Scoring records and domestic dominance
© Getty Images

Championship success and fresh goalscoring landmarks dominate FIFA.com’s latest statistical review, with Linfield, Flamengo, Ryan Giggs, Sergio Aguero and Francesco Totti all having cause to celebrate.

206

goals is the tally that has taken Francesco Totti beyond Roberto Baggio into fifth place on the list of Serie A’s all-time leading scorers. The Roma captain achieved his target of surpassing Il Divin Codino with his fourth double in seven league appearances as I Giallorossi came from behind to win 3-2 at Bari. As well as eclipsing Baggio, and cementing his position as the most prolific Serie A star still active – Alessandro del Piero is second on 184 – Totti’s latest goals moved him to within range of new targets. Jose Altafini and Giuseppe Meazza, in joint-third, are just ten goals away, while the great Gunnar Nordahl’s final tally of 225 should also come into view. The title of Serie A’s greatest-ever goalscorer is likely to prove elusive, however, with Silvio Piola’s record haul of 274 a distant target for the 34-year-old.

98

Atletico Madrid goals have established Sergio Aguero as the most prolific foreigner in the club’s history. A double in Los Colchoneros’ 4-1 win over Levante last Sunday and the winner in their 1-0 win at Deportivo over the weekend took the Argentinian beyond predecessor and team-mate Diego Forlan, who has 96. Former Spain international Ruben Cano (97) was also eclipsed as Aguero climbed to eighth in Atletico’s list of all-time scorers, a chart headed by a certain Luis Aragones on 172. The 22-year-old, who has scored nine times in his last seven appearances, has set his sights on completing a century before the season is out, and needs just seven more goals to surpass Enrique Collar, who is seventh on the all-time list.

50

league titles was the landmark reached by Linfield on Saturday as Northern Ireland’s most successful club extended its record haul of championships. A 1-0 win over Portadown sealed the Belfast outfit’s sixth title in eight years and enabled them to mark their 125th anniversary in trademark style. This latest success also cemented Linfield’s position as the second-most prolific national champions in football, edging them further clear of third-placed Penarol and closer to Rangers’ record tally of 53. The Scottish giants could yet add title number 54 this season, although second-placed Celtic are just a point behind them with a game in hand, but they will travel to Belfast this summer regardless to help mark the anniversary of Linfield, with whom they have long enjoyed a close relationship. By that time, Northern Ireland’s Blues will hope to have another trophy in the cabinet, with the prospect of claiming a 41st Irish Cup – and a fifth domestic double in six years – beckoning against Crusaders on 7 May.

37

years and 148 days was the age at which Ryan Giggs became the oldest goalscorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League against Schalke last Tuesday. The Welshman, who eclipsed Filippo Inzaghi (37 years and 86 days), has now scored in 15 different Champions League seasons, equalling the record of semi-final opponent Raul. Giggs, whose tally of 26 Champions League goals is a record for a British player, also set a new UK benchmark by reaching 140 European appearances, surpassing the record of 139 he shared with Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher. There were also records set at the other end of the park, where United became the first team to keep a clean sheet in every one of their away matches in a single Champions League campaign, and Edwin van der Sar reached Claude Makelele’s previously unmatched tally of 13 semi-final appearances. The following night, meanwhile, Lionel Messi became only the second player to score 11 goals in a single Champions League season, moving within one of Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of 12 from 2002/03.

26

matches unbeaten is the outstanding sequence that culminated on Sunday in Flamengo securing their 32nd Campeonato Carioca crown. O Mengão, already the most successful team in the history of the Rio de Janeiro state championship, extended their record tally of titles by beating arch-rivals Vasco da Gama 3-1 on penalties in the Taco Rio final after the match had ended goalless. It is now over five months since Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s side’s last defeat – a 2-1 loss to Cruzeiro on 28 November – and they are only the fifth team in the club’s history to march undefeated to the Carioca crown, this feat having been achieved previously in 1915, 1920, 1979 and 1996. Winning on penalties also maintained Flamengo’s excellent recent record in shoot-outs. The Rio giants have now triumphed in their last seven in succession, a run that dates back to 2004.