Team: Netherlands U17s
Not only are the Netherlands through to their third UEFA European Under-17 Championship final, they have reached Sunday's showpiece in Serbia without conceding a goal. In defeating holders England 1-0 in the last four, the Oranje kept their sixth successive clean sheet in the competition. Such defensive steel can be attributed to the partnership of club-mates Karim Rekik and Terence Kongolo, who line up at centre-back for Albert Stuivenberg's team. "We have played together for eight years at the same club, Feyenoord, and we know each other very well," Rekik told UEFA.com.
Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF)
Madrid's No7 has been in breathtaking form this past week, scoring seven goals in two matches − yes, seven. He followed up his four-goal haul in a 6-2 win at Sevilla FC with his seventh hat-trick of the campaign in all competitions as the Merengues put Getafe CF to the sword on Tuesday.
The prolific Portugal forward's Liga record since his Madrid debut in August 2009 now stands at a staggering 62 goals in 61 appearances. With the Pichichi and ESM Golden Shoe just about sewn up − he leads Lionel Messi by ten points in the standings − Ronaldo can now train his focus on scoring three more goals in Madrid's remaining two matches to eclipse Hugo Sánchez's club record of 38 in a single league season set in 1989/90.
Goal: Hallam Hope (England U17s)
If Bradley Smith's spectacular opener in England's 3-0 defeat of U17 Championship hosts Serbia, a cross-cum-shot, was not intentional, there was no disputing the quality of the first of Hope's two goals on Monday. Receiving the ball outside the penalty area, the Everton FC striker ducked inside and curled a right-footed shot high into the top left-hand corner of Nemanja Latinović's net.
Javier Zanetti joined a select band of footballers on Wednesday when he made the 1000th competitive appearance of his long and distinguished career in FC Internazionale Milano's Coppa Italia semi-final victory against AS Roma. Now among such exalted company as Paolo Maldini and Roberto Carlos, the 37-year-old said: "Throughout my career I have always done everything with passion. Football has given me a lot and I have tried my best to give something back."
"You're better than your dad."
Helsingborgs IF fans salute midfielder Simon Thern after the 18-year-old rounded off the scoring in a 3-0 win against Gefle IF, four minutes after coming off the bench. His father, Jonas, was a key component of the successful Sweden side of the 1990s.
One-club man: Noel Bailie (Linfield FC)
The 40-year-old announced his retirement this week having amassed 1,013 appearances for the Northern Irish champions. A defender, Bailie made his debut for the Belfast outfit in 1989 and played under four managers − Roy Coyle, Eric Bowyer, Trevor Anderson and David Jeffrey. He won ten league titles and eight Irish Cups during his time as a Blues player.
Trophy shenanigans: Sam Russell (Darlington FC)
We have all heard the one about a certain Madrid defender dropping the Copa del Rey under the wheels of a coach while on an open-top bus parade, but what about the goalkeeper who let some silverware slip through his hands? That is exactly what happened to Russell after Darlington's dramatic 1-0 victory against fifth-tier rivals Mansfield Town FC in the FA Trophy final at Wembley on Saturday. While celebrating soon after the final whistle, the trophy lid fell from his grasp, causing the silver figurine on the top to break off.
Challenge: Adriano Galliani & Massimo Oddo (AC Milan)
Galliani, the Milan managing director, now knows better than to make a bet with the Rossoneri right-back. While in the dressing room at Rome's Stadio Olimpico after Milan had won their 18th Serie A title, Galliani told the 34-year-old that his expiring contract would be extended by a year to summer 2012 if he could run around the pitch in less than a minute. Oddo, who was showering at the time, immediately took up the challenge. Barefoot and with shampoo still in his hair, Oddo completed the task with two seconds to spare, much to the amusement of his team-mates.
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