Foot-in-mouth disease common

AFP's Ryland James selects the best 2007 sports quotes:

AFP's Ryland James selects the best 2007 sports quotes:


"It was a beautiful and rich period of my career. I want to thank all Chelsea FC supporters for what I believe is a never-ending love story." - Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho gushes after he was dismissed by the English club in September.

"I want to leave Chelsea. Something is broken with Chelsea. The damage is big in the dressing room." - Chelsea striker Didier Drogba after Mourinho's sacking.

"I am a Chelsea player and will be 100 percent committed and supportive to my manager, my teammates and the club." - Drogba does a sharp U-turn just days later.

"Gentlemen, if you want to write whatever you want to write, you can write it because that is all I am going to say. Thank you." - England manager Steve McClaren who walked out of a press conference after his side struggled to beat Andorra.

"I have huge disappointment for the nation and fans. But I will learn from my failure." - McClaren again after he was sacked in November.

"To be the England manager you must win every game, not do anything in your private life and hopefully not earn too much money." - Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"You know, omelettes, eggs? If you have no eggs, you have no omelette. And it depends upon the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have Class One, Two and Three eggs. Some are more expensive and make better omelettes. So when Class One eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem." - Mourinho again, while still coach at Chelsea, getting his metaphors scrambled.

l Formual One

"I'd be delighted if I didn't carry on with Hamilton." - two-time world champion Fernando Alonso shows there was no love lost between him and Lewis Hamilton before the Spaniard quit McLaren to race for Renault.

"I found myself a passenger, which was strange enough, but having 'Schumi' behind the wheel was incredible. He drove at full throttle around the corners and overtook in some unbelievable places." - German taxi driver Tuncer Yilmaz was stunned when seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher took the wheel of his cab on a mad dash to the local airport.

l Tennis

"I find this accusation so horrendous, so monstrous, that I have decided to confront it head-on by talking to the press. I am frustrated and angry. I believe that I am absolutely, 100 percent innocent. I assure you: I have never taken drugs." - Martina Hingis after she failed a drugs test at Wimbledon this summer.

"I'm really happy. It's been in some ways a breakthrough year for me." - Roger Federer who took his Grand Slam collection to 12, two short of Pete Sampras' record.

lRugby Union

"I don't think anyone outside the squad gave them a cat in hell's chance of doing anything at all, but they were right in the game until the final whistle." - England coach Brian Ashton after his side shocked the rugby world - and themselves - to reach the World Cup final.

"It was an extremely quiet dressing room, and understandably so." - Australian captain Stirling Mortlock after England's shock 12-10 World Cup win.

"I'm lost for words. We lost our composure but I thought we could get it back. I can't explain it. It's a day you try to forget." - New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was shell-shocked after his side were beaten by France in the quarterfinals.

"Head coach of the England team demands management skills that Brian does not have. Somehow we'd managed to turn our World Cup campaign into a Monty Python sketch - called The Life of Brian." - England's Lawrence Dallaglio was less than flattering about Ashton in his book.

l Cricket

"As far as I'm concerned, I want to sleep on what I'll do, and what I want to do in the future in terms of cricket. I don't think that just because I've lost this game, I'm any different as a cricket coach." - Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer shortly before he died in March after his side were beaten by minnows Ireland and knocked out of the World Cup in the West Indies.

"I'm embarrassed and ashamed. It shouldn't have happened. Being left out for these reasons is something I'm upset about and I never want it to happen again." - Andrew Flintoff on his late-night antics that saw him sacked as England vice captain after he fell off a pedalo following a drinking session.

l Athletics

"I have two strikes. I am on the final line, I am on the wire. My two are for being lazy. It was while the system was brand new and they should have given us a bit of leniency. I think it's a rubbish system." - British sprinter Mark Lewis-Francis gives his opinion on the drugs testing system. One more missed test and he earns a one-year suspension.

"It is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust." - US athlete Marion Jones retires after pleading guilty to lying about her steroid use and was stripped of her five medals she won at the 2000 Olympics. - Sapa-AFP