Triviela – Beyond Trivia

The Trivela is a Portuguese term to denote the art of kicking the football with the outside of one’s foot. It is used to hide one’s weaker foot and also to suddenly fool the opposition with a wickedly swerving ball from a difficult angle. In Triviela, we will attempt to find some football feats/facts which would make you sit up and take note, like it happens when you see Ricardo Quaresma try these.

The Record That Never Was

Bryan Robson scores against France in 1982

In a quiz before the 1998 World Cup, it was asked – who scored the fastest ever goal in the World Cup finals? The answer given: Bryan Robson who scored after 27 seconds against France on 16th June 1982, at Stadio Mames in Bilbao. FiFA presented Bryan Robson with a gold Seiko watch to honour his achievement. The media hailed him and he made it to all the record books.

Václav Mašek

 A television series produced by Sunset + Vine, for BBC set out to correct the record. All the available television footage of matches along with old news reels and newspaper reports were collected and studied by a panel of experts. The experts included a retired referee, an engineer from the Longines watch company and a professional footballer. They went through the evidence and were convinced FIFA was incorrect. The fastest goal was in fact scored by Václav Mašek, a Czechoslovakian forward, on 7th June 1962 against Mexico at the Stadio Municipal at Vina del Mar, Chile. The video evidence was checked and rechecked by adding a digital clock to the old film. Mašek had scored the goal after just 15 seconds. Oddly though, following the telecast of the programme, Sunset + Vine did not pass on this piece of vital information to FIFA. Some people even allege that the British company wanted the record to remain with an Englishman. On 29th June 2002, Hakan Şükür of Turkey scored after 11 seconds against South Korea, at Daegu to claim the new record. Yet FIFA credited Robson with the second fastest goal.

In 2003, late Syed Akber Ali Wahidi, a Pakistani sports writer and journalist, noticed the error after watching the television programme and wrote to FIFA. FIFA acknowledged his letter, accepting their error and subsequently corrected their records. They sent an honorary letter to Wahidi thanking him for his contribution. He was a special FIFA invitee to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Wahidi’s dream of a lifetime had come true. He passed away on 25th April 2011 in a Faisalabad hotel following a massive cardiac arrest. He was there on a special invite to cover the final NBP National Football Challenge Cup 2011. He died a content man, happy to have realised his ultimate dream of watching a World Cup final.

Meanwhile FIFA was going through its collection of films to check for other such goals. Eventually they found that there was one more goal faster than Robson’s, scored by Ernst Lehner of Germany on 7th June 1934 against Austria at the Stadio Giorgio Ascarelli, Naples. This goal was timed at 25 seconds. Robson went down the list to fourth position. But, spare a thought for Mašek who should have held the record for more than 40 years, but never did.

A Silent Witness to a Rivalry

Statue of Santa Maria Nascente (St. Mary Nascent)

What is the significance of this beautiful polychrome statue in the world of football? 

Designed and built by Giuseppe Perego in 1774 and located on top of the spire of Duomo di Milano or the Milan Cathedral, at a height of 108.5 m (356 ft).  The statue is that of Santa Maria Nascente (St. Mary Nascent) to whom the cathedral is dedicated. When Guiseppe Pozzobonelli was the archbishop of Milan from 1743 to 1783, he supported the idea of having a statue of Virgin Mary at the top of the cathedral. When the Pirelli Building was completed in 1960 and reached a height of 127 m (417 ft) the architect Gio Ponti, a devout catholic had a smaller replica of the original statue built to be placed on top so that St. Mary remained the highest point of the city.

What is its connection with football?

This statue is known by locals as the ‘Madonnina’. The famous Milan derby is known as Derby della Madonnina, named after this statue. Next time the Rossoneri and Nerazzurri meet at the San Siro, one should remember the traditions and the history behind the match which lie far beyond the boundaries of football.

Parting Shot

Which goalkeeper has the record for the most number of minutes played without conceding a goal in top division football?

I have asked this question to three different persons and all of them have the same reply: Edwin Van der Saar of Manchester United.

Indeed? Well, not quite. In fact Van der Saar comes in sixth, having gone 1311 minutes unbeaten. So who holds the record? Geraldo Pareira de Matos Filho aka Mazaropi of Vasco da Gama club of Brazil who was unbeaten in goal for a whopping 1816 minutes in all the competitions, May 1977 – September 1978. And who are the other four before Van der Saar?  Keep watching this space!


Kinshuk Biswas is an architect by education, a consultant by profession, a quizzer, writer and an absolute football fanatic by choice. Follow him at