December 21, 2010 / 2:04 AM / 9 years ago

YEARENDER-The sporting year in quotes

LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Sporting quotes from 2010:

WORLD CUP SOCCER

“We feel like a small footballing nation and it hurts. There’s nothing to say other than it’s a catastrophe” - France captain Patrice Evra sums up an embarrassing campaign in which the team finished bottom of their group and created an unseemly sideshow with their protests at the expulsion of striker Nicolas Anelka.

“They don’t want to train, it’s a scandal. I’m resigning, I’m leaving the Federation. I have nothing more to do here. I’m going back to Paris” - France team director and French Federation managing director Jean-Louis Valentin who kept his word after the players boycotted training over the Anelka affair.

“This is not the normal way we deal with our sea creatures. But Paul was one of the most extraordinary animals we ever had. It seems appropriate to build a monument for him because he achieved such fame during his lifetime” - the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre pay tribute to Paul the ‘Psychic’ Octopus who hit the headlines with his accurate World Cup score predictions.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES

“We make a lot of confusion, we love the confusion and we muddle through somehow. If today’s show is any indication, the Commonwealth Games will be great” - V.K. Sikund, a retired railway worker, after the opening ceremony got underway in Delhi despite countless problems in the build-up.

WINTER OLYMPICS

“The International Federation said what happened yesterday was human error. With all due respect...one thing I know for sure is that no sports mistake is supposed to lead to death” - Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili after luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died hours before the Vancouver Games opening ceremony in an horrific training crash.

SOCCER

“It was an unstoppable hug. More than words it was the hug. It was an incredible wedding between us. He (Inter Milan chairman Massimo Moratti) wanted me a few years ago when I was at Chelsea. He tried again and I went and maybe he had a feeling I could give him his dream” - Jose Mourinho after completing a treble with Inter Milan by winning the Champions League.

“To be denying rumours ever day is tough. Boca is like making love with the window open, you don’t have any intimacy” - outgoing Boca Juniors coach Claudio Borghi.

“We were machine-gunned, like dogs. There was blood pouring down the bus” - Togo striker Thomas Dossevi after three people died when separatist rebels in Angola attacked the team bus in January, before the start of the African Nations Cup.

CRICKET

“These players have let us and the country down. We are already facing so many problems because of the floods and terrorism and they took away our one source of happiness” - a Pakistani cricket fan after spot-fixing allegations against Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir emerged in August.

“It’s just another number but it’s nice” - Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar after rounding off a record-breaking year by becoming the first man to score 50 test centuries.

GOLF

“I was unfaithful, I had affairs, I cheated. What I did was not acceptable and I am the only person to blame” - Tiger Woods in his first public appearance since revelations of repeated infidelity caused his spectacular fall from grace late last year. “I brought this shame on myself.”

“To 12 special guys,. I asked them to play with their hearts and with passion and by God they did” - Europe’s Ryder Cup winning captain Colin Montgomerie.

TENNIS

“Nothing like this will ever happen again — ever... It stinks someone had to lose” - American John Isner on his 11-hour-five-minute Wimbledon win over Nicolas Mahut which ended 70-68 in the fifth set.

NBA

“I am going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat” - LeBron James, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the past two seasons, announces in a special live national television broadcast his move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat.

FORMULA ONE

“Not bad for a number two (driver)” - Australian Mark Webber after winning the British Grand Prix having been forced to hand over his car’s new front wing to Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel the day before.

“If Michael wants to go to heaven — in the event that he is going to heaven — then I don’t really care. But I don’t want to go before him” - Brazilian Rubens Barrichello reacts angrily after former Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher tried to drive him off the track at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

RUGBY

“We can’t explain how we collapsed mentally and physically, individually and collectively in the last 30 minutes of the game. I think it’s just impossible to explain the inexplicable” - shellshocked France coach Marc Lievremont after a 59-16 hammering by Australia.

CYCLING

“It’s a case of food poisoning, in which I am the victim. Whether people believe me or not, I know I can hold my head high and I’m not going to hide” - three-times Tour de France winner Alberto Contador on his provisional suspension after a positive doping test.

ATHLETICS

“It was crazy. It was like I didn’t even exist until I beat the world record holder” - former world double sprint champion Tyson Gay, the world’s second fastest man, on public reaction to his 100 metres victory over Usain Bolt.

Compiled by Neil Maidment; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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