World Football

The records being hunted in 2018

(FIFA.com)
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo
© Getty Images
  • A goal machine gallops after the major
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  • Can Barça and Man City rewrite history?

191

goals is what makes Claudio Pizarro the highest-scoring foreigner in German Bundesliga history, but there is a rampant Pole in hot pursuit of the 39-year-old Peruvian, who is still at Cologne but has not netted since March. Robert Lewandowski’s last goal took him on to 166 overall and into joint-tenth on the list of its record marksmen. He also has a better goals-per-games ratio (0.68) than everyone in the top ten aside from Gerd Muller (0.85).

100

points in a La Liga campaign is the record – set by Real Madrid in 2011/12 and equalled by Barcelona the following season – that Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Co are en route to eclipsing in Spain. Barça have averaged 2.67 points from 18 outings, so require 2.55 from their remaining 20 games to reach 101. Ernesto Valverde’s men, who have leaked just seven goals so far, are also vying to snap the record for least goals conceded in a La Liga campaign, set by Real in 1931/32 (15 goals).

64

years: that is how long Ferenc Puskas has reigned as Europe’s leading international marksman, but will he take that distinction into 2019? Cristiano Ronaldo, on 79 goals, needs another six to outrank ‘The Galloping Major’ and go second on the global list behind Ali Daei (109). Encouragingly for the 32-year-old, he got 13 goals in 13 appearances for Portugal in 2016 and 11 in 11 last year.

43

years and nine days is what Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon was when he came on against Japan at Brazil 2014 to break Roger Milla’s 20-year record and become the oldest player in FIFA World Cup™ history. He may, however, only hold it for four years. Essam El-Hadary, who previously retired from international football, won eight caps in 2017 and would be exactly 45 years and five months when Egypt kick off their first World Cup campaign in 28 years against Uruguay.

19

calendar years is what Japan’s Homare Sawa scored in – a world record she will share with Christine Sinclair if the latter finds the target for Canada in 2018. The 34-year-old also requires 15 goals to tie American Abby Wambach’s record for international goals (184).

12

goals is what San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski, who turns 35 later this month, requires to break Landon Donovan’s Major League Soccer record. The Chico State Wildcats graduate managed 12 and 13 in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

9

Italian Serie A titles is what Gianluigi Buffon could become the only man to achieve in what he described as “almost certainly my last season”. Virginio Rosetta, Giovanni Ferrari, and Giuseppe Furino have also won eight Scudetti. Juve are second, one point behind Napoli. The veteran goalkeeper must play in all of ‘The Old Lady’s’ remaining 18 games to equal Paolo Maldini’s record for Serie A appearances (647).

5

goals in three World Cups is what Thomas Muller could become the first man to crack in Russia. Teofilo Cubillas (1970 and 1978) and Miroslav Klose (2002 and 2006) managed it in two.

3.01

goals per game: that is the record for an English top-flight season set by Aston Villa in 1930/31 – curiously, Villa finished comfortably behind champions Arsenal. Manchester City have averaged 2.91 goals per game so far, and require 51 goals from their remaining 16 games to surpass that 87-year-old benchmark.

2

goals is what Deyna Castellanos requires to outrank Alexandra Popp as the all-time leading markswoman in FIFA junior competition. The German got 12 goals in 12 games at the FIFA U-17 and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups™. Castellanos, 18, who came third in the running for both the The Best FIFA Women's Player and the FIFA Puskás Award in 2017 – Lieke Martens and Olivier Giroud emerged triumphant – must first help Venezuela clinch one of South America’s two tickets to France 2018.

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