Mark Jones poses the question of who has played against the most international teams, as The Spin states that Mohammed Nabi has played against 43. Given that there are more international football teams than cricket teams, this statistic is noteworthy.
This tale begins with a highly accomplished midfielder from Estonia. Mick McMenemie notes, “In men’s soccer, Martin Reim sets a high bar. He has faced off against 65 different nations. If someone else surpasses that record, I applaud them.”
When it comes to outdoing others, there is only one person to consider.
Cristiano Ronaldo has a preference for playing against Luxembourg (with 11 goals), Lithuania, and Sweden (with seven goals each). In total, we estimate that he has competed against 70 different nations since his debut against Kazakhstan in August 2003.
However, there is one particular record that he has yet to achieve. “This is not a comprehensive list because, as you know, I have other commitments and responsibilities,” explains Dara O’Reilly. “But I quickly looked into the 10 male players with the most international caps. It seems that Sergio Ramos has played against the most diverse opponents – 78.” We have counted 77 countries, but let’s not get caught up in minor details.
Looking at the men’s and women’s games, it was expected that Canada’s Christine Sinclair would be a strong contender with 328 international appearances. However, these caps were earned against only 48 nations.
If anyone surpasses Ramos’ overall score, please inform us – you can send an email or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.
Each cap will have a new coach!
A few weeks ago, David Williams inquired if any other players have had a similar international record to Pascal Gross, who has played for Germany three times in a row under three different managers.
Nick Kaye was among a handful of readers who recommended Andy Cole. He received his first four England caps from four different managers, starting with Terry Venables in 1995 against Uruguay. His next match was against Italy at Le Tournoi in 1997 under Glenn Hoddle. His third appearance was against France in 1999 under interim manager Howard Wilkinson. Finally, he earned his fourth cap and first start against Poland in 1999 under newly appointed manager Kevin Keegan.
Cole’s time playing for England followed a stop-and-go pattern until 2002, when he decided to retire from international play. He was not chosen for the World Cup team under the fifth manager, Sven Göran Eriksson. Despite his impressive record of 187 Premier League goals, Cole only earned 15 caps for England and scored just one goal in a World Cup qualifying match against Albania in 2001.
Advancing to the next level while tripling your progress.
Graham Doe points out that in Walsall’s recent match against Newport, Freddie Draper scored three goals that all tied the game at 3-3. Doe asks if there have been similar occurrences in the past.
Peter Abram brings attention to Fabrizio Ravanelli’s impressive first appearance for Middlesbrough against Liverpool in 1996. This was one of the few instances where a player scored a hat-trick on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
According to Dan Ryazansky’s report, Bradley Wright-Phillips achieved the same result for NY Red Bulls in a match against DC United in 2018. A player named Rooney had previously scored for DC, making it 2-1.
“In a 2011 Norwegian league game, Jone Samuelsen of Odd scored against Tromso. During a corner kick, the Tromso keeper joined the attack in a last-ditch effort to equalize. However, the ball was cleared upfield by Odd and then headed back towards their own half by a Tromso defender. Samuelsen, who was positioned a few yards within his own half, attempted to head the ball towards a teammate but missed. Instead, the ball rolled into the empty net. This raises the question: what is the farthest distance someone has successfully headed a ball into the goal?”
We previously examined this inquiry – to some extent – but that was seven years ago (to be exact, seven years ago on Thursday), so it is appropriate for an update. Firstly, to Jone Samuelsen:
The midfielder impressively made an immense effort from five yards within his own half. As a pitch can vary in length from 100 to 130 yards, it can be estimated that Samuelsen’s shot covered a distance of approximately 55 to 70 yards. Based on the footage, it appears to be closer to the higher end of that range.
After searching through the records, we were unable to locate a goal scored from a farther distance. This feat surpasses notable attempts in the past, such as Maradona’s for Napoli against Milan in 1988, Steve Nicol’s 25-yard shot for Liverpool against Arsenal in 2004, and Marco van Basten’s for Milan against Gothenburg (while not the longest in terms of distance, it may have been the most skillful).
Samuelsen’s goal probably takes the crown off Martín Palermo, who scored from close to the centre circle for Boca Juniors in 2009.
Recently, it was brought to my attention by Russell Connor and others that Stefan Galinski of Basford United scored an impressive long-range header against FC United in 2019. Russell even suggested that extra points should be awarded for the ball bouncing five times before going into the net. Another noteworthy header, mentioned by Bogan Kotarlic last week, was Lorenzo De Silvestri’s no-bounce header for Bologna. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Can you help?
In November, Fenerbahçe maintains a flawless record across all competitions with 19 wins in 19 matches, according to Dirk Maas. Has any other team had a longer winning streak at the beginning of a season?
Rob Weeks inquired about the longest sequence of passes without the opposing team making contact with the ball, as the 39-pass sequence by Leeds against Southampton in 1972 was praised as a remarkable feat. However, with more teams now prioritizing ball possession, what is the current record for the longest passing sequence?
Gareth Hume asks if Manchester City’s record of playing 32 games at Old Trafford without receiving a penalty, dating back to Keith Curle’s goal on April 7, 1992, is a record for an away team at a specific stadium.
“According to Connor Fryer, Notts County and Wrexham are currently in the top two positions for automatic promotion in League Two. Both teams were previously promoted from the National League. Has there ever been a case of two teams achieving consecutive promotions together?”
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