Five successive European Cup wins
For the first five years of the beginning of the European Cup in the 1955/56 season, Real Madrid were virtually unbeatable as they racked up five successive titles. With a team that comprised the likes of all-time greats like Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas and Francisco Gento, Los Blancos swatted aside all comers to dominate European football in a way that no team have done since.
Following the re-branding of the European Cup to the Champions League in the 1992/93 season, no team have even been able to win it in successive years let alone going anywhere close to Real Madrid’s mark. Safe to say, the Madrid outfit’s record will stay intact for ages.
Most goals scored by a player
Josef Bican, who represented Austria and Czechoslovakia at the international level, scored an unprecedented 1468 goals in all competitions before he retired from football. Next up in the list of the most goals scored by a player is the legendary German forward Gerd Muller with 1461 strikes against his name.
None of the current active players come anywhere close to Bican’s mark and with increasing competitiveness in the modern game as well as the fact that pace of the game is greater now than it has ever been meaning footballers are unlikely to play late into their 30s, it is safe to assume that Bican’s record will never be touched.
Heaviest defeat in a World Cup qualifier
Australia holds the record for inflicting the heaviest ever defeat in a World Cup qualifier with their 31-0 demolition of a hapless American Samoa in a 2002 World Cup qualifying fixture. Archie Thompson was the chief tormentor with his 13 strikes.
FIFA changed the World Cup qualification format in the aftermath of that brutal hammering of the American Samoans and the qualifying structure now has additional layers before the smaller teams face giants, ensuring that the possibility of another team being hammered by a scoreline similar to that American Samoa defeat is very slim. Thompson’s 13-goal record should also be safe.
Most goals by a player in a World Cup
Just Fontaine was one of the stories of the 1958 World Cup. The forward went on to score 13 goals in six appearances, including four against the mighty West Germans, to establish a record that hasn’t even come close to be touched in the years since.
The closest anyone came was Muller at the 1970 World Cup with his ten strikes. However, these days the Golden Boot winners at the World Cup barely seem to score more than six goals. Only Grzegorz Lato (7) and Ronaldo (8) have scored more than six since Muller’s ten.
Win a European Cup entirely with home-grown players
The famed Lisbon Lions of Celtic won the 1967 European Cup with an unprecedented 14 of the 15 players of their first team born not just in the same city but within ten miles of the club’s home ground, Celtic Park.
Things have changed dramatically since and now it is harder to find even one home-grown player in most teams that are vying for the top European honours. It is safe to assume that Celtic’s feat is likely to last in posterity.