Football's Hardest Records to Break

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2013

Football's Hardest Records to Break

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    World Football is full of records.

    Transfer fees, goals scored, clean sheets kept, the game is crammed with interesting tidbits that are difficult to break.

    I've created a list of personal favourites that will surely stand the test of time. From ridiculous scorelines to contested moments of brilliance, which records are the toughest to overcome?

    Read on to find out.

The Largest Margin of Victory: 149-0

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    I love this record. It's a story that comes up again and again, but is never worth passing over. When AS Adema were granted the championship in Madagascar, rivals Stade Olympique l'Emyrne couldn't be bothered to offer resistance.

    A handful of shady decisions went against Stade, but the team's decision to implode has written them into the history books. Staunch protest propelled the losers to concede 149 goals against AS Adema, the largest margin of victory ever.

    This record is unlikely to ever be toppled. The average football match lasts 90 minutes, which can be converted to approximately 5,400 seconds. This means a goal has to go in every 36 seconds to beat the record by one.

    Even with the help of opposing players, this rate of conversion is extremely difficult to keep up across an entire match. Once 50 or so have flown into the back of the net, you'd think everyone would pass out from boredom.


Most International Caps: 184 and Counting

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    Egypt's Ahmed Hassan has been representing his country for a long time. The 37-year-old midfielder first ran out for the Pharaohs in 1995 and broke the record for most international caps in March 2012 (via Goal.com).

    At the time of writing, Hassan possesses 184 appearances. Alongside this, the versatile player must own the world's largest hat stand—maintaining all of those caps is quite a feat in itself.

    This record could be beaten by a number of international players, but overtaking the experienced player is going to be mightily difficult.

    Iker Casillas—who currently holds the Spanish record for most international caps—has racked up 143 appearances since June 2003. This is an average of 16 international appearances per year across the last nine seasons.

    At the current rate, Casillas needs to maintain the Spanish No. 1 spot for another two and a half years to beat Hassan's current record. The 31-year-old can certainly reach this landmark and is expected to represent his country beyond 2015. Even so, his international career will be 15 years old by this point, indicating the record is going to stick around this number.

    Right now, Hassan has the top spot firmly locked down.

English Premier League Unbeaten Run

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    Okay, technically not a record, but Arsenal's 2003-04 Premier League unbeaten run is unlikely to be topped in the modern era. Arsene Wenger's "Invincibles" represent a legendary team that boasted the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp.

    A record of 26 wins, 12 draws and zero losses across 38 games is an era-defining feat from the North London club. The Premier League is widely recognised as one of the world's most competitive divisions—something that is perfectly summed up by a number of shocking results from the current campaign.

    Norwich beat Manchester United. Southampton overcame Manchester City. West Brom took the spoils from Liverpool on two occasions. Giant-killing is a common occurrence across England's professional football leagues, indicating the Gunners' achievement will stand as the only Premier League unbeaten run for quite some time.

    Of course, this achievement could have been quickly shot down if Ruud van Nistelrooy had his shooting boots on (see video above).

World Record Transfer Fee

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    When Manchester United accepted an £80 million bid for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009, it was hard to believe a human could be worth that kind of money (via The Guardian). Four years later, the Portuguese star's Real Madrid performances have arguably justified his ridiculous price tag.

    The implementation of the FIFA Financial Fair Play Rules means this kind of sum will take some beating (via UEFA.com). Clubs now have three years to break even and cannot be bailed out by powerhouse owners.

    A transfer fee of Ronaldo's magnitude would be extremely difficult to sanction for any of the world's elite teams. Despite halving losses at the end of 2012, Manchester City would fail to meet the FFFP guidelines already (via The Guardian). At present, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool also miss the mark (via Goal.com).

    Who would be able to afford this kind of sum, plus wages for the entire staff, and still break even? It's a question we'll likely see answered across the next few years.

Most Goals in a Calendar Year: Lionel Messi?

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    Lionel Messi recently broke the world record for most goals in a calendar year. As Bleacher Report's Adam Hirshfield broke down right here, the 91-goal haul is a remarkable record that unearthed one of football's most intriguing stories of 2012.

    Should this record even stand? The Zambian FA doesn't think so. Striker Godfrey Chitalu is said to have scored 107 goals during the 1972 season with Kabwe Warriors, a statistic that has seen FAZ challenge Messi's receiving of the record.

    As reported by BBC Sport, FIFA is unwilling to listen to numbers produced outside of competitions it runs:

    "...football's world governing body says it is not possible to ratify or authenticate any record linked to club football, including the goals scored by Messi and Mueller."

    Either way, the Argentinian's recent blitz is sure to remain for a long time. Anyone who beats the number needs to score 1.319 goals per game across 70 matches in a single calendar year. Only one man can do that, right?

    Which world football records are the hardest to beat? Let me know your personal favourites in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on Twitter: