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Falcao, T'Pau and Udinese's No1 fan

Published: Friday 14 December 2012, 9.00CET
Falcao hit five in a game, Louis van Gaal showed a little bit of heart and soul and an Udinese Calcio fan found himself the centre of attention in this week's survey of European football.

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Published: Friday 14 December 2012, 9.00CET

Falcao, T'Pau and Udinese's No1 fan

Falcao hit five in a game, Louis van Gaal showed a little bit of heart and soul and an Udinese Calcio fan found himself the centre of attention in this week's survey of European football.

Player: Falcao (Club Atlético de Madrid)
Doing his best not to be upstaged by that little Argentinian bloke who plays for FC Barcelona, Falcao became only the second Atlético striker to score five goals in a Liga game, after Brazilian Vavá in 1958. "I scored four for FC Porto against Villarreal [CF in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg], but never five in a professional match," the Colombian international, 26, explained after his goals fired the Rojiblancos to a 6-0 home win against RC Deportivo La Coruña on Sunday. "As a kid in Bogota, sure I did, but this is unforgettable." Falcao's efforts took him to 31 league goals in 2012, three more than Diego Forlán's previous club best for Atlético set in 2009.

Team: Bradford City AFC
Arsenal FC's defeat by fourth-division rivals Bradford City in the English League Cup quarter-finals deepened the gloom in Arsène Wenger's camp, despite the manager's assertion that Tuesday's 3-2 penalties loss in Yorkshire after a 1-1 draw was not a humiliation for his players. "You feel embarrassed when you don't give everything," he claimed. "I think they'll be more disappointed and frustrated." Remarkably, it was the Bantams' ninth straight successful shoot-out, with local celebrity magician Dynamo eager to take credit for forcing the Gunners to capitulate with the power of his mind. "I'd like to think Thomas Vermaelen missing that penalty could've been something to do with me," explained the 29-year-old.

Goal: Dmitri Payet (LOSC Lille)
The 25-year-old forward found the target with a stunning curler against Toulouse FC on Tuesday. "We score great goals," he smiled after Lille's 2-0 Ligue 1 home win. "It's good. We have been more used to hitting posts and crossbars recently."

Number: 88
He is banned from Pick of the Week, but you know who he is and you know how many goals he has scored in 2012 and how he has broken Gerd Müller's record of 85 set in 1972. The FC Bayern München great – who, it emerged this week, came close to signing for Barcelona until alleged political interference prompted the club to go for Johan Cruyff instead – was happy to see his landmark erased. "My record stood for 40 years – 85 goals in 60 games. Now the best player in the world has broken it," the 67-year-old said. "I'm delighted for him. He is an incredible player, gigantic."

"Will there be a shoot-out today? No. If it's a tie? No."
Actor Robert Duvall fails to grasp the rules after accompanying Tom Cruise to last Sunday’s Manchester derby.

Best defence in Europe: FK Grbalj
FC Bayern München have a right to feel smug as they lead the German table, having conceded only six goals in 16 Bundesliga games, but it has emerged that they do not boast the best top-flight defence in European football. That honour goes to the side lying fifth in the Montenegrin First League – Grbalj, from the village of Radanovici – with their six shipped in 17 matches meaning they let in an average of one every 255 minutes. Back in November, goalkeeper Mileta Radulović broke a league record by keeping a ninth successive clean sheet. "I am very proud," said 34-year-old Grbalj coach Aleksandar Nedović, the 2007 Montenegrin player of the year. "We are not a defensive side, though. During my playing career, I realised that good defensive play is the most important thing. I am glad that my players have taken that idea onto the pitch."

No1 fan: Arrigo Brovedani (Udinese Calcio)
Wine merchant Brovedani has been feted across Europe after being the only Udinese fan to turn up to watch his team play at UC Sampdoria in Serie A on Monday, with cold weather and the long journey to Genoa – plus the fixture being televised – having ensured a quiet night for stewards in the away end at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Given the visiting end to himself, Brovedani saw his side win 2-0 and even celebrated the second goal with captain Antonio De Natale. "It was strange to be the only one in the away end," he said. However, while home supporters were saluting his commitment – Sampdoria captain Daniele Gastaldello gave Brovedani his shirt after the game – Brovedani admitted: "I was in Genoa for a work meeting. It was pure coincidence Udinese were playing there at the same time."

Dilemma: Dave Webber (Dolgellau Athletic FC)
At an age when his peers are focused on girlfriends and driving lessons, university student Webber has been appointed manager at Welsh third-tier outfit Dolgellau – and the club claim the 19-year-old is the youngest senior team manager in the history of British football. His charges are bottom of their table, his first three matches having ended in defeat, but the teenager said: "They're not the worst set of players in the league but they are playing like the worst team." With at least one of his squad twice his age, Webber is occasionally finding himself on the wrong side of the generation gap. "I am coaching players who are older than me and they just keep telling me what I should be doing," he concluded.

Christmas cheer: Nikica Jelavić (Everton FC)
Aleksandar Kolarov's deader-than-deadpan delivery of Jingle Bells for a Manchester City FC video caused sniggers aplenty, but, on Merseyside, Croatia striker Jelavić found that his own Christmas cameo in an advert for Everton's club shop may have been a good omen. The clip sees a young supporter unwrapping a giant gift to find Jelavić beaming out of it. Within hours of its release, the 27-year-old ended a four-game barren run by scoring the last-gasp winner in Everton's 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur FC on Sunday. The Liverpool Echo wrote: "Whether it's on a YouTube clip or at Goodison Park, Jelavić always has the potential to surprise in the box – and he delivered his own festive gift in style to rocket Everton up to fourth in the Premier League."

Superstar DJ: Louis van Gaal (Netherlands)
The 61-year-old former AFC Ajax and FC Barcelona boss unexpectedly took to the wheels of steel on Monday to co-host an episode of Radio Veronica's Top 1,000 Allertijden (All-time Top 1,000), revealing his own musical favourites. "I prefer Dutch language songs, because you then automatically get the feeling of the lyrics," explained Van Gaal, who is also a fan of French smoothie Charles Aznavour, Neil Diamond, Coldplay's Viva La Vida and the songs of Queen – specifically We Are The Champions and Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé's Barcelona. He was a little more sketchy on his knowledge of 1980s pop, commenting on T'Pau's 1987 smash China In Your Hand: "That's a good song. Shame she only had one hit." What about Heart And Soul, Louis? Or Valentine? Grrr.

Last updated: 04/12/13 7.37CET