Have you ever watched an ordinary game of football and thought to yourself 'damn, these guys are so much more talented than I am'? That's tough. Be better, you loser.

But if you have no desire to do that - which is fair enough, it's probably too late to be scouted at your big age - then why not fall back into full inadequacy by reading about the greatest players, the greatest teams to set foot on a pitch and why they'll probably be immortal forever? Y'know, like listening to sad songs when you feel down just to ignite that fire?

That's what I thought, welcome to the losers' club, population: all of us.

To clarify, we're only looking at records which would only be broken in inconceivable or ridiculous circumstances; things like Lionel Messi's 50 goals in a league season could probably be recreated by a shameless stat-padder in a lesser top flight without the burden of continental football someday (probably Cristiano Ronaldo in San Marino or something). So, let's get down to business, shall we?

Goals Scored By a Player at a Single World Cup

There was one man who stole the show at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, a player so gracious, so prolific, so incredible that he couldn't be ignored any longer, and was almost instantly propelled to international stardom.

That man was Pele, who didn't actually break this record - Just Fontaine of France did, scoring 13 goals in six games.


The 1958 World Cup is a pretty decent metaphor for Fontaine's career, a tale of one of history's greatest goalscorers becoming under-appreciated while others somehow grabbed the headlines. With 257 goals in 269 games for clubs and country, he somehow won only three league titles and a French Cup in his career, though this record will probably belong to him for generations.

Successive European Cups/Champions League Titles Won

Staying with the 1950s for just a little longer, we have to recognise the great Real Madrid sides who won the first five European Cups. Spearheaded by Alfredo di Stefano, the original all-conquering Blancos swept the continent with considerable ease.

Jose Santamaria,Luis Del Sol,Francisco Gento,Rogelio Dominguez,Canario,Jose Maria Zarraga,Pachin,Jose Maria Vidal,Alfredo Di Stefano,Ferenc Puskas

The closest teams have come to replicating this kind of stronghold over Europe is with 'threepeats', with Ajax, Bayern Munich and the modern Madrid the only sides to even achieve that. This record seems pretty locked up, methinks.

Most Goals Scored in a Calendar Year

Listen, I'm not here to argue if Messi ​will always be the best player of all time - you can never tell which generation is going to spout out another omnipotent superstar. However, no matter how good that player is, they'll do well to even come close to his record of scoring 91 goals in a calendar year.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel M

In just 69 matches for Argentina and Barcelona, that little freak (you know, the good kind of freak, please don't sue us good sir) somehow scored at a rate of 1.3 goals per game for a whole year. Video game-like statistics right there, your favourite Football Manager re-gen. 

Biggest Margin of Winning One Match

You know when you were a kid and you got so angry playing FIFA or PES that to win a match you just switched teams and started scoring own goals? Well, that really happened once upon a time.

In a Madagascan playoff game in 2002, SO I'Emyrne were incensed with refereeing decisions in their previous match, and decided to make one of the biggest statements football had seen. They deliberately started scoring own goals against AS Adema, booting the ball back to their net at every kick-off and losing 149-0.

For those who want to know what the biggest margin of winning a single match is without one side just acting like children, Arbroath beat Bon Accord 36-0 in a Scottish Cup game way back in 1885.

Most Goals Scored By One Player in an International Match

​The reason this is limited to internationals is that the records get a bit hazy when looking at club goals. There have been a few occasions where 14 goals scored by one player have been reported, but the paper trail is virtually non-existent. Pele also probably put 47 past some kids at the Brazilian version of Powerleague once and is trying to count that as an official match.

Archie Thompson X

Archie Thompson of Australia holds the official record here, netting 13 of Australia's 31 goals against an American Samoa side who had to rely on youth players who weren't taking exams in a World Cup 2002 qualifier - hey, at least there's reliable accounts of this game happening, no matter how unfair the match-up was.

Longest Unbeaten Run

Arsenal fans skimming over this humming '49, 49 undefeated' to themselves need to hold their horses - you still lost in every cup competition you played in during your Invincibles season, Wayne Bridge still haunts your visions of winning the Champions League when you had a free run at it.

The real, uninterrupted record across all competitions belongs to Eusebio's Benfica, who went 48 games without defeat between 1963 and 1965.


Even when you take into account records only including league form, Steaua Bucharest blow the Gunners away with 104 matches from 1986 to 1989.

Most Professional Appearances

Back before he started fighting the left-wing ​public on Twitter at any given opportunity, Peter Shilton was a bloody good goalkeeper.

Between 1966 and 1997, Shilton played 1,390 competitive games, and no one has come to within even 100 of equalling that tally, let alone somehow breaking it.

Peter Shilton

Longevity comes easier to goalies, but even then, you can't just be any old bloke with a pair of gloves to have a professional career spanning three decades. 

Most Goals Scored By a Goalkeeper in Their Career

There is a seven minute compilation dedicated to Rogerio Ceni's best goals. Seven minutes. Of a goalkeeper scoring.

Rogerio Ceni

In 1,257 competitive appearances (second only to Shilton) for Sao Paulo, ​Ceni found the back of the net 131 times because of his unusual proficiency from free-kicks. Sure, it caused a scramble when he missed one and would have to sprint back to his own goal, but either way you were guaranteed some sort of spectacle.

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