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Ajax, Barcelona, Mbia and Ronaldo do the business

Published: Friday 2 May 2014, 11.00CET
AFC Ajax made it four in a row, FC Barcelona won futsal gold and Cristiano Ronaldo broke a UEFA Champions League record; celebrates our performers of the week.
by Paul Saffer

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Published: Friday 2 May 2014, 11.00CET

Ajax, Barcelona, Mbia and Ronaldo do the business

AFC Ajax made it four in a row, FC Barcelona won futsal gold and Cristiano Ronaldo broke a UEFA Champions League record; celebrates our performers of the week.

Team: AFC Ajax
Ajax have had some great teams over the years – the triple European Cup-winners of the 1970s and the class of 1994/95 – but it was only ever PSV Eindhoven who had won four Eredivisie titles in a row, until now. A player in that superb mid-90s side, Frank de Boer took over for his first head coaching role in December 2010 and has a clean sweep of top-flight crowns ever since, his fourth and Ajax's 33rd coming on Sunday with a 1-1 draw at Heracles Almelo. "When possible, you also want to go down in history," De Boer said. "It is even more beautiful to win this title four times in a row. I didn't do this by myself, but with the whole of the technical staff – and a lot of players who are still with us. I am just doing my best."

Player: Gabriel (FC Barcelona futsal)
Barcelona won the UEFA Futsal Cup at their first attempt in 2012 by beating FC Dynamo. Two years on, they defeated the same team 5-2 after extra time to reclaim it in Baku, adding to the UEFA Youth League crown they won earlier in April. On target was Brazilian international Gabriel, who became the first player to win the UEFA Futsal Cup four times, victories with Interviú Madrid in 2006 (against Dynamo) and 2009 adding to his pair with Barcelona. He also won two South American club titles, four Intercontinental Cups and two FIFA Futsal World Cups. On the other hand, Dynamo were beaten for the fifth time in their record six finals, pivot Cirilo having been on the losing side on all those occasions. He did at least get the better of Gabriel's Interviú in 2007.

©AFP/Getty Images

Ronaldo's record-breaking celebration

Number: 16
Real Madrid CF's 4-0 win at FC Bayern München took their tally for the season to 37 – a new record for a 13-game UEFA Champions League campaign. Cristiano Ronaldo's double against the holders took his personal haul to 16,  breaking the long-standing record of 14 goals in a single European Cup season. "Obviously I'm happy with the record but it's not something I was obsessed with," he said afterwards. The footage of his elaborate celebrations for his first goal might suggest otherwise.

Goal: Stéphane Mbia (Sevilla FC)
It may not have been the most spectacular goal of the week, but maybe the most momentous. Sevilla went to Valencia CF 2-0 up in their UEFA Europa League semi-final only to find themselves trailing on aggregate when they won an attacking throw deep in added time. The set-piece was flicked on and there was on-loan Queen's Park Rangers FC midfielder Mbia to turn the ball in and send Sevilla to Turin on 14 May to meet SL Benfica, who ended the hopes of home team Juventus.

Olympic goal: Markel Susaeta (Athletic Club)
Susaeta made his 300th Athletic appearance at the age of 26 on Sunday and marked it in some style. On four minutes he stepped up to take a corner and curled the ball straight in for what the Spanish call an 'Olympic goal'; moreover, it put Athletic, in fourth, on their way to a 3-1 defeat of fifth-placed future UEFA Europa League finalists Sevilla and a six-point cushion in their push for UEFA Champions League football. Susaeta said: "[Coach Ernesto Valverde] has been saying we should try it for some time now. It was just really lucky.

"Congratulations to them because they are a very good side and what they are doing in the Spanish league is fantastic – they're a real team. They are through. I hope both teams enjoy the final and that there will be a great champion."
Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho is magnanimous in defeat after his side's semi-final exit to Club Atlético de Madrid

Fair play: VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach
Football is a game of 90 minutes and there are bound to be some fouls. Only last weekend in the Bundesliga, there were not. Almost. In the last 20 years the number of fouls committed by each team in each German top flight have been counted. This Sunday, in Mönchengladbach's crucial 1-0 win at FC Schalke 04, the away team did not concede a single foul until the 90th minute, when Roel Brouwers conceded a free-kick – a unique instance in the Bundesiga and especially impressive as a UEFA Champions League berth was at stake.


Tyresö and Wolfsburg meet in Lisbon

Immovable objects: Tyresö FF v VfL Wolfsburg
Swedish debutants Tyresö and holders Wolfsburg both won through to the UEFA Women's Champions League final on Sunday, setting up the fifth Swedish-German encounter in the 13-year tournament history. Something will have to give at Lisbon's Estádio do Restelo on 22 May as neither club have ever lost a match in Europe or suffered elimination.

Tyresö, boasting 2004 winner Marta among their ranks, have stormed through their debut campaign with five wins and three draws, conceding ony three times. Wolfsburg, meanwhile, have seven victories and a single draw in their run, scoring 41 goals. They lifted the trophy on their debut last season, also without losing.

Last updated: 02/05/14 11.14CET

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