Zlatan Ibrahimovic: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Zlatan Ibrahimovic considers himself a towering personality.

English: Zlatan Ibrahimovic during 2009 FIFA C...
English: Zlatan Ibrahimovic during 2009 FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What he said:

“The next step? I don’t know … Maybe replacing the Eiffel Tower with an Ibrahimovic statue …”

Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was in high spirits on becoming only the second soccer player ever to be immortalized in wax by Paris’ Musée Grévin. The Swede said:

“It’s a big honour to have a statue in a great museum like the Grévin. I am very happy with it. The people can get really close to the statue and that was the objective. The next step? I don’t know … Maybe replacing the Eiffel Tower with an Ibrahimovic statue …It’s an incredible feeling to get a statue at the Musée Grévin. The statue looks very focused, just like myself out there on the pitch. I can only be grateful for the fantastic job done. I am very proud to get this sort of recognition, especially as a Swede.”

What he really meant:

“I’m the best thing to happen to Paris since the Eiffel tower.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“A statue of me replacing the Eiffel tower…Wouldn’t that be a soccer?”

Kapil Dev: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Kapil Dev eggs on the Indian cricket team to greater heights.

What he said:

“Well I have never understood this team hug inside the ground at start of the match. What were you guys doing in dressing room. Only eating eggs!”

Former India player and World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev is realistic about Team India’s chances at the World Cup Down Under this year.

The all-time great was addressing a ‘Cricket Conclave‘ organized by News24.

He said:

“If Virat Kohli scores a century and then blows a flying kiss towards his girlfriend, I have no problems. Rather I have problem if a player scores zero and is blowing a flying kiss. We played cricket in a different era and now its a different era. We have to accept that.We can’t just sit back and think that cricket is no longer a gentleman’s game. Times have changed. The generation I played was different. We grew up with Test cricket. But now you have sledging, abuses and T20 is an accepted format.”

English: virat kohli
English: virat kohli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kapil added:

“India I believe will reach semifinals and all four semi finalists will have 25 percent chance. You can’t predict from there on. I believe start is very important. I think the first 15 overs will decide how India will perform. I would take 40/0 in first 15 overs which can give us 270 plus total. It’s a must. But if India lose 2-3 wickets in 15 overs it will be difficult.”

What he really meant:

“The huddle is a muddle. Strategy is planned in the dressing room. The huddle’s merely an excuse for a no show!”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Sunday ho ya Monday, roj khana unday!”

Supreme Court: What they said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Supreme justice for N Srinivasan.

What they said:

Individuals are birds of passage while institutions are forever.”

The Supreme Court bench of Justices T S Thakur and F M I Kalifulla read N Srinivasan his rights in a ruling that effectively prevents him contesting for the BCCI top post.

The judges ruled out any person having a commercial interest in BCCI events from being a part of the governing body. Srinivasan has a controlling interest in Chennai Super Kings, an IPL team.

They said:

“The BCCI is a very important institution that discharges important public functions. Demands of institutional integrity are, therefore, heavy and need to be met suitably in larger public interest. Individuals are birds of passage while institutions are forever.

The expectations of the millions of cricket lovers in particular and public at large in general have lowered considerably the threshold of tolerance for any mischief, wrong doing or corrupt practices which ought to be weeded out of the system.” 

What they really meant:

“…birds of passage…..And your time is past, Mr. Srinivasan. You are not the BCCI and the BCCI is not you.”

What they definitely didn’t:

“Could we have a couple of freebies to the CSK games, Mr. Srinivasan, please?”

Anil Kumble: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Anil Kumble theorises.

What he said:

We have gone into this theory of three seamers and one spinner the moment we sit on an aircraft which travels more than seven hours.”

Anil Kumble is convinced that not much thought goes into the selection of the bowlers in overseas Tests outside the subcontinent.

He said:

“We have the quality of bowlers, it’s just trying to see who can adjust to the Test format and then choosing your best four bowlers who you think can pick up 20 wickets, that’s also been an issue.

We have gone into this theory of three seamers and one spinner the moment we sit on an aircraft which travels more than seven hours – that’s the mindset… If your 20 wickets are going to come with two spinners and two fast bowlers, so be it. If it comes with three spinners and one fast bowler so be it.”

The former India skipper believes that  “Horses for courses” is not the right policy when it comes to selecting teams for the longer format.

What he really meant:

“It’s a long flight and snooze mode is what the Indian think-tank hits on its ‘Think-Pad’.” 

What he definitely didn’t:

 “The Indian team especially it’s bowlers should just ‘wing it’.”

Tony Abbott: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Tony Abbott says cricket is about ‘drinks’.

What he said:

“The safest place to put your beer when I was playing was behind the stumps, particularly when I was bowling.”

Australian premier Tony Abbott confesses that the only reason he took up cricket at Oxford was for the availability of drinks at odd times.

He said:

“The only way to get a drink in England in those days during the middle of the day was to be playing sport because the pavilion bars could be open when the pubs had to shut. So the truth, Jim, is I was probably a drinker first and a cricketer second. The safest place to put your beer when I was playing was behind the stumps, particularly when I was bowling.”

Referring to former Prime Minister John Howard’s disastrous bowling sting during an official visit to Pakistan in 2005, Abbot said:

“It wasn’t the most elegant delivery, but nevertheless it was poetry in motion compared to my bowling.”

What he really meant:

“John Howard, you are in good company—beer company.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I’m Australian and I’m for beer.”

Lionel Messi: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Lionel Messi is going, not going, going again.

What he said:

“I have never demanded anything to stay because I don’t have any intention of going. I heard people say that my dad had spoken to Chelsea, to City … it’s all lies.

I heard all sorts of things said. I never come out and deny [stories] but this time I am. It has been said that I have pushed out lots of people … Eto’o, Ibrahimovic, Bojan, Guardiola … [and] I didn’t ask them to sack our manager.

It hurts because it comes from people who [supposedly] love Barcelona. It’s people who want to hurt the club – and this time it did not come from Madrid, like other times, it has come from here. I have heard lots of things being said about me before and now. They make it look like I am the one who is in charge here when I am just another player.

Don’t throw shit at us from outside because that will only do us harm.”

Lionel Messi threw all speculation about his future with Barcelona out the window following his team’s 3-1 drubbing of Atletico Madrid, their first in over a year.

The statement allayed fans’ fears for the time being given the recent happenings at the club in the past week.

Barca have sacked their sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta and Carles Puyol has quit the club.

While president, Josep María Bartomeu, has reassured Catalonians that Luis Enrique will continue as coach, he also announced that presidential elections will be brought forward a year making his own future at the club uncertain.

Messi’s relationship with Enrique has been on the rocks with the manager keen on resting his star player to prevent possible breakdown and burn out.

Messi would rather play most if not all games.

However, at the 2014 Ballon d’Or awards, the Argentine revealed fresh doubts.

Messi said:

“I don’t know where I will be next season. I would like to finish with Newell’s [the club from his hometown of Rosario]. As Cristiano Ronaldo says, only God knows the future. Things in football can change overnight.”

What he really meant:

 “Now, now,now. If Chelsea or Manchester City are willing to bite the bait, I could still move. Besides, I can now bargain with Barca about the extension of my contract. More power to me. It’s all about negotiations, baby, and I like to be the one in the dribbler’s seat. Perhaps, I’ll get Luis (Enrique) to start me more often.”

What he definitely didn’t:

 “It’s all about continuity and what’s best for the club and its fans.”

Lukas Podolski: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Lukas Podolski did not even get a kiss goodbye.

What he said:

“He [Wenger] said nothing to me. He did not call me or say goodbye. I don’t need flowers or a kiss from him. But it is about respect, about saying goodbye. For me respect is important. Maybe he had other problems with me.”

Arsenal forward and German international Lukas Podolski leaves for Inter Milan—on loan from Arsenal—on a sour note accusing manager Arsene Wenger of disrespecting him during his stay at the club.

Podolski has never had a regular place in the starting line-up since arriving there in 2012. His 60 appearances for the North London side bagged him 19 goals.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and in the backg...
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and in the background, Arsenal first team coach Boro Primorac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wenger responded:

“I had many conversations with him, he had my agreement to go on loan. I deny that completely but I knew he did not get enough opportunities. We have many players, when a player of his quality doesn’t get enough games you can understand he is frustrated.

At some stage too many players is detrimental to the confidence. You need the right numbers. It had nothing to do with his quality. It is just a loan without an option to buy – that means he is back at the end of the season.”

Podolski told the Sun:

“If I had been given a run of five or 10 games and played really s—, then I could say: ‘Fair enough, I am not good enough.'”

What he really meant:

“Ouch! What a nasty break-up! And my manager cannot even see me to the airport with flowers, kisses and chocolates. Woo hoo!”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Now you know what it means to be Podolskied.”

Darren Sammy: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Darren Sammy lights up the maroon torch.

Darren Sammy at the Prime Ministers 11 Cricket...
Darren Sammy at the Prime Ministers 11 Cricket match in Canberra 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What he said:

“I’m seeing a lot of ads about Protea Fire. I guess Cape Town will be blazing, but with a maroon flame.”

The West Indians may have conceded the Test series to South Africa 2-0 but are in no mood to relinquish their exalted T20 specialists status. Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and André Russell are back in the squad after plying their trade all over the world in Twenty-Twenty circuses.

The ‘Protea Fire’ referred to is a moving TV commercial #ProteaFire that promotes the unity despite diversity theme of the South African cricket side.

In effect #ProteaFire is the cricket team’s mission statement – their identity and culture, their ethos, mantra and belief in each other and the nation.”

SA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat, said:

“This is a truly unique and authentic campaign because it is exactly what the Proteas believe in. It comes directly from the team and it is no creative or marketing campaign.

No country has been through what SA has and our country needs all the inspiration it can get.

Clearly the Proteas are our inspiration. As a team they have invested time to understand what it means for them to represent South Africa and now the team wishes all South Africans to know more about who they are, whom they play for and what it means to be a Protea.

We respected their wishes and that’s why we got right behind them to ensure this campaign came to life.”

JP Duminy said:

“#ProteaFire is about humility, resilience, courage, adaptability, unity and respect; these are key attributes of our rich and diverse country. #ProteaFire isn’t just about what happens on the field, it’s also about how we carry ourselves during our daily tasks. We hope that we can inspire and help shape our country by our actions on and off the field.”

Hashim Amla added:

“Despite the reality of our diverse backgrounds, religious beliefs and social upbringings, our common understanding has created a common purpose in the team that is built on our passion to represent South Africa. The real task is to get people to behave in a new way of thinking, rather than to think themselves into a new way of behaving.”

Faf du Plessis, the Blue Label T20 captain, said:

“The Proteas have developed an amazing team culture and the joy of representing South Africa is the driving force in making us want to play for all South Africans.”

What Sammy really meant:

 “It’s time for the real thing—T20 fireworks and no one does it better than the boys in maroon. What say, IPL, BPL, SLPL, BBL fans? You agree, right?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“That #ProteaFire promo is no ‘Fire in Babylon’, is it?”

Asamoah Gyan: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Asamoah Gyan and his team will die for their nation—at the right price.

What he said:

“We want to prove to people it is not about the money. We are just here to die for the nation as we’re Ghanaians.
We are just playing with our hearts and make sure we die for the nation. So far, the players are happy with the money and everything has been resolved. What we’re thinking now, is to going to Equatorial Guinea and to die for the nation.”

Ghana Black Stars skipper Asamoah Gyan insists that he and his team will put their best feet forward—literally—when they take part in the African Cup of Nations. The Ghanaian team have been promised a flat fee of USD 5000 for every match they play, irrespective of the result. This is the new bonus structure instituted by the country’s sports ministry.

After initial team rumblings, both parties have arrived at an understanding with Gyan assuring his fellow countrymen that there would be no repeat of the World Cup imbroglio wherein the players refused to play their final group game against Portugal in Brazil because they had not been paid their appearance fee. The players had then demanded payment in cash.

Gyan said:

“Before we didn’t know before we heard it in the press. During these holidays, we had to sit down with the board members and then trash out some issues and talking about the bonuses because we don’t want the Brazil issue to get in our heads right now. I think everything went on successfully. We are happy everything has been resolved. We are not thinking about any money issues now. What we are thinking about is the Africa Cup of Nations.”

What he really meant:

“We’re willing to lay down or get up for the country at the African Cup of nations. It all depends on whether we get paid to lie or die.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Money is the root of all evil. Also, all goals.”

Tony Abbott: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Tony Abbott is not a member of the anti-sledging camp.

English: Tony Abbott in 2010.
English: Tony Abbott in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What he said:

“I couldn’t bat, I couldn’t bowl, I couldn’t field, but I could sledge, and I think I held my place in the team on this basis, and I promise there’ll be none of that today.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott jests that he was a sledger-par-excellence during his Oxford University days.

The premier was addressing the Indian cricket team at tea hosted at at Kirribilli House in Sydney on Thursday.

Abbott is a former captain of Oxford’s Middle Common Room team of the Queen’s College at Oxford.

Revealing his thoughts on Steve Smith’s delayed declaration during the Melbourne Test, the university cricketer said:

“When I told people last night that I was lucky enough to be hosting the Australian and the Indian cricket teams here today, the only question that they assailed me with was `What did you think of the declaration?’.

My initial thought was it was none of my business. My further thought was that Steven Smith did absolutely his duty, because it is his duty to put Australia in the strongest possible position because, as India’s batsmen have repeatedly demonstrated this summer, you can never take India for granted.”

What he really meant:

 “The English are not the only traditionalists. Australians too have one—sledging—and I carried it all the way to Oxford.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Unparliamentary language, chaps, unparliamentary language. Just not done, Steve and company.”