Most professional players have two goals in their careers. The first is to be successful for their team and play for as long as they can. The second is to be remembered long after they’ve hung up their boots for the last time. Nothing is more difficult than breaking one of the many footballing records set over the years. Whether it was sheer luck, skills or a bit of both, here are some of the most unusual feats in the history of the beautiful game.
The Longest Headed Goal
If you play football casually you’ll know how hard it is to pull off a header. Not only does it hurt, but the likelihood is that what you thought was going to be a spectacular 20ft goal, was actually a rather limp 1ft nudge to the left. Yet not every header is a mistake, take the 2011 Norwegian league game between Odd Grenland and Tromso, where a 190ft header by Jone Samuelsen scored a goal and won the match for Odd Grenland.
Most Consecutive Hat Tricks
Scoring a hat trick in one game is talented enough, or perhaps a fluke, but when you get players who score hat tricks in more than one consecutive fixture then it becomes very impressive. In 1998, Japanese player Masashi Nakayama scored hat tricks in an astonishing four games in-a-row. All in all, he scored 16 goals in these four matches – more than many players do in a season.
Nakayama also broke another record by being the first player to score for Japan in a World Cup game.
Most Red Cards in One Game
Anyone that’s watched a derby between two rival teams is no stranger to witnessing red cards. In fact, they’re practically a prerequisite for any grudge match, but can you imagine 36, yes 36, red cards in just one game? The match in question occurred in Argentina in 2011, when referee Damian Rubino was forced to send off both teams (Claypole and Arenas), all the substitutes and even some technical staff after a brawl broke out caused by a fan running onto the pitch and punching one of the players.
The Player Who Scored in Every World Cup Game
The World Cup is the planet’s biggest sporting event, so it’s little wonder that many of the game’s top scorers feel the pressure and fail to find the net for their countries. This makes the fact that two players hold the record for scoring in every World Cup game even more astounding.
In the 1950 World Cup, Alcide Ghiggia scored a goal in each of the four games Uruguay played in the tournament on the way to a shock victory in Brazil. Even more impressively, Jairzinho of Brazil scored in the six games his country played in 1970. It should be noted that Jairzinho wore the number 7 shirt, a number that has long been considered the luckiest footballing number for numerous players over the years.
Most Goals in a Year
When you think of footballing legends, Lionel Messi has to spring to mind. The Argentine has broken numerous footballing records during his illustrious career, but one of the most impressive happened in 2012 when the Argentine scored an astonishing 91 goals during a calendar year. This broke the previous record of 85 set by Gerd Muller, which had stood since 1975.
Most Goals Scored by a Goalkeeper
If there’s one player who nobody relies on to score in a football match, it’s the goalkeeper. Really, we’d rather he concentrated on keeping the other team from scoring! Yet when it comes to situations like penalty shootouts, then we may need to look to the keeper to score. But a few penalty shootouts doesn’t account for legendary Sao Paolo goalkeeper Rogerio Centi, who scored a massive 128 goals in his career. True, a few of these were penalties, but Centi was also famous for turning a free kick into a goal for his team.