We’ve all been there as a young child (or as a frustrated 25-year-old, whatever) when you try to impress your friends with a series of wicked cool kick-ups only to see the ball roll hopelessly to the floor along with your watching chums who end up in a similar position thanks to their fits of laughter.
However not everyone was forced to confront their distinct lack of footballing ability from an early age even if they didn’t go pro, and now one man has gone and secured himself a place in the record books for doing keepy-uppys.
The man in question, Matt Wolstenholme, a personal trainer from London, managed to keep the ball in the air for an amazing five hours to earn his place in history.
“It was a tough challenge, I was out there for five hours in the wind and rain and I didn’t eat or drink anything,” he said.
“Most of the time I simply kicked the ball from foot to foot, but there were a couple of hairy moments around the bends and every once in a while I had to use my knees to control the ball. Everything was aching by the end, but it was worth it.”
With Matt’s place in the history books secure (until some smartarse comes along and manages five hours one minute at least), GMF takes a look at those other football gods who have achieved feats us mere mortals can only dream of.
Youngest player to have played in all four English professional leagues
Melvyn John Rees had managed to turn out in all four professional divisions by the tender age of twenty, when he played for Watford during the 1987/88 season having made his debut aged just 17. Previously he had played for Cardiff City and went on to represent West Brom and Sheffield United.
Most appearances in the Premier League
Ryan Giggs stands head and shoulders above the rest in this category, racking up an impressive 598 for Manchester United.
The Welshman also holds the world record for most Premier League winners medals, and for being the only player score in every Premier League season.
Youngest ever Premier League player
Middleborough’s Matthew Briggs holds the distinction of being the youngest player to have played in the English top flight - he played in Boro’s 3-1 home defeat against Fulham aged just 16 years 65 days old. Reuben Noble-Lazarus became the youngest professional footballer in 2008 when he turned out for Barnsley aged just 15 years and 45 days.
Most goals in a single European season
Lionel Messi holds the distinction of scoring the most goals in one season thanks to his 73 strikes for Barcelona and Argentina, usurping Bayern Munich's Gerd Muller. Messi also holds the record for most goals scored in a single European Cup/Champions League campaign.
Youngest manager to win a European cup competition
Now Tottenham manager, Andre Villas-Boas secured his place in the record books as the youngest manager to win a European competition when he guided Porto to Europa League glory aged just 33 years 213 days in 2011.
Youngest Premier League goal scorer
James Vaughan hit the back of the net while playing for Everton in 2005 at the tender age of 16 years 271 days.
Youngest player to play in a World Cup qualifier
Souleymane Mamam represented Togo in a World Cup qualifier against Zambia aged just 13 years 310 days.
Most seasons in the top flight
Everton have not only been ever present in the Premier League since its inception they’ve been rubbing shoulder with the very best of English football for a total of 109 seasons since 1888.
Most consecutive Premier League games without a loss
Arsenal’s invincible season went down in the history books as only the second time an English team went an entire season unbeaten
Biggest win in the history of football
Poor old American Samoa were subjected to quite the drubbing back in 2001, they succumbed to a humiliating 31-0 defeat against Australia.
Biggest ever attendance for a football game
A mind-blowing 199,854 people turned up to watch the final of the 1950 World Cup between Uruguay and Brazil. It was the first World Cup final to be played since the start of the second world war. It is also the record for the single biggest crowd for a single sporting event in one stadium.
Longest penalty shoot-out
There was a remarkable 48 penalties taken during a game in the 2005 Namibian Cup. KK Palace emerged victorious after the lengthy tussle with a 17-16 victory over Civics. the record for the highest score in a penalty shoot out was set in the 1988 Argentine Championship, when Argeninos Juniors beat Racing Club 20-19 after 44 penalties.
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