2018 World Cup: What players, coaches are saying

As countries battle one another in the World Cup last 16 matches, below are some of the best quotes from players and coaches participating in the game:

“I feel it was a tragedy, but I have to accept the defeat as a fact, I feel devastated and very disappointed.”

— Japan coach Akira Nishino on the Blue Samurai’s crushing last-gasp loss to Belgium after going up 2-0 in the second half.

“To be fair, we were thinking it was like two years ago against Wales.”

— Belgium captain Eden Hazard admits memories of his squad’s shock Euro 2016 defeat to Wales haunted him when they were down against Japan.

“That was a test for the team and its character… We survived it, we have gone through and that is the most important thing.”

— Belgium coach Roberto Martinez after his side produced one of the great comebacks in World Cup history.

“Look, I think it’s more an attempt to undermine me than anything else… I don’t care much for criticism, or praise, because this can influence your attitude.”

— Neymar after being widely criticised for writhing in agony on the turf, then getting on his feet and sprinting off soon afterwards, during Brazil’s 2-0 win against Mexico.

“I think it’s a shame for football… This is a very bad example for the world and the world of football.”

— Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio on a certain Brazilian player — whom he did not name — wasting time.

“I think we’ve been in this position before many times over the last however many years.”

— England manager Gareth Southgate on his country’s dreadful recent record in the knockout stage of major tournaments.

“More alone than a lone madmen. The exit is that way.”

— Argentina sports newspaper Ole leaves its readers in no doubt over their opinion of Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli following the team’s last 16 defeat to France.

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