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Janko and Ibrahimović strike as records tumble

Published: Friday 21 January 2011, 9.41CET
Marc Janko scored freely, Zlatan Ibrahimović spectacularly, while records fell in France and Spain in the week Marciano Vink struck lucky and a world champion motorcyclist rode into town.
by Paul Saffer
Janko and Ibrahimović strike as records tumble
Zlatan Ibrahimović celebrates his stunner against Lecce ©Getty Images

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Published: Friday 21 January 2011, 9.41CET

Janko and Ibrahimović strike as records tumble

Marc Janko scored freely, Zlatan Ibrahimović spectacularly, while records fell in France and Spain in the week Marciano Vink struck lucky and a world champion motorcyclist rode into town.

Player: Marc Janko (FC Twente)
By Janko's standards, eight goals in his first 17 league games for Twente prior to the winter break was positively sluggish, but judging by Wednesday's four-goal haul against Heracles Almelo the big Austrian striker is back to the prolific form he showed at FC Salzburg prior to his €7m move, inspiring Twente to a 5-0 derby win and closing the gap on leaders PSV Eindhoven to one point. It is especially impressive considering Janko has been struggling with a thigh muscle injury, and finally he was acclaimed by the Twente faithful. "Now they have me in their hearts," said Janko. "As I do the fans."

Team: UEFA.com users' Team of 2010
A team including Iker Casillas, Maicon, Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, Ashley Cole, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi Hernández, Wesley Sneijder, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi and David Villa, coached by José Mourinho with more than 400,000 fans is worth noting. More than 5 million votes in all – a record – were cast in UEFA.com's annual poll, and few could quibble with the Spain and FC Barcelona-heavy selection.

Goal: Zlatan Ibrahimović (AC Milan)
Cani's first-time shot from the halfway line for Villarreal CF against CA Osasuna was a candidate, but Ibrahimović's opener in the 1-1 Serie A draw against US Lecce edges it for its sheer technical impudence. The Sweden striker, closely watched by two defenders, receives a long ball well outside the box, chests it down and with seemingly no room at all sails a left-footed shot past the defenders, over the diving goalkeeper and in.

Quote: Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC)
"All the country was against Manchester United. Everybody wanted us to lose."
The France defender feels the love after unbeaten United grind out a 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur FC on Sunday.

Numbers: 441 & 35
The score and teams were immaterial; the facts that matter from the game that kicked off on Saturday were that 441 players took part in a match at the Parc des Expositions in Paris lasting 35 hours – both world records – raising €12,000 for Gol de Letra, the charity foundation associated with former Paris Saint-Germain FC and Brazil player Rai. In all, 1,126 goals were scored with the likes of Thierry Roland and Paul Belmondo involved. "It's great to see that football can bring people together for 35 hours like this," Rai said.

Birthday: Josep Guardiola (FC Barcelona)
'Pep' Guardiola turned 40 on Tuesday and celebrated as he does best, with a clutch of new records. The 4-1 weekend win against Málaga CF took Barcelona to the halfway point in the Liga season with a new high of 52 points – breaking the previous best of 50 they set last year – and their 17 wins at the same stage is also one better than Real Madrid CF's benchmark, set in 1960/61. They are also the first team to win every away game in the opening half of a Liga campaign. Victory against Málaga saw them go 28 competitive matches unbeaten, breaking a club record set in 1973/74, but that run was ended with a 3-1 Copa del Rey loss at Real Betis Balompié. A cautious Guardiola said: "If we start to think that this championship is now somehow over, our rivals will catch us in the blink of an eye."

Luck: Marciano Vink
The former Dutch international goalkeeper, who won the UEFA Cup with AFC Ajax and also played for Genoa CFC, PSV Eindhoven, ADO Den Haag and Ajax Cape Town in a distinguished career, secured another memorable victory this week. The 40-year-old staked €3.75 in an Amsterdam casino fruit machine, and hit the Mega Millions jackpot worth €1,386,408.59.  "I still feel I am dreaming – this is fantastic," Vink said. "We already made a decent living, but this is the cherry on the cake."

Tweet: Cesc Fàbregas (Arsenal FC)
Spain's football team may have had a bit of success, but compared to their futsal side, four-time European champions and twice world titleholders, Fàbregas and Co have a way to go. And the Arsenal FC midfielder is full of admiration judging by his tweet during Tuesday's 4-4 draw between Spain and Portugal, warming up for UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 qualifiers next month: "I'm watching Spain vs Portugal futsal. I love this sport. They have so much technique. If I tried to do what they do ... I'd end up on the floor."

All-rounder: Manuel Poggiali (San Marino)
Speaking of futsal, San Marino made their competitive debut on Thursday in the EURO preliminary round and among their squad was Poggiali, better known as the former motorcycling world champion at both 125cc and 250cc. After quitting riding in 2008 he took up futsal and plays it seriously enough to be part of San Marino's new squad. "Motorbikes are the past for me," he told UEFA.com. "Now futsal is my sport."

Last updated: 21/01/11 16.26CET

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