Stalwarts, shutouts and Greek goliaths
© Getty Images

Success stories are celebrated in FIFA.com’s latest statistical review, with records rewritten in Hamburg, Madrid, Naples and Piraeus, and 13 proving lucky for one particular Brazilian club.

799

minutes without conceding at the San Paolo is the Napoli club record that now belongs to Morgan De Sanctis after he surpassed a 27-year-old benchmark. Luigi Castellini, the previous record-holder, had gone 763 minutes before finally being beaten by Michel Platini in 1983/84, a mark De Sanctis passed on Sunday before Cagliari’s Robert Aquafresca ended his run just short of the 800-mark. Thankfully for Napoli, another of their stars, Edinson Cavani, was back in form, and a match-winning brace enabled the Uruguayan to equal another club record: Antonio Vojak’s tally of 22 goals in a single campaign (1932/33). The Neapolitans remain unbeaten in their last 11 home league games, and this latest victory means they have already matched their highest-ever points tally in Serie A, set last season when they finished with 59.

330

Bundesliga appearances was the landmark reached by Ze Roberto on Saturday, equalling Sergej Barbarez’s record tally for a foreigner in Germany’s top flight. The Brazilian marked the occasion in style too, scoring a penalty - his first goal in over a year - as Hamburg cruised to an emphatic 6-2 victory over Cologne. Nor was he the only Bundesliga stalwart to reach a milestone over the weekend, with Gerald Asamoah making his 300th league appearance as St Pauli edged closer to the relegation trap door with a third successive defeat, going down 2-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt.

13

successive victories and 18 matches unbeaten have left Coritiba flying high in their state championship and making ground in the Copa do Brasil. A Coxa are now unbeaten in almost five months, since a 3-2 defeat to Guaratingueta on the final day of the Serie B 2010 in November, by which time they had already sewn up the second-tier title. Three of the 13 have come in the cup, where the Marcelo Oliveira’s side have one foot in the last 16 following a 2-1 win away to Atletico Goianiense in the first leg of their tie, while the remaining ten have been chalked up in the Campeonato Paranaense. Having already won the first phase, Coritiba are now topping the table in the second and en route to extending their record tally of 34 Paranaense titles without the need for a final. Starring in their latest success, a 3-0 success at Cascavel on Saturday, was Marcus Aurelio, who scored his 40th goal for the club, establishing him as the Curitiba outfit’s second-highest scorer this century after Keirrison, who has 65.

8

goals in his last five matches is the record scoring streak currently being enjoyed by Karim Benzema. The Frenchman had never before managed to find the net in five successive appearances, but scoring at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday continued a run which has seen him denied just once in his last nine games for club and country. Benzema’s latest strike helped maintain Real’s remarkable dominance over Atletico in the Madrid derby, a fixture in which they have not tasted defeat in 21 matches, a run stretching back 11 and a half years to October 1999. The former Lyon striker also contributed to a landmark week for his club in Europe, with Los Merengues reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in seven years. The 3-0 win over Lyon continued Jose Mourinho’s record of having won all 22 home matches since taking charge at the Bernabeu, and also preserved Real’s record as the only surviving team yet to concede at home, or in the first half of any match, in this season’s Champions League.

6

unanswered goals enabled Olympiacos to equal their biggest ever win over AEK and clinch the club’s 38th Greek championship with three rounds to spare. All six goals came from non-Greeks, with Algerian Rafik Djebbour - who moved between the clubs just two months ago – grabbing a double as the Piraeus giants matched a three-decade-old record set in 1981. Olympiacos have now won the Greek championship in 13 of the last 15 seasons, and their overall tally of 38 top-flight titles knows no equal anywhere in continental Europe. Globally, only Scotland’s dominant Glaswegian duo (Rangers 53, Celtic 42), Belfast’s Linfield (49), the two Montevideo giants (Penarol 48, Nacional 42), and Hong Kong outfit South China (41) can boast higher totals.