'Out with the old, in with the new' proved to be a recurring theme over the past week, with Mano Menezes ringing the changes in Brazil, Real Madrid bidding farewell to two of their finest servants and a new star emerging in women’s football. For all this, plus a look at the briefest of managerial stints in Greece and a lengthy run of success for Luciano Spalletti’s Zenit, read on as FIFA.com examines the numbers behind the stories.
appearances, 400 goals and 31 major trophies was the collective haul with which Raul and Guti this week departed the Bernabeu after a combined total of 43 years in the colours of Real Madrid. Guti, in fact, heads for pastures new after a quarter-century with Los Merengues, having joined the club’s youth team in 1985 aged just nine. Raul, meanwhile, moves on having racked up more goals (323) and games (741) than anyone in the Madrid giants’ glittering history, and continues to top the all-time scoring charts for Spain’s national team (44) and in the UEFA Champions League (66).
days after taking charge of PAOK, and without having played a single competitive match, Mario Beretta was relieved of his duties last Thursday. The former Torino coach’s first professional adventure outside of his native proved to be more short-lived than anyone could have envisaged, with Beretta paying the price for poor pre-season results and dressing room disagreements. PAOK wasted just 48 hours before replacing the Italian with Pavlos Dermitzakis, who was left with three days to prepare the Greek outfit for tonight's opening UEFA Champions League qualifier against Dutch giants Ajax.
uncapped players were named by the new Brazil coach Mano Menezes on Monday in a Seleção squad that included just four survivors from the FIFA World Cup™. Daniel Alves, Ramires, Thiago Silva and Robinho were the only South Africa 2010 participants to remain in place for next month’s friendly against USA, a match that will now be without the likes of Kaka, Julio Cesar, Luis Fabiano and Maicon. Among the most high-profile beneficiaries of the Menezes revolution were Santos stars Paulo Henrique Ganso and Neymar, while goalkeepers Jefferson, Renan and Victor, defenders Rafael, David Luis and Rever, midfielders Ederson and Jucilei, and striker Andre also received their first-ever call-up to the national team.
straight wins have strengthened Zenit’s grip on top spot in the Russian Premier League. The St Petersburg outfit, whose winning streak in all competitions stretches back ten matches, are seven points clear of defending champions Rubin Kazan following a superb run under Luciano Spelletti. Remarkably, in fact, the former Roma coach has yet to taste defeat since taking the reins at Zenit last December, with the 2007 champions currently undefeated in 26 competitive outings since losing at FK Moscow last October.
goals in four matches have established Germany’s Alexandra Popp as the front-runner for the adidas Golden Boot at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The 19-year-old has been in sparkling form throughout the hosts’ run to the semi-finals, and it is there, in the tournament’s last four, that Popp will meet her closest challenger in the goalscoring stakes. Korea Republic’s Ji So-Yun is just one strike behind the Germany No11 ahead of a showdown that not only pits the tournament’s leading markswomen against each other, but also the top-scoring teams, with the Germans and South Koreans boasting a combined tally of 24.