Football’s craziest records: Fastest hat-trick, oldest player and more as Messi features

Football, the beautiful game, is full of crazy and chaotic moments.

While we all love the fluid tiki-taka and attacking football that can flourish at the game’s highest level, there’s something eternally endearing about the sport’s wilder and whackier episodes.

Over the course of more than a century of the game, there have been plenty of extraordinary and unlikely incidents to keep Guinness World Records busy with trying to keep track of it all.

Craziest football records

And through the quieter moments of the international break, we thought that now was a better time than any to spice up the footballing landscape by looking back at some truly remarkable records.

Sounds fun, right? Well, let’s not hold back any longer as we walk you through 13 astonishing footballing records that will surely, possibly, maybe, potentially never, ever be broken… forever:

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1. Longest goal ever scored

We’re starting with a record that was actually posted this year with Newport County goalkeeper Tom King remarkably scoring a goal-kick that clocked in at a staggering 96.01 metres (105 yards).

You might be familiar with the previous record holder, Asmir Begovic, who entered the Guinness World Records for his wind-aided strike against Southampton that measured in at 91.9 metres.

2. Most red cards in a single match

According to the Independent, no less than 36 red cards were brandished during the clash between Claypole and Victoriano Arenas in the fifth tier of Argentinean football in 2011.

Two players were sent off in the first-half, but a mass brawl after the break ultimately led to referee Damian Rubino sending off every single player, substitute and member of the coaching staff.

3. Longest headed goal ever scored

Now, you’d think that it would be impossible to score a header from your own half, but that’s exactly what Jone Samuelsen achieved during a 2011 clash between ODD Grenland vs Tromsø Idrettslag.

With the opposing goalkeeper having gone up for a corner, Samuelsen managed to head back an attempted clearance to clock a headed goal from an insane distance of 58.13 metres.

4. Oldest active player

According to Guinness World Records, the oldest active footballer is Ezzeldin Bahader, who made history in March 2020 when he turned out for 6th October Club, Cairo, at 74 years and 125 days old.

Bahader, who was born on November 3 in 1945, even managed to score a penalty during his record-breaking appearance in Egypt. Incredible stuff.

5. Fastest hat-trick

Robert Lewandowski vs Wolfsburg? Sadio Mane vs Aston Villa? Nope, neither of those trebles take the claim because Guinness World Records actually attribute the global best to Tommy Ross.

Astonishingly, Ross managed to post a hat-trick in just 90 seconds for Ross County – of all clubs – against Nairn County in 1964. It’s hard to see anybody topping that any time soon.

6. Most saves in a World Cup match

While, yes, this world record might be limited to one tournament, that doesn’t make it any less insane than Tim Howard managing to produce 16(!!!) saves in one game on the biggest stage of all.

With Twitter joking that Howard could saved the ‘dinosaurs, the Titanic and Private Ryan,’ it’s all the more painful that his Team USA side were ultimately on the losing side of a 2-1 result vs Belgium.

7. Most goals in a calendar year

One of the more well-known world records in the sport has such a renowned status because it is so insane and that’s because Lionel Messi managed to net a remarkable 91 goals across 2012.

Messi notched 79 strikes for Barcelona and 12 goals for Argentina to surpass the previous record of 85 goals that Gerd Muller posted with Bayern Munich and West Germany.


8. Longest penalty shootout

Guinness World Records have the final of the 2005 Namibian Cup down as the longest penalty shootout in history at an absolutely nail-biting 48 spot-kicks.

KK Palace eventually held their nerve to win the shootout 17–16 against the Civics with some players having to take three penalties with the shootout lasting as long as the game itself.

9. Fastest goal in a World Cup match

Czechoslovakia’s Vaclav Masek held this record for almost half a century with his 15-second strike at the 1962 World Cup looking unlikely to ever be beaten, but Hakan Sukur managed to one-up him.

The Turkey striker was able to score just 10.89 seconds into the 2002 third-place play-off against hosts South Korea for a lightning start that might never be beaten on football’s biggest stage.

10. Highest-scoring game

According to the Guardian, the world record for the most goals in a game of football, which had been held by Arbroath 36-0 Bon Accord since 1886, was absolutely torn to shreds in 2002.

AS Adema were on the winning side of an outrageous 149-0 scoreline with their opponents, Stade Olympique L’Emyrne, smashing the ball into their own net 149 times to protest a refereeing decision.

11. Most career goals scored by a goalkeeper

It’s hard to imagine that there will ever be another goalkeeper like Rogerio Ceni with the Sao Paolo legend netting 131 strikes between 1997 and 2015 with a variety of free-kicks and penalties.

While the likes of Rene Higuita and José Luis Chilavert also had a flair for goalscoring, nobody can top Ceni’s unerring consistency that saw him peak with 21(!!!) goals in the 2005 season. Madness.


12. Fastest goal as a Premier League substitute

But of course ‘Lord Bendtner is a record holder’.

Footage of Nicklas Bendtner scoring just 1.8 seconds after coming on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur, heading home from a Cesc Fabregas corner, will never not look remarkable.

13. Biggest away win in Premier League history

Oof. The wounds are still raw for Southampton who were pummeled with nine unanswered goals at the St. Mary’s Stadium under their current boss, Ralph Hasenhüttl, by Leicester City in 2019.

Now, technically speaking, the Saints have gone on to lose another Premier League game 9-0 since this infamous result, but can you honestly see a team winning 10-0 away from home? I thought not.

Will they ever be broken?

Wowsers. So, unless there are any 92-goal years or 150-0 score-lines on the horizon, it’s fair to say that these weird and wacky footballing records are probably safe for another few decades.

Like with any profession, passion or sport, it’s only natural that some truly insane anomalies will appear over the years and we’d love to hear about your favourite across our social channels. 


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