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What else is happening in European football?

Published: Wednesday 18 January 2017, 9.00CET
TNS's record proves short-lived, derby banter and the "best coach in the history of our planet" feature in this week's look at what you might have missed. Plus, the briefest of detours to Montenegro.
What else is happening in European football?
Valon Berisha has been named Kosovo's footballer of the year ©UEFA.com

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Published: Wednesday 18 January 2017, 9.00CET

What else is happening in European football?

TNS's record proves short-lived, derby banter and the "best coach in the history of our planet" feature in this week's look at what you might have missed. Plus, the briefest of detours to Montenegro.

Record run ends for TNS
Welsh champions The New Saints broke what is thought to be the professional top-flight world record for consecutive victories in all competitions recently, but that sequence of wins ended on 27 at the weekend – 22 of them coming in the league – after they were held 3-3 at relegation-threatened Newtown. "I'm not going to be harsh on the players," commented manager Craig Harrison. "It was almost impossible to think we could go through the entire season winning every single game. The players are disappointed so that shows what a strong group of professionals we have here."

TNS trumped!
In fact, TNS's top-flight Welsh record lasted just a few hours because on Sunday, Cardiff University beat Llandarcy Futsal 5-3 to clinch first place in the FAW Futsal League South Group, and take their run of successive domestic top-level wins to 23. TNS were generous with their praise on Twitter ...

Sweden's new youngest international scorer
Days after becoming the second-youngest senior player ever for Sweden, Alexander Isak went one better, becoming his nation's youngest ever scorer, aged 17 years and 113 days. On Thursday, he started against Slovakia, his 19th-minute shot into the bottom corner setting his side on course for a 6-0 friendly win. "I'm just enjoying what I'm doing", said the precocious attacking talent, Sweden coach Janne Andersson adding: "He does a lot of good things."

Watch Berisha's goal for Kosovo

Berisha's landmark award
"It's an amazing feeling for me," Valon Berisha told UEFA.com after being named Kosovo's footballer of the year at a gala event at the weekend – making him the first player to receive the award since Kosovo became a UEFA member country. "2016 was a great year for me personally," added the Salzburg midfielder, who struck Kosovo's maiden goal in major tournament qualifying during his debut appearance – a 1-1 draw with Finland on the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Is Victor Pițurcă history's best coach?
Former Romania boss Victor Pițurcă was not impressed by the excuses offered for new coach Christoph Daum taking just five points from his team's opening four European Qualifiers. On a national TV talk show, Pițurcă said: "People say Christoph Daum does not have enough good players to field. That means that – since I had almost the same squad and managed to stay among the top ten teams in the FIFA rankings – I am the best coach in the history of our planet."

Cup half full or half empty?
Derby trash talk used to happen on a Monday morning at work. Now, clubs use Twitter. In France, Rennes confirmed the date of the next Breton derby using a photo of their stadium and a half-empty away section after Nantes's travelling support had watched their side concede four first-half goals last year. The Canaries responded in kind with an image of their trophy cabinet, including eight French titles and three French Cups. "Empty stand for 45 minutes, trophy cabinet always full. You?" asked @FCNantes.

Popa's coaching wisdom
Think you have what it takes to become a coach? At 63, Ionuţ Popa reckons he has cracked a few essential secrets of the trade. "As long as I'm healthy, good looking and don't have the face of a dummy, I can easily be a coach," the Poli Timișoara boss said recently. "Sometimes I take a Xanax [tranquilliser], but never two because afterwards I applaud my opponents. A coach has to be nervous, because if you're a guy who loves a quiet life and wants to live to be 250, like a crow, you have no chance of becoming a coach."

No stopping AEL's young guns
Cypriot Under-13 league leaders AEL Limassol added a little more gloss to their goal difference on Saturday after dispatching Enosis Neon Paralimni 22-0. Top scorer Adonis Nikolettides led the way with ten goals to take his tally to 67 in 20 outings thus far, having also struck nine when AEL beat the same opponents 15-0 earlier this season. The pacesetters have won all 20 of their matches, racking up a remarkable 136 goals and shipping just seven.

Most appropriate signing of the week
Lovćen Cetinje bringing Argentinian midfielder Julian Montenegro to the country which bears his name.

Last updated: 18/01/17 23.13CET

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