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.
Forwards dominate this week's review, from records broken by Blaise Nkufo and Jon Dahl Tomasson through Romario's comeback to Shane Smeltz's A-League exploits. There is also time to reflect on an encouraging start for London's five Premier League hopefuls, and two equally impressive unbeaten runs in Norway and Estonia.
and 103 goals respectively were the record-breaking tallies reached by Blaise Nkufo and Jon Dahl Tomasson at the weekend. The former, who grabbed the decisive strike at Den Haag as Twente moved top of the Eredivisie with a 1-0 win, duly became the Enschede outfit's all-time leading scorer, eclipsing the 103-goal haul of Jan Jeuring. The Swiss international's achievement was all the more impressive as Jeuring accumulated his goals over 326 matches, whereas Nkufo has needed just 193. Tomasson, meanwhile, is just one Eredivisie strike short of the Twente skipper and, by scoring the only goal against Heracles Almelo on Saturday, he became the highest-scoring Dane in the history of the Dutch top flight. As well as eclipsing John Eriksen, who starred for both Roda JC and Feyenoord during the 1980s, the 32-year-old can now boast of having scored against 25 separate Eredivisie clubs, with VVV-Venlo the only current top-flight outfit to have frustrated him thus far.
per cent was the record with which London's five Premier League representatives emerged from the inaugural weekend of the English top flight's 2009/10 season. It was the first time in the Premier League era that every capital club had emerged unscathed from their opening fixtures, and although Tottenham Hotspur's 2-1 win over Liverpool was impressive, it was their north London rivals who produced the weekend's outstanding performance. Arsenal's 6-1 win away to Everton was, in fact, the most resounding opening day win of the Gunners' history, not to mention the joint-biggest in Premier League history, with Liverpool having beaten Crystal Palace by an identical scoreline on 20 August 1994. An opening weekend packed full of statistics also ended without a draw for the first time in 29 years, with the victorious teams including a Manchester City side that kicked off without a single player who started their first game last season.
matches without defeat have left Rosenborg and Levadia Tallinn firmly in pole position to claim the Norwegian and Estonian league titles. In the Eliteserien, Rosenborg - once perennial champions - are attempting to reclaim the championship for the first time in three seasons, and surviving their first 20 games unbeaten have left the Trondheim outfit seven points clear of second-placed Molde with a game in hand. Levadia Talinn, meanwhile, hold a more modest three-point lead in the Meistriliiga, but with three games in hand over their nearest challengers, are well on course to land a fourth successive title.
goals from Shane Smeltz, a haul that included a nine-minute hat-trick, showed why the Kiwi will once again be the man to catch in the race for the Australian A-League's golden boot. The New Zealand international endured an exasperating FIFA Confederations Cup in June and, unfortunately for North Queensland Fury, he took his frustration out on them by inspiring a thumping 5-0 win for Gold Coast United. Already with a debut goal to his name, Smeltz's awesome showing in the A-League new boys' second fixture showed just why the club made such a huge effort to take the 27-year-old from Wellington Phoenix during the close season.
year and four months after he hung up his boots at the age of 42, Romario announced on Thursday that he will come out of retirement to play for America in the second tier of Rio de Janeiro's regional championship. The Brazil legend, who claims to have scored over 1,000 goals during a career spanning close to a quarter of a century, took up an administrative post with the Rio de Janeiro side earlier this year and is returning to action to fulfil a dream of his late father, who was an avid supporter of O Diabo. Romario himself claims that this comeback will last for only "one or two games", but with America attempting to recapture past glories, who would bet against O Baixinho playing on if those matches yield a goal or two?