Football is a sport in which almost anything can happen. With games occurring all over the world every day, some of the most bizarre things take place. Here is a look at 5 amazing football facts that sound too crazy to be true.
The Longest football club name
Ever wonder which football club has the longest name in the world? That honour goes to Dutch club Nooit opgeven altijd doorgan, Aangenaam door vermaak en nuttig door ontspanning, Combinatie Breda.
The long name has been shortened by the club to simply be NAC Breda. That is a much simpler name to say.
Angel Di Maria sold for balls
Manchester United signed Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for £59.7 million. It was a tremendous fee for one of the world’s best players.
What few fans know is Di Maria was once sold between Argentine clubs for a few footballs. According to reports from Argentina, Di Maria moved from Torito to Rosario Central for 35 footballs.
That is right, Torito were in such a desperate need of new footballs that Di Maria was sent to Rosario for some balls rather than cash. Now, that is an amazing football fact.
Player has shirt retired before leaving the game
Bradley Wright-Phillips bounced around the English football divisions for years before moving to the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer.
Since joining the club in 2013, Wright-Phillips has become a club legend. He has tallied 125 goals in 216 games while leading the Red Bulls to three Supporter Shield trophies.
Wright-Phillips is just 33 and still banging in goals for New York, but that hasn’t stopped the club from retiring his No. 99 shirt.
In August 2018, the club informed everyone that Wright-Phillips’ jersey will be retired the day he leaves the club. That is an honour Thierry Henry didn’t even receive.
Not good enough, son
Jermaine Pennant has the unfortunate distinction of being the only English player to feature in a Champions League Final but never receive a national team call-up.
Pennant was often criticised for his attitude and personal life off the pitch. One amazing football fact about Pennant didn’t even occur on the pitch, but it illustrated just why many clubs and the national team stayed away from him.
After finishing his time playing at Spain’s Real Zaragoza, Pennant joined Stoke City in 2011. Zaragoza later contacted Pennant to inform him his expensive Porsche was found abandoned at the city’s train station. Pennant stated he “forgot he even owned a Porsche”, after leaving it in the station’s carpark for over five months.
Real Madrid 6-1 Castilla
One of the most amazing football facts is that the 1980 Copa del Rey Final was played between Real Madrid and their B team Castilla. The senior side romped to a 6-1 win and the Castilla goal only aggravated Real Madrid.
The meeting between the senior side and B team was the first and only time it has happened in Spain. Prior to 1991, reserve sides were allowed to compete in the Copa del Rey against their senior teams. Although A teams and B teams weren’t allowed to play in the same division, the cup tournament was different.