An Italian dethroning an English knight, a German playmaker unseating a German playmaker, and an Argentinian outranking two fellow South Americans feature in FIFA.com’s latest stats review, along with records for some Green Warriors and Young Blues.
million euros is what makes Andre Schurrle cumulatively the costliest German footballer in history following his move to Borussia Dortmund. Mesut Ozil had been the most expensive, with his transfers to Werder Bremen, Real Madrid and Arsenal costing a combined €70m. Schurrle had previously moved to Bayer Leverkusen for €8m, Chelsea for €21m and Wolfsburg for €32m. Dortmund paid €30m for the 25-year-old who assisted the only goal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Final, breaking the club-record €27.5m they spent on Henrikh Mkhitaryan in 2013. BVB have now splashed out around €115m this close-season on eight players also including Marc Bartra, Raphael Guerreiro, Sebastian Rode, Mario Gotze and Ousmane Dembele.
million euros is what Juventus paid Napoli to make Gonzalo Higuain the third-biggest signing of all time. But while the two players above him on the list, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, were 24 when they made their record-breaking moves to Real Madrid, Higuain will turn 29 this year. The France-born Argentina international also eclipsed Neymar to become the costliest South American in history, and Hernan Crespo, who joined Lazio from Parma for €56.5 in 2000, to become the most expensive signing by an Italian club.
matches unbeaten is what Jeonbuk Motors reached on Sunday to equal the K-League record they themselves set in April 2015. Since a 2-1 loss to Suwon Bluewings on the last day of the 2015 season, when the Green Warriors had already secured the league title, they have won 13 and drawn nine. Jeonbuk, who have 16 games remaining, are bidding to become the first team in history of the 1983-incepted championship to finish a season undefeated. Choi Kanghee’s men, who are 14 points clear of their nearest rivals, are also out to become the second club to win three consecutive K-League crowns – Seongnam did it twice between 1993 and ‘95 and 2001 and ’03.
goals without reply is what France scored against Italy to double the record winning margin in UEFA European U-19 Championship final history. The fixture had been won by a two-goal cushion five times. Jean-Kevin Augustin broke the deadlock for Les Bleuets with his sixth goal of the tournament, equalling the record held by Spain’s Alvaro Morata and Davie Selke of Germany. It helped France finish with 15 goals in five matches to replace their own class of 2010, which included Antoine Griezmann and Alexandre Lacazette, and Portugal of 2003 as the third-highest scorers in the tournament’s history. Spain occupy the top two positions on the list: Gerard Pique, Juan Mata and Co netted 17 goals in 2006, while a side spearheaded by Paco Alcacer and Morata registered 16 in 2011.
trademark curlers is what Sebastian Giovinco dispatched against D.C. United to surpass David Beckham and Javier Morales and become the MLS’s highest scorer of free-kicks this decade (7). The 29-year-old’s first-half brace helped him snap an eight-game scoring drought with a hat-trick in Toronto FC’s 4-1 victory, which left them undefeated in six successive home games for the first time in six years. Beckham (13 per cent) does possess a superior free-kick conversion rate than Giovinco (9.2 per cent), though the competition’s best since 2010 belongs to another player who bagged a treble on Sunday. Didier Drogba, whose first MLS goals since May inspired Montreal Impact to a 5-1 thumping of Philadelphia Union, has converted 22.7 per cent of his free-kicks.