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Sunday Snippets: Marius Stankevičius - the Lithuanian Rory Delap. And the record that lasted 45 minutes (22nd October, 2017)

Sometimes, I have thoughts and snippets that don't always deserve a full article, but also don't deserve to go into the heap.

In other words, welcome to my drafts folder.

Watch out for this type of article occasionally - on Sundays (Sunday Snippets) and Thursdays (Thursday Thoughts).

The secret to long throws, their power (up to 60 kilometers per hour), and the distance traveled (up to 38 meters), is the technique. The explosive force that makes the long throw successful comes from the the shoulders and lower back. The release angle never exceeds 20 degrees, so that the ball increases its velocity and does not dip quickly - otherwise it can be easily cleared.

They called him the catapult. No, not Morten Gamst Pedersen of Blackburn, or Rory Delap of Stoke City - even if they had the same technique.

No, they say that about Marius Stankevičius - a former Sevilla, Valencia and Córdoba defender, currently seeing out his career in amateur football in Italy with AC Crema 1908 (in the Serie D, the fourth tier)...

8th May, 2010. Sevilla host Barcelona on the penultimate day of the season. Barcelona needs to win, because Real Madrid are winning and are just one point behind.

A season's worth of effort starts to take its toll. Barcelona are 3-0 but the defense lose concentration and quickly concede 2 goals.

The ghosts of Espanyol and 2007 are circling. The echos of an unlikely comeback roar to life. The Sánchez Pizjuán stadium is going nuts and suddenly Barcelona are under huge pressure.

92nd minute. Marius Stankevičius takes the throw-in, the ball reaching the Barcelona box. And, inexplicably, the referee blows his whistle for offside. Kanouté is given offside even though the first headed flick came off Puyol rather than Fabiano.

The whistle is blown a second time. The Barcelona players start to celebrate - they have a game to play against relegation-threatened Valladolid, but they are one step closer to the title.

31st October, 2015. It counts as an assist. Marius' throw bounces around in the box. Everyone misses it, and it lands perfectly at Fidel's feet. One-on-one, the tricky winger makes no mistakes. 1-0.





16th May 2010. With the 2009-10 La Liga season over, Sporting Gijón played with a second string lineup at a Racing Santander that had been second string all season and was in danger of relegation.

It was a start for many youngsters - and the youngest of them all was Sergio Álvarez. The Asturias native, who graduated from Sporting's prolific youth academy, Mareo, and who still plays for Sporting to this day, made his debut. At the age of 18 years and 113 days, he became the second* youngest player ever to debut in La Liga for the club.

There was only one problem. At the start of the second half, a youngster by the name of Juan Muñiz came on and broke that record - Juan was 18 years and 63 days old. Which meant, and still means, that Sergio Álvarez is third on the chart.

However, it has worked out great for Sergio Álvarez - he hasn't had to leave the club he has played for since he was 12. In contrast, Juan Muñiz never really settled into the team, was loaned out to Mirandés for the 2013-14 season and signed permanently for Gimnàstic last summer.

*He was only behind Emilio Blanco, whose record was 17 years, 295 days (1-1 vs Athletic Bilbao, 31st October 1982).

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But when he turned up, the world was at his feet.

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