Ronaldinho’s revival, Egypt’s record-breaking run and goalscoring landmarks for Lionel Messi and Liedson are among the stories catching the eye in FIFA.com's latest statistical review.
Sporting goals was the milestone reached by Liedson in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Nacional, when a brace took him into the club’s top ten scorers of all time. The Brazil-born Portugal international took his place in the top ten at the expense of Joao Cruz, who scored 149 times for the Lisbon giants between 1936 and ’47. Liedson needs another 37 goals to move into the top five past fellow legends such as Albano, Jesus Correia and Adolfo Mourao and Rui Jordao, but top spot looks be well out of reach. After all, Sporting’s all-time leading marksman, Fernando Peyroteo, scored an incredible 529 goals while playing alongside Joao Cruz in the great Sporting side of the 1930s and ‘40s.
years and 206 days was the age at which Lionel Messi became the youngest player to reach a century of Barcelona goals. The reigning FIFA World Player scored his 100th and 101st in the Catalan giants’ 4-0 win over Sevilla to surpass the former record-holder, Mariano Martin, who was over a year and seven months older when he reached the 100 mark on 19 December 1943. Barça’s all-time lead marksman, Cesar – who scored 235 times for the club – was a relative veteran by the time he completed his century at the age of 28 years and 89 days, and every Culé will hope to see Messi breaking records at Camp Nou for many years to come.
CAF Africa Cup of Nations matches without defeat is the record-breaking sequence of results with which Egypt enter their final group match against Benin today. Victories over Nigeria and Mozambique in Angola have continued the Pharaohs’ impressive run, which stretches back six years to a 2-1 defeat by Algeria at the 2004 edition. Now, as they attempt to rebuild morale after a shattering loss to those same regional rivals, Egypt have qualified for the quarter-finals in style, eclipsing a record set by Cameroon, who went 14 matches unbeaten between 1984 and ‘88. Benin, by contrast, have still register a single win at the African showpiece, although the Squirrels can still qualify for the last eight should they bring the holders’ record-breaking run to a shock end.
goals in Ronaldinho’s last three matches, capped by his first Serie A hat-trick on Sunday, appear to have heralded the Brazilian’s long-awaited renaissance. The former FIFA World Player has been a hugely influential figure in AC Milan’s rise up the Italian standings, scoring nine times in 18 league appearances to establish I Rossoneri as the principal pretenders to their city rivals’ throne. Leonardo's side, in fact, now lie just six points behind Inter with a game in hand, and with Ronaldinho climbing to joint-second in the Serie A scoring charts, who would bet against him taking centre stage in Sunday’s eagerly-anticipated Milan derby?
goals per match is the free-scoring average established by Lille during their ongoing seven-game winning streak. The northern outfit’s spectacular form has taken them up to second in Ligue 1, and 26 goals over those seven matches have established Les Dogues as the division’s leading scorers. Further down the table, Sochaux reached an unwelcome milestone at the weekend, losing their 800th top-flight game. Les Lionceaux are, however, competing for a record 62nd season in the French first division, and still boast a positive overall record, with 808 league wins already to their name.