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Records, landmarks and problematic reindeer

Published: Friday 6 December 2013, 8.45CET
Mickaël Landreau became a record breaker, Antonio Cassano hit a landmark and GNK Dinamo Zagreb made derby history. rounds up the best of the week's stories.

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Published: Friday 6 December 2013, 8.45CET

Records, landmarks and problematic reindeer

Mickaël Landreau became a record breaker, Antonio Cassano hit a landmark and GNK Dinamo Zagreb made derby history. rounds up the best of the week's stories.

Player: Mickaël Landreau
Over 17 years since his debut, the SC Bastia goalkeeper played his 603rd Ligue 1 game in Wednesday's Corsican derby at AC Ajaccio to overtake Jean-Luc Ettori as the league's record appearance maker. Ettori had helped the 34-year-old warm up when he equalled the record in Sunday's 2-0 home success against Évian Thonon Gaillard FC – Landreau's 255th win and 219th clean sheet – but a late equaliser by Ajaccio prevented him making it 220 without conceding on the night he set a new mark. "I would never have imagined I'd still be here today," the former FC Nantes, Paris Saint-Germain, LOSC Lille and France keeper said last weekend. "The game is so demanding, so hard, but here we are."

Team: GNK Dinamo Zagreb
Any derby victory is special but Dinamo's Croatian Cup triumph over old rivals HNK Hajduk Split on Wednesday proved extra sweet. After the sides drew a First League encounter 2-2 at the Stadion Maksimir last Sunday, the midweek quarter-final, also in Zagreb, was expected to be another tight affair. It was anything but, as Zoran Mamić's men posted the biggest win in the fixture since 1939 – a 5-0 success. "I don't know if this was my favourite career goal but I am sure I will remember it forever," said 17-year-old Dinamo playmaker Alen Halilović, who became the youngest scorer in the derby's history. "I scored against Hajduk, that is a big thing!"

Goal: Luis Suárez
Among his four goals in Liverpool FC's 5-1 Premier League thrashing of Norwich City FC on Wednesday, the Uruguayan international scored at least three contenders for this week's title. The stunning free-kick or his chip over a defender before a rifled finish would have taken the crown most other weeks, but the forward's first of the night was sensational. A Canaries clearance was headed back upfield and Suárez sent a looping, swerving, first-time volley over a stranded John Ruddy from 40 metres to raise the Anfield roof. "Everything about him is just world-class," said Reds manager Brendan Rodgers. "The supporters idolise him."

Number: 2 million
The number of ballots cast in the first 24 hours of voting for the users' Team of the Year 2013.

"As far as I know, Santa Claus left Finland but on the way to Romania the flying reindeers had a technical problem. I hope that everything will end well."
AFC Rapid Bucureşti coach Viorel Moldovan on the club's current financial problems which are affecting payment to staff and players.

©Getty Images

Antonio Cassano has 100 Serie A goals

Centurion: Antonio Cassano
The Parma FC striker notched his 100th Serie A goal in style, reaching the landmark by volleying an unstoppable effort into the top corner during last Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Bologna FC. It was the 31-year-old's sixth in the league after joining Parma in the summer, having previously hit the net with AS Bari (6), AS Roma (39), UC Sampdoria (35), AC Milan (7) and FC Internazionale Milano (7). This effort, though, could turn out to be more important than the previous 99 for Cassano, with Italy coach Cesare Prandelli pondering whether to recall him to the national setup: "I have until spring to make up my mind, but the doors are open."

Educator: César Azpilicueta
The Chelsea FC right-back has gone to extreme lengths to teach people, team-mates included, how to pronounce his surname – by producing a handy video guide. The former CA Osasuna and Olympique de Marseille man, who was nicknamed 'Dave' by his linguistically challenged colleagues upon arrival at Stamford Bridge, posted the 36-second clip on YouTube. In it, Azpilicueta writes out his family name and breaks it down into three easy-to-say sections: Ath-pilly-kwta. Simple. "Some said my name was too difficult to pronounce and could they call me Dave. It's stuck. It's done affectionately," said the 24-year-old Spanish international.

Show of loyalty: Andrew Canavan
For most football fans, the ultimate display of loyalty is a tattoo sporting their team's crest. However, Newcastle United FC fan Andrew Canavan has taken his love for the Geordie club to new extremes – by having their emblem etched onto his glass eye. "When some people lose an eye they are devastated, but I saw it as an opportunity to do something unique," said the 35-year-old. "This is the ultimate tribute to Newcastle United." Magpies supporters are renowned for their dedication, yet this show has surprised even the north-east English outfit. "It was certainly an unusual request but one we were more than happy to assist with," said a spokesman after Andrew approached Newcastle asking permission to use the badge.

Disciplinarians: ETO FC Győr
The Hungarian champions took an unlikely approach to disciplining their players after they suffered a surprise 3-0 First League defeat at lowly Mezőkövesdi SE – by confiscating the keys to their high-end cars. Website reported that the club's management deprived the squad of their sponsored vehicles after the disappointing result on 23 November and the punishment seems to have had the desired effect. With the players eager to get back behind the wheel, they have posted a trio of 2-1 victories in their subsequent games.

Last updated: 06/12/13 13.56CET

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