Asian landmarks and a league of nations
© AFP

FIFA.com’s latest statistical review reflects on a week that witnessed records crash in England, Spain and Australia, and included milestone moments for Messrs Totti, Park, Schwarzer, Berbatov and Messi.

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goals in all competitions was the Roma landmark reached by Francesco Totti in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Cagliari. The 34-year-old, who hadn’t scored a league goal at the Olimpico for eight months, was on target from the spot – his 51st penalty conversion in 64 attempts – as Roma clinched their seventh successive home win over the Sardinians. Totti is now just ten goals from realising his ambition of surpassing Roberto Baggio’s Serie A tally and moving into the league’s top five all-time scorers. The defeat he helped inflict on Cagliari, who haven’t beaten I Giallorossi in Rome since 1968, also included a second own goal in three games from defender Max Pellegrino. Another player who endured a weekend to forget was Lecce loanee David Di Michele, who continued his zero per cent success rate from the spot this season, missing his third penalty of the campaign in a 1-1 draw with Fiorentina.

100

caps was the milestone reached by Park Ji-Sung in yesterday’s AFC Asian Cup semi-final against Japan. The Korea Republic midfielder, who made his international debut in 2000, became the eighth Taeguk Warriors player to reach the century-mark, although he remains 36 appearances short of his country’s record caps-holder, Hong Myung-Bo. One player who will set a new national benchmark before the tournament’s conclusion is Mark Schwarzer. The Australia keeper picked up his 87th cap against Uzbekistan yesterday, equalling the record of Alex Tobin, who played alongside Schwarzer on the latter’s debut 17 years ago. The 38-year-old is now set surpass his former team-mate by lining up between the sticks when the Socceroos square up to Japan in Saturday’s final.

22

different nationalities, a new Premier League record, were represented on the field during Blackburn Rovers’ 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. England contributed three players, France, Scotland and Sweden two apiece, while Austria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Congo, Congo DR, Croatia, Czech Republic, Grenada, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Paraguay, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, USA and Wales all boasted a solitary ambassador. Elsewhere in England, Dimitar Berbatov became just the third player - after Alan Shearer (twice) and Ruud van Nistelrooy - to score three hat-tricks in a single Premier League season. It was also a weekend to remember for Darren Bent, whose £24 million move to Aston Villa last Tuesday took his tally of transfer fees to £53 million. The Villa new boy scored the winning goal on his debut against Manchester City on Saturday - with his very first shot.

14

consecutive La Liga victories was the club record streak equalled by Barcelona on Saturday. The Catalans, whose record 28-match unbeaten run in all competitions had come to an end against Real Betis in the Copa del Rey three days earlier, got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Racing Santander. The victory included yet another personal milestone for Lionel Messi, who scored his 107th La Liga goal to become Barcelona’s joint-third all-time leading scorer in Spain’s top flight, moving level with Samuel Eto’o and edging closer to Ladislao Kubala (131) and César Rodríguez (195). Pedro also continued his fine scoring form, cementing his status as Barcelona’s leading marksmen in 2011 with his seventh goal from his last five league appearances.

2

players helped themselves to hat-tricks as Adelaide United set a clutch a host of new A-League records with an 8-1 victory over North Queensland Fury on Friday. Marcos Flores and Sergio van Dijk both claimed trebles, the first team-mates to do so in an individual A-League match, as the Aussie title hopefuls registered the biggest margin of victory in the division’s history. The Reds also became the first A-League side to score more than six goals in a single game, with Iain Ramsay and captain Travis Dodd also on target in a win that reduced the gap on leaders Brisbane Roar – unbeaten since 12 September – to just four points.