In many ways, football is a simple game: the team that scores the most goals wins. Yet 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, each week, FIFA.com takes a look at the numbers behind the results.
This week, we look at Zlatan Ibrahimovic becoming the second-most expensive player in history and Sven-Goran Eriksson's plunge down the English football ladder, while also reflecting on Mexico and Flamengo ending lengthy winless runs with momentous away victories.
matches in the Brasileirao is the figure Flamengo became the first team to reach on Sunday, when they beat Santos away for the first time in an official contest. O Mengão's only previous win over O Peixe at the Vila Belmiro occurred in a 1976 friendly, in which a goal from the latter's current coach, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, helped the visitors emerge 2-1 victors. And that was again the result of their latest meeting, after an Adriano strike and an 88th-minute own goal from Para condemned the hosts to defeat. It was Santos's 976th appearance in the competition, a total shy of only Flamengo, Internacional (998), Sao Paulo (996), Vasco (995) and Cruzeiro (980).
million euros is the cumulative figure at which Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been valued in transfers throughout his career, making him the second-most expensive footballer in history behind Nicolas Anelka. The Swedish striker's €66m move from Inter Milan to Barcelona [€46m plus the €20m-rated Samuel Eto'o] took him past Cristiano Ronaldo, whose recent €94m switch to Real Madrid moved him on to €111.35 overall. Ibracadabra started out at Malmo, from where he joined Ajax for €7.8m. A €16m sum then made him Juventus's property, before Inter Milan paid €24.8m for his services. Anelka has been transferred for more than €10m six times, and in excess of €30m twice.
places down the English football ladder: that is the drop Sven-Goran Eriksson took by becoming director of football at Notts County last week. The Swede left his job as Manchester City coach at the end of the 2007/08 campaign, with the Eastlands side ninth in the Premier League. After a stint in the Mexico hot-seat, the 61-year-old reassumed duties in England at a club that finished last season 19th in the country's fourth flight.
goals in their last six outings - a stunning average of ten per game - have propelled Yeedzin to maximum points from a possible 18 and above Drukstar on goal difference at the summit of the Bhutanese A-Division. This previous week, the defending champions won away to Drukstar and Transport United, 16-1 and 10-1 respectively. With two rounds remaining, Yeedzin have an effectively unassailable goal difference, but must travel to Druk Athletic on the final day.
home games unbeaten against regional opposition was the sequence USA had shattered by arch-enemies Mexico in Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup decider. El Tri hit five unanswered goals inside New Jersey's Giants Stadium to end a run of 15 matches without victory on American soil, and seize an unprecedented fifth title. The result also banked Javier Aguirre's side the biggest victory in the final of a Gold Cup, outranking their 4-0 reverse of the US in 1993.
different teams have won the last seven Botswana Premier League seasons following Gaborone United's conquest on Sunday. GU headed into the final day one point clear of defending champions Centre Chiefs, their opponents, and managed a 1-0 victory that extended their unbeaten run to 23 matches, and earned them their sixth league title and first since 1990. Mogoditshane Fighters took gold in 2003 and, thereafter, Botswana Defence Force XI, Township Rollers, Police XI, ECCO City Greens and the Chiefs all got their hands on the trophy before it fell into United's hands. During this same seven-year period, Cameroon, Egypt, Libya and Tanzania have crowned only two champions apiece.