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What else is happening in European football?

Published: Wednesday 11 January 2017, 9.00CET
A four-minute hat-trick in Cyprus, a stunning Thibaut Courtois free-kick and a big chill in Malta; UEFA.com's reporters select some highlights you may have missed.
What else is happening in European football?
Closet free-kick specialist Thibaut Courtois ©Getty Images

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Published: Wednesday 11 January 2017, 9.00CET

What else is happening in European football?

A four-minute hat-trick in Cyprus, a stunning Thibaut Courtois free-kick and a big chill in Malta; UEFA.com's reporters select some highlights you may have missed.

The fastest hat-trick in Europe?
Sergio Agüero and Wayne Rooney have set record marks with the Manchester clubs in recent days, but neither had a day quite like English striker Matt Derbyshire. Now playing for Omonia in Cyprus, the league top scorer single-handedly turned a 2-0 deficit against Ethnikos Achnas into a 3-2 lead in the space of five minutes last Wednesday. Team-mate Margaça was in awe: "I've never seen a comeback like it!" Almost as impressive, Hapoel Haifa's Hanan Maman hit four goals in the space of 11 minutes (8, 11, 17, 18) in an Israeli State Cup win against Kfar Kasem.

Trezeguet Jr tries hand at Thai boxing
The son of 1998 FIFA World Cup winner David Trezeguet has shockingly decided that football might not be the greatest sport in the world. "I tried some sports, football and basketball, but didn't like them as much as Thai boxing," 16-year-old Aaron said as he prepared for a Thai boxing tournament in Turin, adding that his father had been supportive of his career choice. In other French parenting news, a family from Moulins have christened their son Griezmann in honour of Atlético and France forward Antoine Griezmann. The French authorities can veto crazy name choices, but have not, apparently, objected on this occasion.

Albert Gudmundsson joins Iceland dynasty
Meanwhile, when PSV's Albert Gudmundsson came on in the final minute to make his senior debut of Iceland's 2-0 friendly win against China on Tuesday, he forged a new link in an awesome family chain. His father Gudmundur Benediktsson (1996–2001, ten caps), mother Kristbjörg Helga Ingadóttir (1996, four caps), maternal grandfather Ingi Björn Albertsson (1971–79, 15 caps) and maternal great grandfather, also Albert Gudmundsson (1946–58, six caps), all represented Iceland at senior level. Albert Sr, incidentally, also seved as Iceland's minister of finance and minister for industry.

Did you know that German footballers loved darts?
Trivia question: who is the only professional wrestler to win both the German (football) Cup and the ProSieben Celebrity Darts Championship? Answer: former Germany goalkeeper Tim Wiese, who teamed up with Dutch world darts champion Michael van Gerwen to win the final of the inaugural darts event in Dusseldorf on Saturday, seeing off mohicanned Scottish pro Peter Wright and the great Lothar Matthäus in the decider. "What a night, what a fight," tweeted Wiese.

The recent PDC World Darts Championship at London's Alexandra Palace underlined the huge following darts has among German players. Toni Kroos, as usual, tweeted throughout the event while Hertha Berlin striker Julian Schieber was one of several thousand German fans to jet over, explaining to magazine 11 Freunde: "Some team-mates relax in the winter in the Maldives or fly to Miami, I go to 'Ally Pally'."

How the 'Vacuum Cleaner' cleaned up
Michal Sadílek revealed perhaps the best nickname of the week as he collected an award for the Czech Repuplic's Under-19 player of the year: 'Stofzuiger' (the vacuum cleaner). "Our coaches came up with it," the PSV youngster said. "They like the way I move around the field picking up loose balls." He also revealed that he shares the nickname with PSV's Mexican midfielder Andrés Guardado.

Our goal of the week
Ignore the lack of a crowd and marvel at Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois's thunderous training ground free-kick.

Acceptance speech of the week
Meryl Streep, yadda yadda yadda. How about this one from Steaua's Gabriel Tamaș as the 33-year-old this week received the prize for the Romanian players' union's defender of the year for 2016: "Thank you for having voted me. My gratitude goes to my friends and especially to myself because I was the one who worked hard, wasn't I?"

The big chill
Temperatures have been dipping into the -30s in parts of central Europe, but heavy snowfall has sparked something of a craze in football in Kosovo. Drita captain Artan Latifi and vice-captain Armend Kastrati kicked off the #SnowJumpChallenge by going out on to the pitch at the club's home stadium, dressed only in their shorts, and diving into the snow, challenging their coach Ismet Munishi on social media to do the same. He promptly did so, and now a good number of the nation's sports stars are getting in on the act.

Meanwhile in Malta, footballers have been in the unprecedented position of having to wear gloves and snoods to handle the almost chill: as low as 4C, poor lambs. Enjoy these pictures from UEFA.com's Domenic Aquilina – and wrap up warm.

©Domenic Aquilina

©Domenic Aquilina

©Domenic Aquilina

©Domenic Aquilina

©Domenic Aquilina


 

Last updated: 11/01/17 10.41CET

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