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What else is happening in European football?

Published: Wednesday 1 February 2017, 11.00CET
The worst goalscorer in Dutch history, an exciting bit of Bayern gossip and a mysterious Czech custom are among our alternative highlights; read on and be enlightened.
What else is happening in European football?
Everything but the goal: Vitesse's Arnold Kruiswijk ©Getty Images

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Published: Wednesday 1 February 2017, 11.00CET

What else is happening in European football?

The worst goalscorer in Dutch history, an exciting bit of Bayern gossip and a mysterious Czech custom are among our alternative highlights; read on and be enlightened.

Kruiswijk draws another blank
"When I started playing football I wanted to score too – that's the fun bit," shrugged Vitesse defender Arnold Kruiswijk after setting a Dutch top-flight record for most minutes by an outfield player without a goal. He has not scored in 25,188 minutes, spanning 302 games, since his debut in August 2002. "I'm not proud, but it doesn't keep me awake at night," the 32-year-old said on Sunday. His other Eredivisie record might: Kruiswijk scored an own goal after just nine seconds with Groningen in September 2006.

The early Boyd
The 167-goal leading marksman in the Scottish Premier League era, ex-Rangers ace Kris Boyd is also a multiple record holder after hitting the fastest goal in Scottish top-flight history, 10.4 seconds into Kilmarnock's 3-2 win over Ross County on Saturday. "I thought I was offside at first," said the 33-year-old. Elsewhere in Scotland, Celtic eclipsed the 26-match domestic unbeaten sequence of Jock Stein's Lisbon Lions from 1966/67. "It's an incredible run," said manager Brendan Rodgers.

©John Leonidou

Apollon Ladies: unbeatable no more

Apollon Ladies beaten at last
After 146 domestic fixtures without defeat – including a 96-game world-record winning streak – Apollon Ladies' nine-year unblemished run in the Cypriot women's top division ended with a 3-1 loss to AOANAE Famagusta on 22 January. Are they in despair? Definitely not. "We hope this record stands for many years," chairman Andreas Marangos told UEFA.com. "But we are pleased in a way because this defeat shows women's football in Cyprus is making strides. The league is getting more competitive."

Moreirense's week of wonder
Moreirense are the toast of Portugal after the team from Moreira de Conegos (population 6,000) followed up a shock midweek League Cup semi-final scalp of seven-time winners Benfica with Sunday's equally surprising final triumph over Braga – their first real trophy success. Subverting the usual 'playing through the pain' barrier, the Liga strugglers' coach, Sporting CP and Porto old boy Augusto Inácio, only just made the bench following a nasty bout of sciatica.

Sow wow for Senegal
Fenerbahçe's Senegal forward Moussa Sow is heading home after losing to Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals, yet the 31-year-old leaves with a new record having become the first player to score in three editions of the competition. That might be it for him, however. "There's a very good generation coming," he said. "2019 seems a long way off – I don't think I'll be there."

©Getty Images

German celebrations: coming to a futsal tournament near you, probably soon

The new futsal force: Germany
Germany have won a record 30 UEFA national-team football titles, including every current competition at least once, though they trail Spain in the overall rankings given the Iberians' UEFA Futsal EURO dominance ... for now at least. Last week Germany made their competitive futsal bow, having already beaten England in a friendly. The newcomers conceded two late goals to lose to Armenia in their Futsal EURO preliminary round opener, then trailed hosts Latvia 3-0 before a remarkable comeback rescued a draw. Paul Schomann's men finally signed off with a win against Estonia, the coach saying: "I can see the potential in this team."

©Getty Images

Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann

Conspiracy theory of the week
Bayern München top the Bundesliga under Carlo Ancelotti, yet that has not stopped the gossip about the coach's possible future replacement, with Hoffenheim's Julian Nagelsmann, Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Tuchel and Leipzig's Ralph Hasenhüttl deemed the most likely choices. Asked about the rumours, Nagelsmann fanned the flames, saying: "I am currently in contact with Tuchel and Hasenhüttl. Once we have figured out who will be coach and who will be assistants, we'll announce our move to Bayern."

Welcome to the Czech Republic; here's the captain's armband
"I was honoured and surprised at the same time," said Romanian defender Bogdan Vătăjelu who was somewhat mystified to find that he had been handed the captain's armband for his first friendly game following his move to Sparta Praha. Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz was welcomed at Viktoria Plzeň in similar fashion. The reason behind this odd Czech custom? The captain is expected to make a special contribution to the dressing room kitty – used to fund special team celebrations. New arrivals in the Czech Republic be warned.

Take it with a pinch of salt
A Turkish chef's flamboyant way of sprinkling loose salt has become the go-to meme of the moment, with Arsenal's Danny Welbeck mystifying the over-25s by using the 'Salt Bae' as an FA Cup goal celebration. Leverkusen, though, were pioneers in championing Nusret Gökçe's mission to "communicate with people through meat", Hakan Çalhanoğlu even meeting the master butcher in person. It's this week's Gangnam Style – deal with it.

The touchline selfie
Those despairing of the younger generation may also enjoy this shot from wonderful Malta, Juninho Cabral forgoing the opportunity to celebrate a goal for second-tier Senglea Athletic with his team-mates in favour of a quick selfie in the dugout. Kids!

©Domenic Aquilina

Last updated: 01/02/17 11.17CET

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