The new-look UEFA.com takes its weekly look at the seven days just gone as Spain ensured they remained continental champions on more than one front, Wayne Rooney reached an impressive landmark in fitting fashion and a moment of genius from Guti ended Real Madrid CF's Riazor curse.
Team: Spain futsal
When Spain won UEFA EURO 2008, it ended a 44-year wait for a major senior football honour. By contrast, their 4-2 triumph in Saturday's UEFA European Futsal Championship final against Portugal in Debrecen was Spain's third title in a row and their fifth in seven editions since the inaugural tournament in 1996. Four of their 14-strong squad secured their fourth European winners' medal, one of whom, captain Javi Rodríguez, bowed out after a 169-game international career by scoring his 99th goal for Spain to ensure a share of the adidas Golden Boot.
Player: Luis Suárez (AFC Ajax)
Suárez's bid to break Coen Dillen's Eredivisie scoring record – 43 in the league's inaugural 1956/57 season – had stalled with three rare goalless outings. Normal service resumed on Wednesday when he struck four times in 32 second-half minutes in the 4-0 win against Roda JC and take his tally to 22 from 21 games, giving him 13 more matches to overtake PSV Eindhoven favourite Dillen. It was Suárez's third four-goal haul this season, the second in the league. Curiously, Dillen also struck four times against USV Elinkwijk exactly 53 years earlier to move on to 22 goals for the season.
Goal: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United FC)
Any one of these things would have made Rooney's strike on Sunday special: it helped United to a crucial 3-1 win at Arsenal FC; it came after a brilliant long-range exchange with Nani; and finally it was his 100th Premier League goal, the first of which also came against the Gunners when he was a 16-year-old at Everton. Rooney is now five clear at the top of the league scoring charts with 20, one more than the final tally of last season's leading striker, Nicolas Anelka.
Quote: Klaus Allofs (Werder Bremen)
"We've made defensive mistakes like a school team."
Bremen's sporting director reacts to Saturday's 4-3 loss to VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, in which Werder trailed by three goals after 18 minutes.
Curse-lifting assist: Guti (Real Madrid CF)
When Madrid kicked off at RC Deportivo La Coruña on Saturday they had not won at the Riazor since 2 November 1991. But the visitors scored first and then went two up before the break when Kaká played in Guti who, facing goal, surprised the Depor defence by back-heeling into the path of Karim Benzema, who simply side-footed in as Los Merengues went on to win 3-1. Spanish newspaper El País said: "It was a masterpiece full of talent and, above all, generosity, peculiar to the kind of player that prefers a good assist to a goal."
Curse renewed: Craig Bryson (Kilmarnock FC)
In January 2006, Scotland was agog with the signing of Roy Keane for Celtic FC, only for his debut to be spoiled by a surprise Scottish Cup defeat at a Clyde FC side featuring 19-year-old Craig Bryson. This week, Scotland was agog with the signing of Robbie Keane for Celtic, only for his debut to be spoiled by a surprise Scottish Premier League defeat at a Kilmarnock side featuring a certain Craig Bryson. "It was strange just to have the chance to play against both Keanes on their Celtic debuts," Bryson said. "They have been massive days in my career and I'll enjoy the memories for the rest of my life."
Hat-trick: Danny Butterfield (Crystal Palace FC)
Financial times are hard at English second-tier side Palace and January sales forced manager Neil Warnock to start Tuesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay against Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers FC with right-back Butterfield in an attacking role, even though he had only scored once in six years. Just past the hour, Butterfield struck and within six minutes had completed the fastest hat-trick in the club's history, with goals from each of his feet and his head, for a 3-1 win and a money-spinning tie with Aston Villa FC. "Normally I get a goal every four seasons so to get three in one night is unbelievable," the 30-year-old said. "I think I'm a day late [for the transfer window]. I think I could have gone for £4m or £5m."
Family tradition: Filippo Boniperti (Italy Under-19s)
Giampiero Boniperti is among the most famous names in Italian football; Alessandro Del Piero's predecessor as Juventus's all-time leading scorer on 178 goals and Azzurri captain for 24 of his 38 international appearances. Now grandson Filippo, also a forward, is keeping up the tradition, recently on the bench for Juve's Coppa Italia tie with FC Internazionale Milano and this week called up to Italy's U19 squad for the first time. "I have watched him play many times and I think he behaves well on the pitch," Giampiero, now 81, said, while Filippo added: "Having that important surname has never been a problem for me."
Comeback: Hayrettin Demirbaş (51 Niğdespor)
Former Turkey and Galatasaray AŞ goalkeeper Hayrettin Demirbaş has come out of retirement at the age of 46, almost ten years after hanging up his boots. Hayrettin will play for Super Amateur League side 51 Niğdespor who hoping for promotion to the professional third tier. Capped 18 times for Turkey, Demirbaş has been working as coach at lower league clubs. Demirbaş, who played nearly 150 games for Galatasaray between 1986 and 1996, said: "The coach, who is a very old friend of mine asked for my help to find a good goalkeeper. Nobody I contacted wanted to sign for Niğdespor. In the end, coach told me that I could do it comfortably. Although I quit professional football, I play spors every day and I wanted to be a role model for youngsters. Therefore I returned to football."
Campaign for justice: Tomas Brolin (Sweden)
Scoring 26 goals for Sweden, including a superb EURO '92 winner against England and three on the way to the 1994 FIFA World Cup semi-finals, would be enough for some, but not Brolin, who claimed this week that a strike against Norway on 8 August 1991 has always been wrongly credited to Roland Nilsson. A shot from the full-back deflected in off Brolin's back, who said he did not claim the goal at the time because Nilsson had never scored for Sweden but the defender did later find the target in a 2000 friendly with Spain. "Roland Nilsson stole a goal," restaurateur and poker professional Brolin told SVT. "I couldn't be bothered to make a fuss. At that time Rolle had not scored." The Swedish Football Association is looking into the matter, with Brolin promising to buy Nilsson dinner if his international goals tally is halved to one.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.