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Sports Quotes of 2005

By Pritha Sarkar
December 29, 2005 16:21 IST
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The 2005 sporting year in quotes:


"I am in the news every day. I think they really like my overcoat, they really like my haircut, they really like my face, they really like my behaviour, they really like to talk about me" -- Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho after he was charged by UEFA with bringing the game into disrepute following a Champions League row involving Barcelona.

"People like Mourinho are the enemy of football" -- chairman of UEFA's referees' committee Volker Roth after the Chelsea manager accused Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard of trying to influence referee Anders Frisk during their Champions League match in February. The episode led to Frisk announcing his immediate retirement.

"We didn't have any good luck early on and then we got hit with bad luck" -- Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath after his team won 3-2 in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea but still went out 6-5 on aggregate.

"We lost it in six minutes of madness" -- AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti, whose side lost a 3-0 lead in May's Champions League final when Liverpool scored three goals in six minutes and went on to win on penalties.

"The threat of two-and-a-half years in prison will certainly make one or two people think before trying to influence a football match" -- German football association president Theo Zwanziger after referee Robert Hoyzer was jailed for fixing matches.

"Just because you're paid 120,000 pounds a week and do well for 20 minutes against Spurs, you think you are a superstar" -- Roy Keane criticises Rio Ferdinand and other players in an interview banned by Manchester United's television channel shortly before he left the club after 12 years.

"We thought we had hit the bottom but we saw today that the bottom is even lower" -- coach Stanislav Griga after his Sparta Prague side finished bottom of their Champions League Group B following a 0-0 draw with Switzerland's Thun.

"We were playing football in the garden and I took it past George Best. I stopped and screamed 'I beat George Best, I beat George Best'. Mind you, he was holding a pint of white wine at the time" -- broadcaster Danny Baker remembers playing football against his boyhood idol. Best died aged 59 November after years of heavy drinking.

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"It's not easy waking up every morning having to defend the streak. I feel like I've been playing history not just my opponents" -- world number one Roger Federer after Richard Gasquet snapped his 25-match winning streak at the Monte Carlo Masters.

"I've got no doubt that I feel like I'm the second best player going around right at the moment. It's just that the best player going around is pretty bloody good" -- Andy Roddick after losing his second successive Wimbledon final to Federer.

"I just couldn't lose to a bloke wearing a shirt like that," Lleyton Hewitt following his US Open victory over Dominik Hrbaty, who wore a pink and black shirt with two oval holes cut out of the back.

"I'm the happiest loser in the world today" -- Ivan Ljubicic after his defeat by Slovakia's Hrbaty in the Davis Cup final, which left the Croatian one short of matching John McEnroe's feat of 12 victories out of 12 matches in the Davis Cup. However, Croatia had gone on to win the competition.

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"I've seen nothing to make me change my 5-0 prediction" -- Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath predicts his country will easily retain the Ashes after they won the first Test at Lord's. Australia suffered a 2-1 defeat.

"Warnie dropped the Ashes, la la la la!" -- England's fans chanting in the fifth test after Shane Warne dropped Kevin Pietersen early in a 158-run innings that would ultimately help to draw the match and hand the Ashes to England.

"The one thing we haven't got is a world-class all rounder -- a Flintoff sort of player. Most sides around the world would be looking for someone who can perform as well as Flintoff has with bat and ball" -- Australian captain Ricky Ponting suggesting Andrew Flintoff would be the only opposition player who might get into his side.

"For Muslims there is Mecca and for cricketers there is Lord's" -- Bangladesh spinner Enamul Haque on his team's international debut at Lord's against England.

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"This title is the maximum I can achieve in my life and career. It is every racing driver's dream to be Formula One champion. I am 24 so after this I think there is not much to do. I am the youngest world champion in Formula One and now I need to find new targets because this one is old" -- Renault's new champion Fernando Alonso.

"I have been champion for a long time and I am more surprised by how long it has been. I always knew it would end one day" -- Ferrari's beaten seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher.

"I wouldn't wish anything on anybody, but Alonso could slip over in the bath, couldn't he?" -- McLaren boss Ron Dennis explaining how his driver Kimi Raikkonen could still win the championship against the odds.

"One zigged when he should have zagged" -- Minardi spokesman on a collision between Chanoch Nissany, the first Israeli to drive a F1 car, and Dutch team mate Christijan Albers during a Minardi test at Mugello on an otherwise empty circuit.

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"I don't think it's impossible to catch Tiger but it's close to impossible" -- Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal on Tiger Woods after the American won his 10th major at the British Open.

"I've been criticised for years now, for the last couple of years. Why would I change my game? This is why. First, second and first in the last three majors, that's why" -- Tiger Woods said after picking up his second major of the year at St Andrews having gone through a lean spell in 2003 and 2004 while he rebuilt his swing.

"My first priority is school and hopefully I'll be able to graduate from high school in the future" -- American teenager Michelle Wie when she announced her decision to turn professional in October.

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"With the birth of my kids, I think this is the most wonderful day of my life" -- Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen after his team won the World series for the first time in 88 years with a 4-0 sweep over Houston Astros.

"I felt all 88 of those years" -- White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

"They were four great games -- unless you're an Astros fan" -- Houston's Craig Biggio.

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"We started at the bottom of the mountain with everyone else and we're happy to get to the top" -- coach Bill Belichick after the New England Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years.

"He's like a mad scientist with some of these guys. Most coaches will correct mistakes after they see the film of the game. Hell, he corrects mistakes on the field right away" -- Gene Upshaw, the head of the NFL Players Association, on Belichick.

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"This goes to show that the no one knows how fast a man can run" -- Jamaican Asafa Powell after he unexpectedly lowered the world record in Athens in June to 9.77 seconds.

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"Soon Lance Armstrong will be an ex-champion and I will be sitting on a couch with a beer in my hand, thrilled by the feats of the new generation" -- American rider Bobby Julich on the future of the Tour de France just as Lance Armstrong was about to win his seventh title in July.

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"It is a momentous day for London. It is not often in this job that you get to punch the air and do a little jig and embrace the person standing next to you" -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics.

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"In many ways he is still a child. He is pure in his motives and character. He's the most complex guy to handle but he's just so damn good" -- US head coach Phil McNichol on Bode Miller, who became the first American man in 22 years to win the overall Alpine ski World Cup but also upset officials by saying performance-enhancing drugs might improve the safety of tired ski racers.

"I've given up everything that may get in the way of this aim. I've even decided that I won't drink a single drop of alcohol before the Games. Neither beer, nor champagne -- nothing" -- Russian figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko on his preparations for next February's Winter Olympics, where he is favourite to win the men's title.


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