“I am leaving with a nasty taste in the mouth. We screwed ourselves because we didn’t manage to make that extra step.”
— Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta on being knocked out by Russia for his 131st and last appearance for his country.
“What is there to hide, we were hoping for penalties.”
— Russia’s goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who saved two spot-kicks to help his team reach the last eight for the first time since 1970, when they played as the Soviet Union.
“You have to earn your luck and the lads earned theirs… without luck you cannot do anything in life.”
— Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic after his team secured a last eight spot with a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Denmark.
“We’ve never practised penalty kicks as a team.”
— Japan’s coach Akira Nishino makes a startling admission after both Russia and Croatia rely on penalties to reach the quarterfinals.
“I don’t think we ever think about that type of thing with England. It would put you on a bit of a downer.
— Marcus Rashford on England’s long record of failure in penalty shoot-outs.
“We won’t sit back and wait, Brazil’s attackers are too good for that to be the right plan. We will try to keep possession, we have midfielders who are very skilled. It will be very tough, but we’ll try to do so.”
— Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio on his country’s plan to beat Brazil at a World Cup finals for the first time.
“As a team, we play as a collective, all the players together… with Zlatan, as a person, as a player he’s an individualist, and the play goes around him. Instead, now, we play more the team all together.”
— Swedish goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson on being within reach of the the quarterfinals without star Zlatan Ibrahimovic. — AFP