In many ways, football is a simple game: the team that scores
the most goals, wins. Yet in every week, in every league and in
every single match, there are intriguing statistical sub-plots that
help make the beautiful game the fascinating spectacle that it is.
That's why, every week, we at FIFA.com take a look at the numbers behind the results, highlighting football's biggest winners and losers from the week just past. In this, the latest of our regular round-ups, we pay tribute to the goalscoring prowess of Francesco Totti, Wendel, Ivica Vastic and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, while sympathising with the unfortunate Arubans, Caravel.
Serie A appearances in the colours of Roma had kept Giacomo Losi in the Giallorossi's record books for almost four decades. That was until last week, however, when the legendary defender known as the Core de Roma (Heart of Rome) saw his record eclipsed by the club's current talisman in a 1-1 draw away to Inter. Francesco Totti even marked the occasion with a goal, his 201st for the club, and although Inter battled back to claim a share of the spoils, the weekend brought the leaders' first defeat of the season, allowing Roma to close the gap to six points. Totti, meanwhile, is running out of records to pursue. Roma's record goalscorer since December 2004, the Giallorossi captain is closing in on 500 appearances in all competitions, with his contribution to the capital club such that Luciano Spalletti this week described him as "the soul of Roma".
days after his 38th birthday, Ivica Vastic became the week's oldest scorer when his penalty pulled LASK Linz level in their crucial meeting with SV Mattersburg last Wednesday. Forgotten former German international Carsten Jancker had earlier fired Mattersburg into a 1-0 half-time lead, but Vastic's 60th-minute penalty set up a comeback that was crowned six minutes from time by another penalty, this time from Christian Mayrleb. The win kept LASK Linz in second place in the Austrian Bundesliga, just a point behind leaders Rapid Vienna and still very much in contention to claim their first league championship since 1965. As for Vastic, the 46-times capped striker certainly shows no signs of slowing down, and is already into double figures for the season, increasing to 52 his tally for the Linz outfit since joining from FK Austria in 2005.
minutes was all it took Bordeaux's Brazilian midfielder Wendel to score the week's fastest hat-trick and single-handedly sink Paris Saint-Germain in a 3-0 win on Sunday. The 25-year-old's goals came between the minutes 32 and 51, a tremendous scoring feat made all the more remarkable by the fact that he is not exactly renowned for his goalscoring feats. After all, in 88 appearances for Cruzeiro, he managed just four goals, while only three followed in a loan spell with Portuguese side Nacional, a tally he matched during a subsequent 45-game stint with Santos. Bordeaux, however, seem to have unlocked Wendel's scoring potential, with the midfielder already having contributed eight goals to Laurent Blanc's side's title bid this season alone. Other hat-trick scorers this week included FC Basel's Eren Derdiyok in a 3-1 win over FC Thun, and Birmingham City's Finnish frontman Mikael Forssell, whose treble came in a surprisingly emphatic 4-1 victory over newly-crowned League Cup winners Tottenham Hotspur.
is notoriously unlucky, and it certainly proved this way for Aruban outfit Caravel, who found themselves on the receiving end of the week's biggest scoreline. RCA, who lie ten points behind leaders Brittania in the Division di Honor, were the team in free-scoring form, and the 13 unanswered goals they fired home leaves their humbled opponents just six points above bottom side Estudiantes - featured for equally embarrassing reasons in last week's round-up - with a goal difference of minus-50.
straights wins has left Scottish giants Rangers with the longest unblemished record in all the 175 leagues analysed. Walter Smith's side came from behind on Saturday to extend this impressive winning streak with a 3-1 victory over Aberdeen thanks to goals from the all-Scottish trio of Christian Dailly, Charlie Adam and Kris Boyd. Smith has relied heavily on a home-grown core of players as he attempts to rebuild following the reign of Paul Le Guen and, in doing so, prevent Celtic from claiming their third Premier League title in a row. So far at least, it appears to be working, as Rangers currently lead their arch-rivals by four points and have a UEFA Cup showdown with Werder Bremen to look forward to after eliminating Panathinaikos.
consecutive matches have passed without a single Dutch defence being able to stop Ajax's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar doing what he does best. The prolific young striker has scored seven times during those matches, keeping Ajax in touch with PSV and ensuring that he remains hot on the heels of Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the European Golden Boot. Hutelaar has already broken his own Eredivisie season's best with a sensational tally of 27 goals from as many games, and though Ronaldo's Premier League strikes are afforded more weight in calculating the Golden Boot winner, the young Dutchman - so often linked with Manchester United - is just three points behind the Red Devils' irrepressible Portuguese winger.