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.
In this week's review, we look at two long-standing Diego Maradona records that came under threat from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Sand, while also spotlighting successes being enjoyed by Columbus Crew, Bunyodkor and Rubin Kazan.
supporters, 5,000 of whom were left outside the stadium, were in attendance as Cristiano Ronaldo was officially unveiled as a Real Madrid player. These staggering figures eclipsed the previous record turnout for a player presentation, when Diego Maradona was famously acclaimed by 75,000 Neopolitans in 1984 after making his historic move from Barcelona. Also left in the shade was Ronaldo's new team-mate, Kaka, whose recent unveiling drew a comparatively modest crowd of 'just' 55,000. Real, meanwhile, show no sign of halting the spending spree that has brought Kaka, Ronaldo, Raul Albiol and Karim Benzema to the Bernabeu this summer at a cost of €200m, with Xabi Alonso among the outstanding targets on the Spaniards' star-studded shopping list.
years after Maradona became the last player to top Argentina's scoring charts in consecutive competitions, Jose Sand joined some elite company by achieving the same feat. The Apertura 2008's leading scorer with 15 goals, Sand - who has averaged more than two goals every three games during his two-year stint with Lanus - added 13 more during the Clausura 2009 to complete his impressive double. In doing so, the Granate striker emulated the man who, less than two months ago, handed him his second cap for the national team in a friendly against Panama. Nevertheless, the Argentina coach may perhaps remind this pretender that his 29-year-old record was set at the end of a sequence of four successive top-scoring seasons, the first of which witnessed him claim the crown at the age of just 17.
home games without defeat have taken Columbus Crew to within just one match of equalling the Major League Soccer record. The benchmark, which was set by San Jose Earthquakes' 18-game sequence between 2004 and 2005, came within touching distance of the Ohio outfit when they held Eastern Conference leaders DC United to a 1-1 draw. DC are the league's top scorers, but despite claiming a deserved first-half lead through Christian Gomez, they were pegged back by Alejandro Moreno's 59th-minute equaliser. The result keeps the Crew, USA's reigning champions, within a point of the Eastern Conference's joint-leaders DC and Chicago Fire.
straight wins have given Bunyodkor the longest winning streak in club football, and the latest of their victories was notable for more than merely maintaining their 100 per cent start to the Oliy League season. It did, after all, mark the debut of the Uzbekistani outfit's new coach, a certain Luiz Felipe Scolari. The FIFA World Cup-winning Brazilian has signed on until December of next year, and while Rivaldo remains the jewel in Bunyodkor's crown, it was two goals from another South American, Chile's Jose Luis Villanueva, which secured a 2-1 win over Nasaf that keeps the reigning champions six points clear of closest challengers Pakhtakor.
goals in 43 minutes from Aleksandr Bukharov inspired Rubin Kazan to a comeback win at Khimki that keeps the surprise 2008 champions on course to retain their crown. The 24-year-old's hat-trick - completed between minutes 20 and 63 - was the quickest in world football over the past week, and sealed a 3-2 win that leaves Rubin one point clear of FC Moscow with 12 rounds played. Perhaps surprisingly, the game marked Bukharov's first starting appearance in almost three months, and his last goals for the club had come all the way back on 14 March. However, he had already established a reputation for eye-catching goalscoring feats in Rubin's historic campaign last season, scoring the fastest goal in Russian Premier League history after just 26 seconds as the Tartasan club marched onwards to their first-ever top-flight title.