Glory, goal machines and a goalie
© AFP

In FIFA.com’s latest stats review, title celebrations in Australia, Germany and India come under the microscope alongside the scoring feats of Messrs Berisha and Ronaldo, and the longevity of a goalkeeping veteran.

300

consecutive English Premier League appearances was the remarkable landmark reached by Brad Friedel on Saturday. The 40-year-old Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper has not missed a top flight game in almost eight seasons, with his weekend run-out against Queen’s Park Rangers extending a record sequence that began all the way back on 14 August 2004. Friedel has moved club twice since then, but those switches haven’t interrupted a run that comprises 152 appearances for Blackburn Rovers (2004-08), 114 for Aston Villa (2008-11) and 34 for Tottenham Hotspur (2011-present). The veteran former USA international is certainly way ahead of his nearest rival, Pepe Reina, whose run of 183 successive appearances recently came to an end, and Frank Lampard, who holds the record for outfield players with 164. Yet despite extending his record, it proved to be a disappointing afternoon for Friedel and Spurs, for whom a 1-0 defeat at QPR was their third in a row, and left them with just three wins from their last ten matches. 

54

goals in all competitions have combined to make 2011/12 the most prolific campaign of Cristiano Ronaldo’s career - surpassing the benchmark he set last season. The Real Madrid talisman’s match-winning goal at the Camp Nou on Saturday was his 42nd La Liga strike of the season, setting a new record for the Spanish flight and taking his overall tally with Los Merengues to 140. Ronaldo has required just 138 appearances to reach that landmark, and he is also proving increasingly potent in matches in matches against Barcelona, having now scored in each of his last three visits to his club’s great rivals. The 27-year-old’s decisive strike was Real’s 108th of the current La Liga campaign, breaking a record set by the Madrid giants themselves in 1989/90. Jose Mourinho’s side are also on course to finish with an all-time high goal difference, with their current level of +79 five better than La Liga’s previous best-ever tally, set by Barcelona in 2009/10 and 2010/11. The only team in Europe’s big five leagues to have achieved a more impressive goal difference were the great Torino side of the 1940s, who finished the 1947/48 season on +92.

21

goals is the haul that has enabled Besart Berisha to set a new single-season record in Australia’s A-League. The Albanian striker, who had previously equalled Shane Smeltz’s regular season benchmark of 19, capped the most prolific campaign of his career with a match-winning double on Sunday as Brisbane Roar beat Perth Glory 2-1 in a dramatic championship final. Glory had looked set for victory until Berisha equalised with six minutes remaining and then completed the comeback from the penalty spot with the final kick of the season, enabling Brisbane to become the first team to retain the A-League title. Berisha and Co had begun the season in the midst of a record 36-match unbeaten run, but were then forced to bounce back from a subsequent run of five straight defeats. Following Sunday’s triumph, they are now established as the joint-most successful club in the A-League’s fledgling history, tied on two titles apiece with Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.

6

consecutive Indian league titles have now gone to Goa, the country’s smallest state, after Dempo secured the 2011/12 crown on Friday. The Panjim outfit are the country’s record champions, having won five titles in the past eight seasons, a record that – allied to the successes of Salgaocar last year and Churchill Brothers in 2009 – has helped maintain this Goan monopoly. Kolkata duo East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, two of India’s traditional giants, trail Dempo on three titles apiece.

2

successive Bundesliga seasons have now culminated in Borussia Dortmund being crowned champions – the first time in 16 years that any German side besides Bayern Munich have secured consecutive titles. It was Dortmund themselves, under Ottmar Hitzfeld, who achieved that feat back in 1995 and ’96, and this latest championship, their eighth overall, has established them as the third-most successful side in their country’s history - one ahead of old rivals Schalke. Only Bayern (22) and Nurnberg (9) have more. Jurgen Klopp’s side secured this latest title in style too, surviving 26 games unbeaten since a 2-1 defeat to Hannover on matchday 6 of their current campaign, way back on 18 September. Their latest win, 2-0 over Borussia Monchengladbach, was the 23rd of their league season – equalling a club record set last year – while a 14th clean sheet of the season also matches their best-ever tally.