Has a footballer ever proposed during a match?

<span>Josh Cavallo proposes to his partner at Adelaide United’s Coopers Stadium.</span><span>Photo: Courtney Pedlar/Reuters</span>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/r62sXNTdeu2WnkOdVQEuXA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/62667404f2d94976b22 fb96f2cdfb475″ data-src= https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/r62s f2cdfb475″/></div>
<p><figcaption class=Josh Cavallo proposes to his partner at Adelaide United’s Coopers Stadium.Photo: Courtney Pedlar/Reuters

“Josh Cavallo proposing to his now fiancée in the empty Adelaide United stadium got me thinking: has a player ever popped the question during a match? And did the person proposed say yes? asks Jack Hayward.

Some fantastic answers have been submitted to this, so thanks to Joran and Corentine Hatfield for bringing the romance back into our lives. “Let’s first set the atmosphere,” begins Joran, a self-proclaimed fan of football and love. “The beautiful stadium of Standard Liège was filled like an egg on October 24, 2022 (or so the saying goes in Belgium). The “clasico” against Anderlecht is the most important match of the season for the Liège fans. Standard won 3-1, but the match was stopped around the 60th minute because Anderlecht supporters threw fire on the field.

“Then the Norwegian Aaron Dønnum decided that it was his big day: he proposed to his girlfriend, in front of the red Kop, surrounded by his teammates. She said yes and all the fans were screaming for them!

“So technically he suggested that during the game because at that point no one knew whether or not the game should be completed.”

This is where Corentine steps in: “There have been quite a few cases of footballers proposing on the pitch – the most notable recently being Belarusian defender Vladislav Shubovich, who proposed to his girlfriend in 2022 after scoring a goal for FC Smorgon, only for a steward to try to get her off the pitch as he thought she was a pitch invader. After a short conversation she said yes.”

“Also in 2018, Venezuelan international Eduard Bello celebrated his goal for Antofagasta of the Chilean league by rushing to the touchline and, again successfully, proposing that he would score another goal during the match, even though Antofagasta was 3- 2 lost.

“My personal favorite has to be Guamanian Ashton Surber, who scored a bicycle kick for Napa Rovers in 2017, celebrated by taking off his shirt and shouting the message “Marry me?” to reveal. on it, after which he immediately received a yellow card as he fell on one knee to complete the proposal. She also said yes.”

Managers taking charge of every club they played for

“The reported pursuit of Xabi Alonso by Bayern Munich and Liverpool made me wonder: has anyone managed every club he played for? No one-club men or women, and bonus points if they managed their national team too.” emails Rakin Choudhury.

Step forward as a visionary manager who played 4-6-0 before the world was ready. “Craig Levein fits perfectly,” writes Adam Pinder. “He started his playing career at Cowdenbeath before making over 400 appearances for Hearts despite suffering several serious injuries. His managerial career also started at Cowdenbeath before two spells in charge of Hearts. And as a bonus he also played for Scotland and was a manager.”

The other answers depend on a job as a janitor or interim manager; we leave it up to you whether they count. “Kenny Dalglish is one possible answer,” writes Jack Hayward. “Scotland’s most capped player has played 559 games in the club competition Liverpool And Celtic. He managed the former twice, won Division One three times during his first spell, and was appointed to the latter on a temporary basis in 2000, replacing former Liverpool teammate John Barnes and winning the Scottish League Cup.

Another former Celtic manager also passes the ball. “Tony Mowbray did it (sort of),” writes Phil Jolly. “His first managerial role was that of manager of Ipswich and he succeeded Middelsbrough And Celtic on a permanent basis – the three teams he played for.”

Injury time ‘winners’ who turn out not to be?

No! When Liverpool visited Arsenal in March 2011, Jamie Carragher suffered a head injury and was taken away on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask. The result was eight minutes of extra time. “Eight! Damn hell!” wrote Gregg Bakowski in our minute-by-minute report, which shows how unusual that was at the time.

Robin van Persie put Arsenal ahead with a 98th-minute penalty, but the two-minute delay before his kick meant even more time was added. Emmanuel Eboué fouled Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt equalized from the spot with the last kick of the match – in the 102nd minute. You can read the late Kevin McCarra’s match report here.

Undefeated seasons in all competitions

“Is there a club that plays in a major European competition and has gone undefeated in all competitions all season?” asks John Whyte. “I know that Steaua Bucharest (1985-86) and Ajax (1994-95) came close. If not, did it happen on another continent?”

Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen side are still on course to achieve the feat this season, having not lost any of their 39 games in the Bundesliga, Europa League and German Cup this season. No top European team has gone an entire season undefeated, but Ben Janeson tells us about Al-Ahly’s magnificent 2004-05 season, when the Egyptian side swept everyone ahead of them. He went to X to give us the full details…

Knowledge archive

“Sam Szmodics is the top scorer in the championship with 23,” notes Chris Bentley. “His club, Blackburn Rovers, does five points above the relegation zone six games to go. Has the top scorer ever been relegated in England? What is the most goals a player has ever scored and still been relegated? Only real competitions please.”

So we had this question in 2021, when VVV-Venlo despite the relegation from the Eredivisie Giorgos Giakoumakis wins the golden boot at a gallop with 26 goals. This is what we said.

Let’s start on the south coast of England. ‘From Southampton Mick Channon we succeeded,” wrote Andy Grace. “The famous windmill celebration was seen 21 times in 1973-74 and topped the Division One scoring charts despite the club being relegated that same season.”

Dirk Maas pointed out that just a few years later, in the 1975–76 La Liga season, Enrique Castro González (better known as ‘Quini’) suffered the same fate at Sporting Gijón. However, he stuck around to send them straight back to La Liga the following season, when they even qualified for the UEFA Cup. Dirk thought so too Thomas Dalgaard went down with Viborg FF in the 2013/14 Danish Super Liga, while scoring 18 goals in 33 games.

It also happened in Italy. “Igor Protti was the only Serie A player to suffer this fate,” said Jörg Michner. “In 1995-96 he scored 24 goals and became capocanniere alongside Lazio legend Giuseppe Signori, but his team from Bari were still relegated. Funnily enough, Protti’s goal-scoring prowess earned him a move to Lazio at the end of the season. However, he flopped badly there and was released from his contract two years later. Besides Dario Hübner, Protti is also the only player who was top scorer in Serie A, Serie B and Serie C.”


Can you help?

“My team, Dagenham and Redbridge, have 53 points but are still mathematically not safe from relegation. What are the highest points achieved in all major competitions that still resulted in relegation? asks John Benstead.

During the international break, St Kitts and Nevis played a pair of friendlies against San Marino, who finished 210th in the FIFA world rankings. Their next international is a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica, who are currently 147 places above San Marino. I bet this isn’t the biggest gap in the rankings between successive international opponents: so what is?” asks Jack Hayward

“Has a team ever won every away game of the season?” asks Joe McDonagh. “Currently in the Isthmian South Eastern League, Cray Valley PM has won all sixteen games. They may not win the league yet because their home form is 8-7-1.”

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