarães to be amongst the leaders. If there were seriousness and truth we'd be able to try."


Marítimo coach Nelo Vingada after his side went down 0-5 at home to Vitória de Setúbal: "The performance was too bad to be true!"


União de Leiria coach Manuel Cajuda, not happy with the referee of Benfica 3-1 UDL. Viseu is referee Isidoro Rodrigues' home town: "We made one mistake - we didn't read the Viseu version of the FIFA rules."


Luís Figo on football to Spanish sports paper Marca: "The world of football is very false ... When I hang up my boots, I'm going to enjoy my family, give it the time I can't give it now. And, if I can, get away from football, do something that has nothing to do with football."


Carlos Silva, the new man in charge of Portugal's national teams, on whether stand-in national coach Agostinho Oliveira will continue: "Sometimes competence is not enough."


Gilberto Madaíl, president of the Federação Portuguesa de Futebol, ahead of his inevitably triumphant march to renewal of power at the FPF: "The ship (the FPF/ Selecção after Korea) got holed, and the captain was the only one who stayed on board ... after a few rats left the ship, I have to put the national team back on course ... which has already happened with the game against England ... Of course I'd like to have Eriksson in charge of the national team, but I can't."

Artur Jorge on his withdrawal from the race for the presidency of the FPF: "We weren't defeated. But the Portuguese who like football were."

Rui Alves, president of Marítimo's local rivals Nacional: "Marítimo's president is a thief and the coach is a clown."


Moreirense coach Manuel Machado, fuming after his side was marginally beaten by Benfica (2-3) in a game with some controversial refereeing decisions: "This was a disgrace! This way football is never going to get straightened out. But I have to be politically correct, therefore ... everything was fine, great, marvellous, fantastic ... Benfica won and remain at the top ... I have other things to say, more interesting things, but I don't have enough money to pay the fines. I'm the coach of Moreirense. If I was the coach of Benfica, then maybe I would have ..."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco, asked about a possible crisis at the club after a poor start to the season: "What crisis!?"


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco finds sinister contributions (from the referees) to the Portuguese clubs' failure to qualify for the Champions League: ""I'm not trying to make excuses, but I think that from what we've seen in these ties involving Portuguese teams, Portuguese football is suffering the consequences of what happened [in disciplinary terms] at EURO 2000 and the World Cup."


Benfica's Director of Communication, João Malheiro, commenting on Sunday's torrid FC Porto v Belenenses: "The Antas Stadium continues to harbour aggression, lies, pressure ... in short acts that aren't, or shouldn't be, part of Portuguese football. These methods belong to someone who has stood still in time."


Boavista president João Loureiro responds, or doesn't, to some gamesmanship by FC Porto coach José Mourinho ahead of the Boavista v FC Porto derby of 02/09: "I do not respond to coaches. At the very most, I would respond to whoever tells these coaches [read FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa] to say what they say, but I don't even do that because I hold them in the utmost contempt. They are people, as far as I'm concerned, who have absolutely no morals and who have done football and sport too much harm already for me to give them any importance."


A Bola 's comic strip Barba e Cabelo ('Beard and Hair') on the first day of the season.
(Customer): Football's back! The first game of the championship starts at 9 o'clock!
(Barber): We're just a few hours away from blaming the first referee of the season ...


Pinto da Costa, sarcastic as usual, commenting on the possibility of TV pundit Pôncio Monteiro being a candidate for the presidency of the Portuguese Football Federation: "He will never be president of the FPF: he's much too serious and he's an FC Porto fan."


FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa aims a sharp one at Liga president Valentim Loureiro for not consulting anyone on the sponsorship contract with national oil company Galp for this year's Primeira championship: "It makes no difference to me because I fill up at BP. A few days ago I even brought home a set of scales I got from their points card."


Liga president 'Major' Valentim Loureiro signposts a foolproof way of avoiding paying taxes: "All I know is that for three or four years, Benfica didn't pay any taxes because the then Government and the tax authorities didn't demand it."

Benifica's Director of Football Luís Filipe Vieira is not paranoid, not at all, oh no: "There's a strategy to destroy Benfica, but they're not going to manage it!" (TVI)


FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa denies, in his own inimitable style, that striker Pena is on his way to Brazilian club Flamengo: "It seems that the information is on the Flamengo website, but it isn't on FC Porto's site."


Sporting's new signing from AC Milan, striker Vitaly Kutusov, returns to Lisbon from a flying trip back to Milan: "I went to get some of my belongings, especially my boots."


Benfica coach Jesualdo Ferreira, after his side go down 0-2 to Celta, grabs the wrong end of the stick re Benfiquista expectations: "I think we had a good game and responded well."


Benfica vice-president Tinoco Faria volleys back over the net at FC Porto president Pinto da Costa: "He puts one in mind of an aged Tin Tin, bald and unfunny."


Luís Figo comes over all magnanimous, almost two months after the World Cup finished: "If I was named as one of the people who were mainly at fault for the Selecção's bad campaign, I'd have no problem in giving up my place in the team to someone who could do better. I think that national interests are above the personal interests of each player."

Current president Gilberto Madaíl scoffs at the apparent support for rival Pôncio Monteiro in the upcoming elections for Federation president: "This support is a mystery. It's like the mystery of faith. We catholics believe that there are mysteries that are not there to be understood but to be accepted."


Benfica's vice-president Tinoco Faria joins in the free-for-all surrounding Benfica's financial situation, taking a poke at FC Porto president Pinto da Costa: "Some people, for example, had in the accounts departments of their clubs invoices from referees paid by those clubs, and now they're talking about 'unfair competition'."


FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa takes a customary pre-season swipe at Benfica, still with the controversy in the air of the transfer of Nuno Gomes to the Luz: "Benfica didn't pay its tax for the years 1998 and 1999. The Govenrment and the tax man know this but we, the people, can't do anything about it ... When we were late paying, even the referee's toilet was confiscated."


Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni's famous last words on the absence of his psychologically perturbed striker: "I'm sure that Mário Jardel is going to return."

Sporting president Dias da Cunha reacts to cash-strapped Benfica's signing of Nuno Gomes: "I have no interest whatsoever in other clubs, unless certain behaviour leads to unfair competition, and that's intolerable."

Liga president Valentim Loureiro puts in his two penn'orth on the Nuno Gomes question: "I think it's time directors stopped trying to be close-season champions because afterwards they can't pay the wages."


Boavista president João Loureiro promises the very probably impossible: "From now on I'm going to avoid getting involved in any controversy. We have other worries, namely the economic problems affecting the country."


Mário Jardel fishes for sympathy from the Portuguese in Spanish sports paper Marca: "I want out of here. I can't stand Portugal any more."


Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni reacting to Mario Jardel's taking time off for psychological problems folloowing his break-up with his wife: "Jardel is not ill - if he's ill, even more reason why he should be with us. We haven't changed, and I don't hink he can have changed. The best thing would be for him to train and play with us. His place is here with us."


Nothing like counting your chickens ... Boavista still have to get by (admittedly accessible) Hibernians of Malta in the second preliminary round of the Champions League before they can meet Auxerre in the third preliminary, but that doesn't stop director Paulo Gonçalves getting ahead of himself: "We have the advantage of playing in front of thousands of Portuguese emigrants who live in France, and that will be important for the support of the team."


Benfica's Brazilian defender Argel gets excited about the forthcoming derby game with Sporting: "Benfica have just one thought: training is play and playing is war."


Federação Portuguesa de Futebol president Gilberto Madaíl responds to calls for his resignation from the Parliamentary Commission currently investigating, among other things, Portugal's poor showing in the World Cup: "I'm in a position to be able to run again (for president) because I personally didn't commit any errors (at the World Cup)."


Fernando Barata, president of the Algarve club Imortal, of the Segunda B (third division), reflecting on the close-season clear-out to keep the club afloat financially and give the squad more edge: "We had the courage to keep the kit man and not much else."


Boavista president João Loureiro commenting on the possibility that Benfica could sign midfielder Petit, even though it's common knowledge that Benfica are in dire financial straits: "When there's imagination, there are various possible ways to reach an understanding."


A excerpt from Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni's forthcoming book 'The Notebook', based on the scribblings in his ... notebook: "First training in Rio Maior. I walk out on the pitch to start the session and find an unbelievable situation. What with trainers, doctors, kit-men and directors, there were 17 people on the pitch who weren't players. A catastrophe!"


Brazilian striker Pena, not wanted by FC Porto: "You're going to hear a lot, but a lot, about Pena ..."

08/07/02 (2)

Benfica president Manuel Vilarinho, setting out the club's objectives: "What concerns me most is the financial stability of the club, and then we'll be champions many times. It could be this year. Why not."

Ricardo Rocha, Benfica's new centre back, signed from Sporting Braga: "It's extraordinary being at Benfica."


Abel Xavier, commenting on the story that the Portuguese players wanted their prize-money at the World cup to be tax-free: "Any player would pay to play in the national team. That story of the taxes is nonsense."


Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni on the reasons for João Pinto's attitude in the game against South Korea : "He was suffering from mental and physical fatigue."


International midfielder Paulo Sousa hangs up his boots and alludes to the criticism of his inclusion in the squad for Korea: "[I'm hurt] by the lack of respect and consideration for my past and the dignity that any human being has the right to expect."


Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni, asked what he was going to do first as he arrived back in Lisbon after holidays: "I'm going to pick up my car, buy some bread, feed the pigeons and then have a sleep."


President of the FPF, Gilberto Madaíl, admitting that António Oliveira had been sent a fax suggesting the rescission of his contract: "This is the only decision we could take, and it's not because of pressure from anyone. The national team coach is António Oliveira, he was a great Portuguese player who played in several clubs, he was a great Portugues coach and he was the coach that took Portugal to EURO '96 and the World Cup 2002, so he is not a person we want to push off the balcony. But the decision is because there are not now the conditions for AO to continue as coach. We will propose an amicable rescission of the contract with regard to the two remaining years as the conditions that are necessary for the fulfillment of the contract no longer appear to exist." (infordesporto)


António Oliveira, national team coach, in a press conference Friday: "My job has always been on the line, and it is now, too. One minute after signing for the Federation my job was on the line, because that's the way I am ... I'm not going to offer my resignation because that would be an act of cowardice ... I signed a four-year contract with objectives, like taking the team to the World cup. So I'm fulfilling, as far as possible, what was programmed."

António Boronha, ex-Vice-President of the FPF, the day after the FPF emergency meeting to look into the national team's failure in Korea. He was responding to FPF President Gilberto Madaíl's accusation that Boronha's report on the campaign was "full of falsehoods": "This was an attempt at inconsequential whitewashing. What interests the millions of fans who felt frustrated is a categorical response about whether this coach (António Oliveira) is any good or not. What I said in the report is that he isn't."


António Boronha, vice-president of the Football Federation, conmfirming his resignation from the job: "What went wrong with the World Cup? Essentially, the homework wasn't done ... I'm not a hypocrite. I don't think António Oliveira is in any position to continue as national team coach."


President of Sporting SAD (the commercial side of the club) Miguel Ribeiro Teles, expressing the club's support for João Pinto: "I have no reason not to believe JP's word. The player admits openly that he acted badly and exagerrated in his protests. At that moment he was pushed and that's where the contact with the referee came from. But he denies any physical aggression."

Dias de Cunha, president of Sporting Club: "The short conversation I had with JP served to reinforce my conviction that he is completely innocent in terms of physical aggression ... It is not going to be possible to prove that there was any physical agression on the part of JP."

A press release from the Portuguese Players Union: "We ask everybody involved in football, in particular the press, to have the necessary serenity to wait for the process to unfold, avoiding a public trial of the player, which would have repercussions on his personal and family life ... We offer the player access to our legal services to guarantee a fair defence and a balanced decision ... We have to remember the unique contriburion of JP to the national team."

Portuguese international referee Vítor Pereira: "I'm sad at the situation ... it puts the good name of the country at risk ... This is the first time ever in the history of the World Cup that a player has assaulted a referee ... People cannot put their heads in the sand and pretend that nothing has happened ... Those responsible for sport in Portugal have to say something because this is a national question. It's a question of sporting culture."

(all quotes translated from infordesporto)


APAF, the Portuguese Referees Association, reacting to the actions of João Pinto in the Korea match and the subsequent passivity of the competent Portuguese bodies: "There can be no sort of solidarity with someone who has this kind of attitude, nor any consideration for someone who calls into question the good name of Portuguese football." (infordesporto)

President of the Liga, Valentim Loureiro, who on Sunday appeared on TV to defend his friend João Pinto, talking about the photo that appeared in 'The Japan Times' apparently showing the player punching the referee in the Korea match: "I don't see any act of aggression. I do see JP's right arm against the referee, and I agree that the player got near the referee when he was protesting, but I still believe that the player did not punch him." (A Bola On-line)

Guus Hiddink, responding to claims that Luís Figo tried to arrange a draw with Korea: "I know Figo well, I have great admiration for his professionalism and for his character, he's a great player and a great man. I'm sure he would be incapable of that." (A Bola On-line)


Coach António Oliveira: "We're all very sad. This wasn't in our plans. We had legitimate ambitions to get through this first phase ... I have to congratulate South Korea ... I also want to say a word about the players, who showed extraordinary stoicism. Nobody should feel disgraced because we gave everything, but through bad luck we didn't get where we wanted to go ... [about the refereeing] It was an unequal struggle for more than 60 minutes. I'd like to say more things ... Nobody would have said that France or argentina would have been knocked out, or that Portugal wouldn't get through ... I'd like to wish South Korea good luck. I think that business was safeguarded, but I don't want to add anything more about this game ... This experience was very rich. We're leaving obviously very disappointed for not achieving our objectives ... Let's think that tomorrow is a new day and that there are worse things than losing and not getting through to the next phase." ( A Bola)

Gilberto Madaíl, president of the Portuguese Football Federation: "Our national team has to know how to leave the big competitions with heads held high. We've been criticised for lack of fair play ... [the situation of João Pinto] is a very serious situation which we will deal with in light of a meeting I've already had with the president of Sporting plc, trying to minimise the effects of an attitude that was spontaneous. I can't hide the fact that the national team has a stigma that comes from other games, notably against France in EURO 2000 ... I've always taken care to warn the coaching staff, as well as the players ... I told the players before the Poland game that we couldn't be stuck, every time we get knocked out of an important competition, with the image of an undisciplined team ... I warned the players, when they met up at the beginning, about the need for them to know how to interpret the concept of fair play ... The coach has not resigned ... but it's a situation that has to be discussed ... We never demanded that we be World Champions, but we had hopes ... of getting as far as we could Mundo ... I'm not a futurologist, but a lot of what will happen will depend on the decisions of the FPF Directors. I had a mandate to contract the coaching staff, and at the time there was no contestation ... I believe the coaching staff gave the national team everything that they knew how to."

Figo: "It wasn't possible to get through to the last 16, but football doesn't stop here. Our careers carry on and we have to keep our heads up and try to do our best in the nnext competitions ... With a bit more luck, things could have been different ... but we never threw in the towel and we could have got the draw ... We're stronger from this experience, but if things continue to happen that go beyond the quality of the work of the team, this will matter little. We were strong in this game and we're going to be stronger still in two years time."

Eusébio: "Everyone who saw the game saw that Portugal were prejudiced. But football's like that ... We're a small country, and that's why we have to suffer this kind of situation. I'm sad because we didn't deserve this."

Captain and central defender Fernando Couto: "We worked hard and faced the game with courage and determination ... Let's just say that this was not our World Cup, but we're aware that this competition needed the Portuguese players."

Striker Nuno Gomes: "I'm sad because this is one of the best groups of players Portugal has ever had. Let's see if in the coming years we can fulfill our dream of being Champions of the World."

Midfielder Paulo Bento: "[When we were down] we went after the result, but we lacked that little bit of luck. This is not an excuse but a fact ... Let's think of what we did wrong, congratulate those that qualified and start thinking of EURO 2004, perhaps preparing things a little differently ... We failed our expectations and those of the Portuguese. We brought with us a hope, and we didn't get to where we wanted through our own fault."

Defender Abel Xavier: For some of us, this was a dream we've had for 11 years. I wanted to have a good World cup after what happened in EURO 2000. But even when I'm in form, there's a question mark over me. I'm going to reflect on this."

Full-back Rui Jorge: "I'm shattered ... Portugal did everything in its power to beat South Korea and get through to the next phase ... If we could have guessed waht was going to happen, maybe we could have taken a few more risks."

Midfielder Petit: "With the sending-off of João Pinto, our mission became more complicated, but we reacted well. We knew the result of the other game and we couldn't just attack willy-nilly. There wasn't any lack of ambition on our part - we even created chances to score at the end - but we weren't lucky."

(all quotes translated from A Bola)


João Pinto (in his World Cup Diary column in A Bola), after the incidents which saw him sent off in the game against South Korea: "It's hard for me to write today ... I'm very sad, desolate even, but I don't want to run away from my responsibilites. And I assume my mistakes ... I, as well as my teammates, expected much more from Portugal in the competition ... About the incident in the game [the tackle that got him sent off], I think it was a normal situation. In fact before that moment, there had been a very similar tackle on me that got a yellow card from the referee. So there were double standards ... The incident that in the referee's opinion was worth a sending-off was a result of my commitment, not for protesting, but for challenging for the ball ... I think I was wrongly sent off. My intention was to play the ball, not to hurt anybody. If there had been any other intention in my mind that wasn't to play the ball, the Korean player wouldn't have been able to continue ... The situation [of a possible ban] worries me ...because it won't be a ban for just one match but several ... I'm sure that I'm not going to sleep tonight ... I'm sad, very sad, that we're out of a competition that we put a lot into, but this World Cup is not just one to forget. It's also one to remember."


Coach António Oliveira, on the eve of the last group game against South Korea: "I'd say that these are the most important 90 minutes of the whole of our sporting lives ... We will never again have these 90 minutes, nor this opportunity ... It's unique ... This game is for champions. If we win it, we haven't won anything, but if we lose it, we lose it all." (infordesporto )


João Pinto ahead of the Korea game Friday: "It isn't only possible to repeat the commitment of the Poland game, it has to be that way. Above all, the team needs to be organised like in the last game and enter with the intention of winning ... Korea have evolved a lot in recent years, they're well trained and very organised ... I don't like it that my name is always mentioned as the one to be left out of the starting line up - I had a good season." (infordesporto)

Rui Jorge: "We're going to be up against a very quick and organised side. They're bound to cause us a lot of problems ... If we can keep possession of the ball and control the game, it doesn't much matter if they're very fast. above all, the important thing is for us not to be caught out on the counter attack ... We're fine mentally. This is a very important game in our careers and we're going into it with a lot of ambition." (infordesporto)

Federation president Gilberto Madaíl: "Beating Korea - if you'll excuse me - is our obligation because we have a better and more mature team and our players have a lot of international experience." (infordesporto)

Korea coach Guus Hiddink wants his side to emulate Denmark's attitude against France: "They weren't afraid of their opponents, despite them being World Champions. They respected them, but they did not fear them, showing great character against a team made up of great stars ... We want to approach the game with Portugal with the same attitude ... If we've improved in recent months it's above all down to the fact that we don't fear anyone any more ... I'm confident that our battling character will be enough to get at least a draw." (infordesporto)


Front-page headline of tabloid 24 Horas: "The Pope is Polish ... but God is Pauleta"

Hat-trick hero Pedro Pauleta after the 4-0 win over Poland: "I still dream of the possibility of being the top scorer, but the important thing is for us to go through ... Korea are very fast. It's going to be difficult game that can be decided by an individual touch ... The team gave its all against the USA and Poland, but against the USA we made more mistakes ... When we win, everyone wins, and when we lose, everyone loses. We all make mistakes and we're all good and just because I scored three goals doesn't mean that the victory was down to me because the important thing is always the team."


António Oliveira, coach, ahead of the decisive Portugal v Poland game, Monday: "We have no alternative but to win this game to then think about the other and then guarantee our passage to the next phase. With the habitual commitment of all and the will to win and achieve our objectives, we'll face this game with a very great sense of responsibility."

Figo, ditto: "Everybody is aware of the crucial moment we're at, and more than anyone we want to be in the next phase. Nobody's here to lose. We're here to win ... and everyone is fully aware of what's at stake tomorrow ... I think that the team is fit. It's normal and I don't see any physical problem compared to the other teams. If we weren't fit, we wouldn't have managed to take the game to the USA in the second half ... Personally I'm fine, and I don't think it's because of fitness that we're not going to be able to win the game."

Captain Fernando Couto, ditto: "Continue to have confidence in us!"


Jorge Andrade, central defender of FC Porto who came on for Jorge Costa in the second half of the USA game: "I always feel that I'm an option. I try to be, but it's up to the coach to decide who plays. We'll see ... At the end of the first game, we played as we did due to the score. The team rarely plays like that ... We're all concentrated and motivated to get a positive result against Poland ... The game against the USA had hardly ended and we wanted to play the next game to wipe out the negative image that we'd left ... Emmanuel Olisadebe is a very quick forward that could cause us problems, but we have to respect the Polish team as a whole ... To win we have to be at our best level. It helps to see how the other teams play, but if we don't play well, it's not the way the opposition play that's going to change anything." (infordesporto)


Luís Figo:"It's not going to be easy for us, but we've told ourselves that we still depend only on ourselves to reach the next phase. We have to be realistic: things are complicated, but while there's still a chance ... Let no one doubt that Portugal is still well and truly alive in this World Cup ... We've analysed the mistakes we made and we've talked about how not to make them again in the two games left ... I'm not happy because we lost, but I'm happy because I didn't feel any pain. It's the first time for months that I've played 90 minutes and finished without pains in my ankle. For me it was a test, and my ankle stood up to it. I've recovered!" (infordesporto/ Marca)

Sérgio Conceição: "We thought the game was going to be easy, and the people in Portugal also imbued us with this spirit, but in truth a game in the World cup is never easy ... Independently of whether I'm picked for the next game or not, we all have to row in the same direction, and if I'm the one chosen to sit on the bench, I'll respect the decision of the coach." (infordesporto)


Gilberto Madaíl, Portuguese Football Federation president: "Only with blood sweat and tears will we be able to achieve our first objective ... I've spoken to the players and they said they're going to do everything possible to win the two games ... I ask the Portuguese not to abandon us, not to stop supporting us."


Reactions to Portugal's 2-3 defeat at the hands of the USA. ( translated from infordesporto)

Coach António Oliveira: "That's the World Cup for you! ... The USA gave us a lot of trouble ... We also had some bad luck with the chances we created and missed ... The USA were physically strong and very good on the counter attack ... Nothing is lost, but we have to win the next two games ... Both the USA and Korea had six months to prepare for this competition ... It just needed a bit of luck for the Portuguese team to come out of this game with a draw, which would have been fairer."

Figo: "We had a terrible first half and suffered because of our own mistakes, which you pay for in top competition ... The opposition were very good tactically and knew how to take advantage of our mistakes and scored at crucial moments ... When you score more you end up winning ... Now we have to win the next two games and get the calculators out."

Fernando Couto, Captain: "We were at fault in the way we were three down so early ...We tried to react but we didn't play intelligently and it all got complicated ... Now we're going to try to recover, and for that we need to win the next two games."

Beto (scorer of Portugal's first goal): "We knew that there were no easy teams in the final phas of the World cup and we never underestimated the USA. The two next games aren't going to be easy either, but we're going to approach them with optimism."

Nuno Gomes, brought on ten minutes from time to reinforce the attack: "It's the trainer's shout to decide who he thinks is best for the team ... obviously I wanted to come on earlier ... When I came on we were already out of steam. There was nothing much we could do, and everything we did came more from the heart than the head ... Perhaps they were better prepared than us."

Durão Barroso, Prime Minister: "It's at time like these that we see what the great teams are made of ... We almost recovered. If the game had been 15 minutes longer we would have."



"I prefer the smell of sweat to the smell of the Chritmas tree" Sporting coach Bölöni, worried that his players are relaxing too much at the festive season.


"Happy Defeat" - Front page headline of A Bola following Boavista's 0-1 defeat in Kiev in Group B of the Champions League. It was not enough to prevent Boavista from progressing to the next phase, at the expense of Dortmund, who lost 0-2 at Liverpool.


Boavista's Alexandre Goulart plays down the on-paper superiority of Liverpool ahead of the Champions League game between the two teams this week: "On the pitch, there are no differences. Salaries don't play. It's eleven against eleven; everyone has two legs, two arms, two shoulders and a nose. It's a question of will.

A Bola's headline for the 6-2 thrashing by Beira Mar of Alverca: "With missiles and ground troops."

A Bola's headline for Varzim's 2-0 defeat of Farense, played out in torrential rain: "A game for (frog) men"


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco has a new tactic to deal with the 2.2m of Borussia Dortmund's Jan Koller: "I've told my players to bring in high-heeled shoes from home."


FC Porto coach Octávio Machado is pretty chuffed after FC Porto beat Rosenberg away in their first Champions League outing: "I dedicate this victory to anyone who's as happy as me."


FC Porto coach Octávio Machado comes over all mysterious after his team's 0-0 draw in the clássico with Benfica at the Luz. He criticised "... the little figures that the media turn into big figures - Those are the Bin Ladens of football and they aren't players, coaches, refs or directors, but their days are numbered in football ... You know who I'm talking about!" (?)


Varzim coach Rogério Gonçalves despondent after his side go down 1-5 at home to to Belenenses: "Sometimes you just feel like saying sorry!"

Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni refuses to comment on the upcoming Benfica v FC Porto clássico: "They're not our direct rivals - they have more points than us."

"A classic is a classic ... and vice-versa." Mário Jardel, still at Grêmio of Porto Alegre before coming to Portugal (futebolcia)

"My club was on the edge of a precipice, but I took the right decision ... I took a step forward." João Pinto, while still at Benfica. (futebolcia)


Boavista president João Loureiro speaking before his club's historic Champions League match against Liverpool (the first time Boavista had played a competitive game on British soil), just hours after the terrorist action in the USA that killed thousands: "The result of the game, whatever it is, is not going to be able to raise my morale. It's irrelevant in the face of what has happened in the world."


Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco, whose team were well favoured by refereeing decisions in the opening game of the season (3-0 v Beira-Mar) speaks out against overreaction to refereeing mistakes (Change of opinion to be monitored later in the season): "Above all, we have to maintain our dignity ... directors always arrange ways to camouflage results."

U-21 international Cândido Costa responds to reports in Marca that he had bitten Spanish defender Carlos Marchena in a friendly: "No, I don't think I've become a cannibal yet!"


(National coach António Oliveira loses it in the wake of the Fernando Couto suspension scandal and prior to the vital World Cup qualifier in Ireland): "It's no more than a plot by the FIFAs and UEFAs of this world - no more than a mafia-like orchestration ... FIFA have removed a card from our house and made it collapse ... but we're going to go out there and win this game because on the pitch we'll know how to deal with a team of 11, 12 or 14 (?) ... I hope that FIFA takes the same stand against Ian Harte (who said he was going to stop Figo any way he could) ... whatever, we've been vaccinated against rabies ... (!?)"


"If we win against Alverca then we will automatically be champions." (Boavista midfielder Petit gets prematurely optimistic - there will still be four games left after Alverca, and the last one is at FC Porto, only four points behind as at 22/04/01)


"THERE IS A GOD!" (A Bola's front page headline after the miraculous comeback of the national side against Holland, 2-2)

(Eusébio commenting on the same game): "The Boys showed tonight that we can be World Champions."

(Boavista's Bolivian star midfielder Erwin Sanchez, 31): "I'd like to end my career at Boavista."


(Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco gets a touch of the sour grapes after his side are splashed out of the Taça de Portugal at the semi-final stage by Marítimo): "Boavista have been prejudiced for a long time and today the refereeing influenced, and how, the result. Maybe the referee needed some holidays in Madeira (home of Marítimo)."

(Paulo Sérgio, Marítimo goalscorer in the 1-0 Taça semi-final victory over Boavista, makes a special dedication and comes over all joy-to-the-world-ish): "I dedicate this goal to Jesus Christ - it's He that gives me the strength and joy to play football ... In a world full of suffering, hunger and anguish, it's good that football brings joy to people."


(Spanish sports daily Marca on the possibility of Sporting defender Beto going to Real): "The fact that in the last few years he's been playing in a minor league like the Portuguese one goes against him." ( maisfutebol)


(Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco changes his tune about playing attacking football): "At this stage (Boavista top after 23 games) points are more important than exhibitions." ( infordesporto)


(Karel Poborsky, now of Lázio, knocks former team Benfica to the Czech press): "I needed a change. I spent three marvellous years there, but on the playing side there was the eternal waiting for my dreams to be realized. Benfica didn't win the title. While I was there they had two presidents and eleven coaches! - that's not the way to build a great team." ( maisfutebol)


(Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco comes over all sweeping): "It's the nation's feeling that it wants Boavista to lose at Braga at the weekend." (and ironic) "Changes in the transfer market will of course keep the best Portuguese, Brazilian and Swedish (?) players away from Portugal. Maybe the quality players will only visit Portugal to pick up their passports."


(João Eusébio, coach of Segunda B side Bragança after they had been knocked out of the Taça de Portugal at the quarter-final stage by FC Porto, and just after he had announced that he was resigning from the post of coach): "Please don't ask me any more questions because if I start to talk a lot I may vomit."


(Benfica coach Toni on Boavista's set-up): "Boavista should be an example to all the country. The sports and financial management carried out at the Bessa deserve all the praise they're getting ... Some people insist on looking at Boavista and Sporting Braga like they were 20 years ago. That time has gone." (maisfutebol)


(FPF President Gilberto Madaíl on the value of EURO 2004): "EURO 2004 doesn't only mean a bit of cash for football. It's an investment for our country, an important event which will be seen by between eight and ten billion people around the world. For a country on the periphery, ths promotion will represent a rediscovery and will do away with the mistake made by some, including Europeans, who still ask if Portugal has the same status as Catalonia." ( A Bola)


(Barcelona's Simão Sabrosa on the birth of his first child, Mariana): "It was the best goal of my career."


(Boavista's Bolivian midfield wizard Erwin Sanchez on why Boavista find themselves at the top of the Primeira at the halfway stage): "Our success is based on the spirit of the group, which is very close. We're very serious about our work, and that's fundamental. And as there's a lot of quality in the squad, we all have to make an effort to justify our place in the team. If not, we're bound to lose our place to a colleague."

(President of the Liga, Valentim Loureiro, dons rose-tinted specs to talk about Football's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize): "This is an honour for all those connected to football. Football is a source of approximation between peoples, countries and continents, independently of race, religious beliefs or language. In a team, whether it be big, medium or small, players of different races and different religious beliefs play together and they're organized by a coaching staff of various nationalities. It's the same situation around stadiums with fans of many different backgrounds living in harmony and fraternity, even though they support different teams." ( diá


(Gilberto Madaíl, the president of the Portuguese Football Federation, reacts to Portugal falling in the UEFA rankings): "This situation reflects the real overall value of Portuguese football ... Unfortunately, the performances of our clubs have not been the best ... We have good players but they're signed by other countries ... They're more interested in them abroad than in our country." (diá

(Brazilian Marques, who flunked a Benfica medical because of an allegedly dodgy ankle, talking about the screws therein): "They must be the ones the Directors of Benfica have got missing!" (Placar/ Jornal de Notícias)


(Peter Schmeichel dispels rumours about whether or not he is fully fit): "There has been a lot of speculation while I've been injured. The fact is that the recovery is going really well. I've reached a point where I'm fit to train but not to compete. However, progress has been good, so I hope to play again soon ...To show my appreciation for Sporting, I'd like to announce that I'm taking up the option to renew (for one more season)."


(FC Porto's Yugoslavian forward Drulovic, badly injured a week ago in the Cup match at Felgueiras, pours oil on waters troubled by his club president Pinto da Costa - see 02/01): "I sincerely think that the clash was accidental. I don't believe that it was deliberate or that the Felgueiras player intended to hurt me."


(Boavista president João Loureiro refuses to set the title as a goal. Boavista are just two points behind leaders FC Porto): "Ever since the beginning of the season our goal has been not to win the league but to qualify for Europe, preferably for the Champions League. I know it's not easy to get there. That's why I don't want to pass this responsibility onto the players or the coaching staff because that wouldn't be fair on my part. Each year we get closer to the big clubs and my dream is to catch them up. You can say we're candidates for the title, but we're not." (Rádio TSF)


(Benfica's Director of Communication João Malheiro and Czech player Karel Poborsky talking at cross purposes about the player's transfer to Lazio) (JM): "We regret that no proposal for renewal was presented (by Poborsky) before the start of the season, and we would like to mention that in the last few months we have made contact several times with his agent. We knew that the player was refusing to continue and his transfer safeguards, in part, the interests of Benfica." (KP): "Vale e Azevedo (the previous president) spoke to me several times but they never presented any proposals. Afterwards, the new president arrived and that was the last of it ... I know that António Simões (Director of Football) spoke to my agent the day before yesterday, but that was just to talk about the transfer." ( Infordesporto)


(Bob Haarmms, ex-coach at Ajax and assistant to Van Gaal on Dani, recently sacked by Benfica and signed by Atlético Madrid): "Dani doesn't belong to the world of football ... he would arrive at training late. He was hardly ever able to finish a whole game, and when he did, he'd end up tired out ... A lot of people must be satisfied that he's left Benfica. God help whoever signs him." ( Diário de Notícias)

(Meanwhile, Paulo Futre, Director of Football at the Spanish club, is playing up his new signing): "Dani will be very successful in Spain." (maisfutebol)


(FC Porto president Jorge Pinto da Costa reacts angrily to what he perceived as unpunished aggression against his players in Saturday's cup win over Felgueiras in which Drulovic and Pena needed treatment for bad injuries.): "Of course I'm irritated, because I can't agree with some of the things that I saw here. Drulovic has got teeth broken because he got hit in the mouth when he wasn't even challenging for the ball and Pena had the ligaments in his hand exposed by studs ... it was more like a bullfight out there."

(Felgueiras players Rafael Duarte and captain Rochinha on the same incidents): (RD): "I apologized to Drulovic, but only out of diplomacy - I didn't do anything wrong." (R): "Sr. Pinto da Costa is exaggerating ... If it was us complaining about FC Porto, no one would give us the time of day."



(FC Porto president Jorge Pinto da Costa responding angrily and ironically to news, given out by Portuguese on-line news service diário digital, that ex-Sporting coach Augusto Inácio is to take over from current coach Fernando Santos): "FC Porto have a coach and have no intention of changing. This report has no foundation whatsoever. But as there weren't enough people lying and inventing things, another one's just appeared ... it's a Lie with a capital 'L'" (TVI)


(FC Porto's captain Jorge Costa, responding to stiker Pena's complaints about him - see 23/12): "If there's anyone who can criticize my way of being it's the directors of FC Porto, and if they feel that they don't like my attitude, I won't change the way I am - If they think it's for the best, I'll simply leave." (24 Horas/ Record )

(Pierre van Hooijdonk, commenting on his current situation at Benfica): "I'm not happy in my work. I'm disappointed with my situation and the way they play in Portugal. I haven't been used to the best advantage, rather to the detriment of me and the team ... In terms of quality, I'm better than João Tomás (Benfica's top scorer with ten goals) ... I thought Portuguese football was better ... There are a lot of players who play like 5-a-side players, passing the ball around a lot ... Tactically, Portuguese football is very weak - here they play not to lose, whereas in Holland they play to win ... I'm not saying that I'm going to leave, but if the situation stays like it is, I don't know what I'll do ..." ( Voetbal International/ Record)

(Galatasaray's Brazilian striker Mário Jardel on the continuing story of his move to Benfica): "I can't wait to go and live in Lisbon and play in such a famous club. I'll be disappointed if the transfer isn't sorted out in January." (onefootball/ A Bola)

(Maradona, still simmering over the FIFA prizegiving gala in Rome): "It was a disgrace what they did to Eusébio - they didn't even mention his name, and he was an extraordinary footballer." (A Bola)


(FC Porto's Brazilian stiker Pena on his recent outburst in which he criticized club captain Jorge Costa): "I exploded because of Jorge Costa's attitude ... if the criticism is constructive, I have no problem accepting it. What I can't accept is there being one rule for me, one rule for others ... Why aren't others criticized? Because they're friends of the captain's? I don't understand that and I can't accept it ... What I say is true and I don't retract a word of it." ( A Bola)

(Michel Preud'homme on why he decided to leave Benfica for Standard Liége): "I wasn't essential."

(Dani, ex-Benfica, soon of Atlético Madrid, on his feelings about Benfica, who sacked him for alleged "unprofessional behaviour".): "I was very sad about the way they treated me and the way they handled my situation. I'm hurt because they made me train alone and without the support of anyone. Would I be prepared to return? With this administration - never!" ( A Bola)


(Paulo Madeira, Benfica's Portuguese international defender, just returning after injury to a knee, on Benfica's chances of the title): "Anything's possible. We're nine points behind the top team but there are still 19 games to play and lots of points to play for."


(Sporting president Dias da Cunha on the refereeing in Portugal - On RTP's chat show 'Jogo Falado'): "The championship has been adulterated by the referees. Sporting could be top!"

(Benfica president Manuel Vilarinho responding to ex-coach José Mourinho, who had given a damning interview to sports daily 'Record'): "Mourinho is vain, he has no character and he's a blackmailer ... He knows that he only started getting results once I'd arrived at the club and had paid the players their salaries and match bonuses... Sr. Mourinho is an instrument of the former president, Sr. Vale e Azevedo, who seems to be running an election campaign still..." (And on Sporting's Director of Football Luís Duque): "I don't like rude people and Sr.Luís Duque is rude ... so therefore, I'll never sit at the same table as him again."


(Living legend Eusébio on Figo's awards): "Amália (Fado singer and Portuguese institution who died last year) has gone and I'm going to go one day so it's a good thing that someone like Figo has come along to take over."


(Bruno Ribeiro, formerly of Leeds and Sheffield United, now with União de Leiria, had this to say about his experience of playing in England.): "The first year was very positive, but after George Graham left (Leeds), things got difficult because there were people there who didn't like foreigners very much. We don't have that problem here, fortunately ... I'm not saying that there's racism there, but there is a big difference in the treatment of the foreigners and the English ... Everything went well in the first year, George Graham supported me and all the directors were great. But after they changed the coach, and now at Sheffield, well ... it was just too much. It became unbearable. That's why I decided to return to Portugal and join a great club like União de Leiria."


"TO US YOU'RE THE BEST" (Front page headline of 'A Bola'the day after Figo loses out to Zidane as FIFA's player of the year)

"I wanted so much to win this - for Portugal ... EURO 2000, which lasted a month, carried more weight than a year's work ... Maybe next year!" (Figo)

"If the vote had been via the Internet, maybe Figo would have left here as Number One ... We're happy but we have the feeling that we could have gone one better." (FPF president Gilberto Madaíl)

"Zidane won because Figo isn't French!" (National Team coach António Oliveira)

"It's unjust ... It's a defeat for all of us who saw this year that he was the real world number one." (Rui Costa)

"If Zidane won just because of the European title then his recent sending-offs should also have been taken into account." (Jorge Costa, FC Porto captain and National Team colleague of Figo)

"In terms of productivity over the year, Figo was more consistent and productive than Zidane." (Carlos Queirós, South Africa and ex-Portugal National Team coach)

"It was a great party, but Luís should have won for the night to end on a high." (Eusébio)


"When I got back, I didn't know anything about it." (Sporting president Dias da Cunha returns from a business trip to Mozambique to find that coach Augusto Inácio has been sacked by Director of Football Luís Duque.)


"I wanted to leave early to see the second half on TV at home. It was very noisy in the stadium." (Fluminense midfielder Roger, linked to Benfica, explaining why he left the stadium after being substituted at half time in the Taça João Havelange game against São Caetano. He had to return to the stadium later for a routine doping test.)


"Feher (Braga's top scorer with 11 league goals this season but on the bench for the home cup tie against Second Division B Estoril, which Braga lost 1-2) was in no condition to play, and that can be confirmed by our medical department. Our strategy was to put him on in the dying minutes and he had instructions to go on without the ref's permission so that he'd get his fifth yellow card of the season ... I'm not stupid - if he'd been fit, he would have been in the team." (Braga coach Manuel Cajuda explains some underhand tactics to clear the Hungarian stiker of yellow cards. Feher never did get to come on. The team were booed off the pitch after the unexpected cup defeat.)


"Football is the most important thing among the least important things in life." (Paulo Autuori, coach of troubled Vitória de Guimarães after they lose 0-4 at home to Benfica. Vitória fans protested angrily after the game and Autuori was to lose his job two days later.)

"I know that it's not my place to speak about the fans of other clubs but I have to show my solidarity with Paulo Autuori. I don't understand the reaction of the Guimarães fans towards a great man and professional. I know that if it was the other way around, he would do the same." (José Mourinho, coach of Benfica, after the same game.)

(Press conference with Robert Enke, Benfica goalkeeper - 15/11/00)

"I've never seen an easy week at Benfica, especially not this season ... That (failure to win away) isn't only a problem of this season ... but in fact, we've also had problems at home ... The way we've won has been different from the way Sporting and Porto have won - they win more easily than us ... The main reason is that our squad doesn't have the same quality as Sporting and Porto ... When we go one down, we can't seem to turn it round. That's not good, and it's not the sign of a great team ... In the first eight games last season we let in one goal, this time, even in the pre-season games, we let in a lot, maybe because the defence has been changed a lot ... At this moment, we can't think of being first, or second, in the league ... In Germany, all the players receive their salaries on time - it's a problem that just can't happen. ( Benfica's financial problems are such that in recent seasons, players' pay cheques have always been late in coming through). Whatever, now everything is up-to-date - I have my money, so I'm happier."

(Paulo Futre, Director of Sport of Atlético Madrid, to Spanish sports daily 'La Marca' - 14/11/00 - about the possibility of Portuguese midfielder Hugo Leal returning to Benfica)

"It hasn't even occurred to me to sell Hugo Leal to anybody - not to Benfica, not to any other club ... he'll make history here ... the president (Gil y Gil) will have to explain to me the reasons why he has to sell him. It must be only if it's a matter of life and death."

(Ex-national team coach Humberto Coelho to website - 13/11/00 - stating differences with the Portuguese Football Federation - FPF)

"The FPF does not value national managers ... They are constantly on the look out for quick results and are not prepared to wait for a coach's preparation to bear fruit ... After the defeat by France, they forced me out ... Some of the directors have never supported me."

(Interview with Benfica coach, José Mourinho, 12/11/00, responding to an interview by Egyptian winger Sabry, 11/11/00, both in 'A Bola')

Sabry: Suddenly I started to feel that the present trainer was marginalising me.

Mourinho: Since I arrived, Sabry has started in four games, and would have started tomorrow (against Farense), and has been on the bench three. What would Dudic, Sergio Nunes or Uribe say who have only started in one game?

Sabry: I feel that Mourinho doesn't like me.

Mourinho: I would have preferred it if he had said he doesn't like the coach ... He doesn't know if I like him or not. But I can tell you that it's not easy for a coach to like a player who is off-side an absurd number of times ... who runs away when they show him their teeth when we play away ... who, when I'm a bit more agressive at half-time, he goes running to the technical director and says he's frightened of me!

Sabry: The coach has never spoken to me. I don't think his relationship with me is very correct.

Mourinho: I have a little notebook where I note down all the individual meetings I have with a player. I've had seven meetings with Sabry, three in the last four days. He says I've never spoken to him, but he doesn't like what I say to him.

Sabry: When I go on 15 or 20 minutes from the end, it's difficult to get into the game.

Mourinho: The only game in which he only played 20 minutes was at Paços de Ferreira where, incidentally, he took eight minutes to do his boots up and put his shinpads on! In front of me, all the people on the bench put their heads in their hands.

Sabry: I've never played in my real position. In all the teams I've played in, I've always been a number 10.

Mourinho: He played in that position against Belenenses. In 16 minutes, they had five counter-attacks from balls lost by Sabry.

Mourinho: I want to remind Sabry that this is Benfica, not PAOK Salonika (Sabry's old club) ... As long as the fans want me, the one who gives the orders around here is me.

(Interview with Pierre Van Hooijdonk - A Bola, 09/11/00)

"Benfica is a great club, but that's not enough to win games ... For great clubs with high salaries, the demands and responsabilities are great ... If anyone doesn't have enough personality to bear this pressure, he should choose a smaller club ... A player can't walk about feeling happy with himself just because he didn't play and so wasn't directly responsible for the bad results ... One of the things I've noticed during these months is that they give a lot of importance to individualism. Everybody's happy if they nutmeg an opponent, but the team's the important thing ... I don't want to be a hero ... Sometimes it seems that they do things to get their names in the papers the next day ... Jardel is not what Benfica most need at the moment ... We create very few goal chances. I sometimes feel envious of the chances created by FC Porto ... If Jardel came at the moment, I doubt whether he'd score many goals ... What we need is someone ridiculously fast who can get by defenders, get to the line and cross. In England, I had crosses from all sides, all the time, and here it's the opposite ... Some English clubs have been interested in me, but I told them that I feel good here and that I'm not going anywhere. I'm satisfied with everything except the results ... The fans have to understand that we're probably not going to be fighting for the title ... José Mourinho (coach) is not a magician ... We have to be realists, and the fans do, too ... If it was today, knowing what I know now, I'd still agree to come here."


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