The official website for European football

Record runs, landmarks and seasoned keepers

Published: Friday 29 March 2013, 9.15CET
A first for FCF Juvisy Essonne, landmarks for two goalkeepers, Bulgarian maths gone wrong and FC Barcelona's five-second goal all figure as digests the last week.

rate galleryrate photo
  • loading... features

Skomina honoured at final date
  • Skomina honoured at final date
  • Chivu learns in UEFA technical role
  • Research proposals wanted into heading risk in young players
  • Social Responsibility in focus
  • Stanković welcomes development drive
  • Denmark's Maae given U17 EURO final 'honour'
  • Pitch perfect – UEFA Direct 167 out now
  • Faroe Islands savour 'dream that came earlier than expected'
  • Baier delighted at WU17 referee honour
  • Germany and Turkey receive bid requirements for hosting UEFA EURO 2024
1 of 10
Published: Friday 29 March 2013, 9.15CET

Record runs, landmarks and seasoned keepers

A first for FCF Juvisy Essonne, landmarks for two goalkeepers, Bulgarian maths gone wrong and FC Barcelona's five-second goal all figure as digests the last week.

Players: Petr Čech and Gianluigi Buffon
Two of international football's finest goalkeepers reached impressive landmarks for their countries this week with Petr Čech playing his 100th game for the Czech Republic in their 3-0 win in Armenia and Italy's Gianluigi Buffon celebrating his 126th cap in Malta with a penalty save.

However, the pair still have one more player to overhaul before they can claim the honour of being their respective nations' leading appearance makers. Čech has Karel Poborský (118 caps) in his sights, while Buffon is level with Paolo Maldini but ten matches shy of Fabio Cannavaro's record of 136.

"If I keep physically and mentally fit, then I'd hope to get even more than that [136]," said Buffon, 35. "However we cannot forget that, for a sportsman, after the age of 30 you become like a dog – every year is worth seven." A nod in the direction of Spain's Sergio Ramos, too, after the defender achieved his century for La Roja in last Friday's 1-1 draw with Finland.

Goal: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland)
Sigurdsson does not get many free-kick opportunities for Tottenham Hotspur FC in the Premier League – with Gareth Bale ahead of him in the pecking order – but he made the most of his set piece to equalise for Iceland in Slovenia on 22 March.

The 23-year-old midfielder applied the perfect amount of height, curl and dip to send the ball over the wall, past FC Internazionale Milano's Samir Handanovič and into the top right-hand corner. Sigurdsson went on to notch the winner and clinch back-to-back triumphs for Iceland who climbed to second in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group E.

Team: FCF Juvisy Essonne
Juvisy had never reached the UEFA Women's Champions League semi-finals before – and with a slender 1-0 first-leg lead to defend at Göteborg FC might have been forgiven for feeling the pressure when Yael Averbuch pulled the Swedish hosts level on aggregate.

However, the French outfit held their nerve to score three goals in the last 13 minutes and sail through to the last four. "It's an amazing moment, just fantastic," said Camille Catala, who struck twice in nine minutes. "You can't say I'm the hero because we all are. It's great! Great! Great!"

"If we take three points from Denmark then it will be great for everyone. However, if we only get a point, it would be even better because Denmark will remain four points behind us."
Fair to say that maths is not Bulgaria forward Valeri Bozhinov's strong point. After their World Cup Group B thrashing of Malta set up a key encounter with Denmark on Tuesday, second-placed Bulgaria were unable to stretch their advantage over the Danes to seven points as the spoils were shared – at 1-1 – in Copenhagen.

©Getty Images

Pedro celebrates against France

Number: 50
There is very little that Spain have not achieved on the international stage in recent years and they attained another milestone away to France on Tuesday when extending their unbeaten run in World Cup qualifiers to 50 games. The world and European champions triumphed 1-0 in Paris courtesy of Pedro's 58th-minute goal to banish the memory of their slip-up against Finland four days before.

Remarkably, Pedro was just five years old when Spain last lost a World Cup qualifier – a 1-0 defeat by Denmark in Copenhagen on 31 March 1993. "Winning here was crucial and we knew we couldn't afford to fail," the 25-year-old said. "It was a very important victory and I'm really happy with how things turned out."

On the run: England
England's preparations for this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Israel could hardly be smoother. Stuart Pearce's charges have won their last nine matches without conceding, most recently sweeping Austria aside in a 4-0 friendly triumph on Monday.

"The manager stressed over the last year that it's important to keep clean sheets and defend from the front," said striker Connor Wickham. "It's down to the whole team, wherever the ball is, to get out and defend it. We've done that really well as a group and it's showing. It's no coincidence we've won nine games out of nine and not conceded."

©Getty Images

Ruben Schaken with goal number 1,500

Double Dutch delight: The Netherlands
The Netherlands have scored a fair few goals since Eddy de Neve opened the nation's account on 30 April 1905. Their 1,500th, to be precise, was registered by Feyenoord forward Ruben Schaken against Estonia in Amsterdam last Friday. If you cast your mind back to EURO '92 you may recall a certain Dennis Bergkamp netting the Oranje's 1,000th against Germany.

The Dutch will also be delighted by their formidable home form in World Cup qualifying. Having dispatched Group D rivals Estonia 3-0, they beat Romania 4-0 on Tuesday – and have not shipped a home goal since Finland's Teemu Tainio struck a consolation in October 2004.

Blink and you will miss it: FC Barcelona Under-10s
It is important never to underestimate the value of an early goal and Barcelona's U10 side know that better than most. Their player Marc Jurado needed just five seconds to intercept a Viladecans UD pass from kick-off, weave in and out of two defenders and score with Lionel Messi-like composure. The young Catalans went on to win 9-0 – start as you mean to go on.

Trapattoni's way with words
Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni is renowned for issuing poetic phrases which can confuse his Irish audience. In one recent claim the 74-year-old needed "three bags of patience" to deal with troublesome players.

Before last Friday's World Cup stalemate in Sweden he had the local media scratching their heads when he announced "a win has a hundred fathers but defeat is an orphan". Then, before Tuesday's home draw with Austria, he had a warning for midfielder James McCarthy. "James has good qualities but I have told him: 'I will punch you if you don't stop being shy,'" Trapattoni said.

Last updated: 04/12/13 6.20CET

Related information

Team profiles