When most footballers start out, winning a Guinness World Record is probably the last thing on their minds.
Lionel Messi probably doesn’t even have room for his certificates on his overbrimming mantelpiece.
Don’t knock it, though. These records are a way to make history and that’s ultimately what every professional dreams about.
Some entrances into the record books are a little more, shall we say, accessible than others.
Not everyone can score the most goals in a World Cup final or make the most Champions League appearances, but there are all kind of quirky statistics up for grabs.
So GIVEMESPORT have done a little digging through the archives, and here are a collection of the very best records held by some familiar names.
Dele Alli – Most nutmegs in 30 seconds
The Tottenham playmaker has no mercy for his opponents on the pitch, which inspired Guinness to put him to the test using the legs of then-teammate Georges-Kevin N’Koudou as a dummy. Dele didn’t disappoint, though it took a few tries before he completed eight nutmegs inside 30 seconds at Tottenham’s training ground in 2017.
David Seaman – Highest catch
OK, so technically it’s a joint record. Seaman, along with rugby star Gavin Henson, caught the ball travelling at a terminal velocity of 85 mph from a drop of 102.5m off the top of a crane. In case you were wondering whose bright idea it was, the event was organised by Cadbury.
Ederson – Longest drop-kick
Ederson’s distribution has redefined the art of goalkeeping. It also got Guinness thinking: Exactly how far can he kick a ball? The answer is 75.35 metres. The Brazilian achieved the feat on his third and final attempt.
Nicklas Bendtner – Fastest goal by a Premier League substitute
Lord Bendtner took precisely 1.8 seconds after coming on for Arsenal in the 2007/08 north London derby at the Emirates against Tottenham to bang a header into the back of the net from a Cesc Fabregas corner.
Ryan Sessegnon – Fastest time to hit both posts and the crossbar
Sessegnon had to ping the ball off both posts and the crossbar and did so in just 7.75 seconds during an England U21 training camp at St George’s Park.
Iker Casillas – Most goals from the halfway line in a minute
It’s slightly niche given the glittering career Casillas has enjoyed. The stopper took part in a challenge on Chinese TV in 2011 and punted the ball into the goal from the halfway line 11 times inside 60 seconds.
David Hirst – Fastest shot on goal
While playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal, Hirst smashed a blistering shot at a rate of 114 mph (or 183 km/h) on September 16, 1996. It rocketed off the Highbury crossbar from 13.5 metres out.
Jamie Redknapp – Greatest height to control a football
Redknapp controlled a ball dropped from 61ft in the air during the filming of panel show A League of Their Own. Whose record did he break? None other than that of Lionel Messi, who had performed a similar stunt from 59ft on Japanese TV.
Javier Zanetti – Most consecutive Serie A appearances by an outfield player
Inter Milan legend Javier Zanetti made it into Guinness folklore by not missing a league game between October 28, 2006 and December 13, 2009.
Lionel Messi – Most goals in a calendar year
Messi’s tally of 91 goals, which he set in 2012, will likely never be matched. The Argentine also holds the record for the most La Liga goals by a foreign player. Naturally.
Paolo Maldini – Oldest player to captain a Champions League team
The legendary Maldini skippered AC Milan against Arsenal on 20 February 2008 at the grand old age of 39 years and 239 days. Maldini also holds the record for the most minutes played (2,217) at the World Cup by a single player.
Hakan Şükür – Fastest World Cup goal
The Turkish striker scored against South Korea in their home tournament on June 29, 2002 with just 11 seconds on the clock.
Pele – Youngest goalscorer in a World Cup final
Most career goals (1,283 goals), most World Cup wins (three)…You name it, the accolade goes to Pele. The former might be disputed, but there’s no arguing with the fact he remains the youngest goalscorer in a World Cup final in 1958 at the age of 17 years 249 days. Even Kylian Mbappe couldn’t surpass that in 2018. Three different world records – maybe he deserves more respect from the younger generation.
Sadio Mane – Fastest Premier League hat-trick
Mane scored his treble for Southampton against Aston Villa in 2 minutes 56 seconds. Even more impressive than the Bundesliga record of three minutes, 22 seconds, which was set by…
Robert Lewandowski – Most consecutive games scored in the Bundesliga
Lewandowski has broken numerous records over the years and one of the most impressive is his run of scoring in 11 consecutive games between August 16 and November 9, 2019. He scored a total of 16 goals in that time. It came to an end when Bayern were thrashed 4-0 by Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Gianluigi Buffon – Longest run of clean sheets in Serie A
The Juventus goalkeeper went on a remarkable run of 973 minutes without letting a goal in, before finally conceding against Torino against 20 March 2016.
Shane Long – Fastest Premier League goal
Long scored straight off the bat, within 7.69 seconds in fact, for Southampton against Watford on April 23, 2019. Previously, the record had belonged to an even more unlikely holder – Ledley King.
Sergio Ramos – Most wins in international football
Since making his debut for Spain in a friendly against China in 2005, Ramos has played in 127 victories for La Roja. Love him or loathe him, what an international career he’s had.
Peter Crouch – Most headed Premier League goals
‘Crouchy’ was recognised for scoring a total of 52 headers, making history during his time at Stoke City.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Most UEFA European Championship tournaments scored in by a player
Ronaldo has scored in four different European Championships – though he’ll be denied the chance to add to that this summer with the 2020 instalment being postponed.
Christian Benteke – Fastest goal scored in a World Cup qualifier
Yes, there was a time when Benteke used to bag goals with relative frequency. None more so than against Gibraltar, when he only needed 8.1 seconds to get on the scoresheet.
Kevin De Bruyne – Fastest time to 50 Premier League assists
De Bruyne raced to 50 assists in 123 games, thanks to his two spells at Chelsea and Manchester City. What makes it all the more remarkable is that he only made one of those assists for the Blues, before adding 49 after joining City.
Cesc Fabregas – Fastest time to 100 Premier League assists
It took Fabregas just 293 games to beat Ryan Giggs’ record of 367. His 100th assist came on December 31, 2016, when he set up Willian for Chelsea in a 4-2 win over Stoke City.
Tim Howard – Most saves in a World Cup match
Remember when Tim Howard turned into an octopus against Belgium at the 2014 World Cup? The American was actually making history, with 16 saves in a single game.
Petr Cech – Most Premier League clean sheets
Cech’s goal went unblemished on 202 separate occasions across spells with Chelsea and Arsenal.
Francesco Totti – Oldest Player to score in the Champions League
Francesco Totti is still the oldest player to find the back of the net in Europe’s premier competition, which he did aged 38 years and 59 days against CSKA Moscow in 2014.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – Most Premier League assists by a defender in one season
The Liverpool right-back has already achieved so much in his short career so far. His assist to set up Sadio Mane’s goal on the last day of the 2018/19 season earned him a tally of 12 assists in just 29 games – the most by a defender in a Premier League season.
Yaya Toure – Most Consecutive Wins of African Player of the Year Award
When the unstoppable midfielder was in his prime, Yaya Toure was crowned Africa’s greatest player four years in a row.
Frank Lampard – Scoring against the most Premier League opponents
Ironically, Lampard holds this record partly because he scored AGAINST Chelsea during his later days at Manchester City. Having scored past 39 different teams in the top flight, he beat Andy Cole to this record by a single goal.
Michel Vorm and Cameron Carter-Vickers – Fastest competition of 50 two-metre passes
Dust off that trophy cabinet, Spurs. Fringe players they may be, but nobody can take away the fact they completed 50 passes over a distance of two metres in 29.61 seconds.
Kylian Mbappe – Youngest player to be nominated for Ballon d’Or
In 2017, at 18 years and nine months, Mbappe was the youngest player to be named on the 30-man shortlist for football’s most prized individual accolade – finally surpassing Michael Owen. The young Frenchman finished seventh.
Chris Smalling – Most goals by a Premier League substitute in the first half
Think some of the above are a little niche? Well how’s this? Chris Smalling once broke TWO records in the same game against Burnley in the 2014/15 season. He scored the fastest goal by a Premier League substitute from kick-off (after five minutes and nine seconds). Then, he scored again, earning the unusual record of most goals in the Premier League by a substitute in the first half.
In truth, some of them are bigger achievements than others. Ronaldo’s longevity at the European Championships probably pips Seaman catching footballs off a crane, after all…
Then again, that’s what these records are all about. Celebrating the weird, wacky and wonderful from the world of football.
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