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Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan speak to the media at the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup. Photo: EPA

‘I’m particularly, uniquely and very deeply American’ – the best sports quotes of 2019

  • From South Africa’s first black captain to US president Donald Trump – they had their say over the past year

Sporting stars had their say in 2019, on the field, in front of the microphone and on social media. Here are some of the top quotes from the biggest names in sport over the past year.


“We have so many problems in our country but a team like this, we come from different backgrounds, different races but we came together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it”

– Siya Kolisi, the Springboks’ first black test captain.

Captain Siya Kolisi (centre) lifts the Webb Ellis trophy after South Africa win the World Cup. Photo: AFP

“In South Africa pressure is not having a job. Pressure is one of your close relatives being murdered.”

– Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s World Cup winning head coach, eloquently explaining the nature of pressure in his homeland.


“I think I’m particularly, uniquely and very deeply American”

– Megan Rapinoe, USA’s World Cup winning superstar, a warrior on the pitch and off it where her unflinching advocacy for social justice brought her into conflict with US President Donald Trump.

Rapinoe “should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!”

– Trump on Twitter.

A video of US midfielder Megan Rapinoe is displayed after she won the Ballon d'Or in Paris. Photo: AFP

“This is only the start”

– Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp after the Champions League final win over Tottenham.


– After the acrimony that defined his final days at Manchester United Jose Mourinho arrived as Tottenham’s new manager saying he had learned from his mistakes and wanted to bring happiness to Spurs.


“It’s team, team, team, get up, see the doctor, have breakfast, ride the race, get a massage, physio and sleep. Then repeat”

– Egan Bernal painting a mundane picture of life as Colombia’s first Tour de France champion.

Tour de France winner Egan Bernal smiles as he is welcomed home in Zipaquira, Colombia. Photo: AP


“If Karsten is Gordon Gekko then I am the IRS”

– American Rai Benjamin compares himself to the US Internal Revenue Service after Karsten Warholm expressed admiration for fictional immoral financier Gordon Gekko from the Wall Street films. Warholm beat Benjamin to 400m hurdles gold at the world championships in Doha.

“The message that no human is limited is now in everybody’s mind”

– Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge after making history, smashing the mythical two hour barrier for the marathon on a crisp autumnal morning in Vienna.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates as he successfully completes his attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Reuters


“He is a once in a lifetime horse who has given us a twice in a lifetime experience.”

– Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary succinctly summing up his thoughts after his Tiger Roll put his name alongside the legendary Red Rum by winning back-to-back Grand Nationals.

“He is a little like myself. He likes the good things in life – eating, drinking and sleeping, though he is a little more athletic than me!”

– Tiger Roll’s trainer Gordon Elliott comparing himself to his Aintree hero.

CEO of Ryanair Michael O'Leary owns twice Grand National winner Tiger Roll. Photo: AFP


“I’m the loser both times, so that’s the only similarity I see.”

– Federer on what were the similarities between losing to Novak Djokovic in 2019 and to Rafael Nadal in 2008’s equally classic Wimbledon final.

“These kind of matches, you work for, you live for, they give sense and they give value to every minute you spend on the court training and working to get yourself in this position and play the match with one of your greatest rivals of all time”

– Novak Djokovic, after defeating Roger Federer for his fifth Wimbledon title in the longest final in the tournament’s history.

Novak Djokovic raises the trophy after winning Wimbledon in July. Photo: Xinhua

“Congratulations @Bandreescu_! You’ve made history and made a whole country very proud. #SheTheNorth”

– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweets his support for Bianca Andreescu who defeated Serena Williams in the US Open final to become Canada’s first grand slam singles champion.


– Serena williams berates herself for her performance against Andreescu

“I’m not a big fan of subways. We have also in Czech, but I never really use. There can be strange people.”

– At the US Open, Karolina Pliskova admits the New York City subway is not her preferred mode of transport.


“It’s overwhelming just because of what has transpired. I could barely walk. Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t walk. Couldn’t do anything. To have the opportunity to come back, it’s one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had for sure.”

– Tiger Woods after completing an epic comeback from career-threatening injury and scandal by winning the 83rd Masters, his 15th major title to end an 11-year major drought.

Tiger Woods, wearing the green jacket, holds the US Masters trophy after his 2019 triumph. Photo: Reuters

“It’s just another step. Things at Augusta National don’t happen very rapidly”

– Kay Cockerill, the 1986 and 1987 US Women’s Amateur champion, after history was made at the once all-male enclave with the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur.


“Not bad for a boy from a Stevenage council house.”

– A proud Anthony Hamilton after son Lewis secured his sixth world championship.


“Almost superhuman”

– England captain Eoin Morgan paying tribute to Ben Stokes after the all-rounder played a pivotal role in the Super Over World Cup final win over New Zealand.

Ben Stokes played a major role in England winning the Cricket World Cup. Photo: AP


“How could this not motivate you? It’s what it’s all about”

– Tom Brady after writing his name in the record books winning the Super Bowl for a sixth time as the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams.


Moscow has gone “too far”.

– Former Wada chief Dick Pound after Russia accused of falsifying laboratory doping data.


“Three months of partying and celebrating affected me, what can I say?”

– A chubby Andy Ruiz ruing his failure to train properly for his failed heavyweight title defence against Anthony Joshua.

Andy Ruiz Jnr takes a jab to the face from Anthony Joshua in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Photo: AP