International feats and a fitting farewell
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In this week’s stats review, FIFA.com highlights the impressive feats of Eren Derdiyok, Iker Casillas and France in pre-EURO action, while also paying tribute to Corinthians’ solidity and Pep Guardiola’s unprecedented achievements at Barcelona.

73

international clean sheets is the tally that has enabled Iker Casillas to set a new record and overtake Edwin van der Sar. No goalkeeper in history has ever recorded as many shutouts for their country, and Spain’s 2-0 win over Serbia has also left the Real Madrid skipper just one short of an unparalleled 95th international victory. As things stand, he and Lilian Thuram are locked together on 94. Unsurprisingly, Casillas numbers among 19 survivors from Spain’s 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ squad selected for UEFA EURO 2012, a total that would surely have risen to 21 but for injuries to Carles Puyol and David Villa.

19

matches without defeat, the longest active unbeaten streak in international football, is the run on which France go into UEFA EURO 2012. Les Bleus’ sequence, which stretches all the way back to September 2010 and finds its closest rival in Côte d'Ivoire (17), survived on Sunday thanks only to a stirring second-half comeback. The French had found themselves two goals down against Iceland before battling back to win 3-2 - the first time they had overcome a two-goal deficit in seven years. The winning goal also brought relief for Frank Ribery, ending as it did the Bayern Munich star’s run of 1,330 minutes without an international goal.

14

out of 19: that has been Barcelona’s record of success in the competitions they have entered under Pep Guardiola. The 41-year-old ended his record-breaking four-year reign on a high last Friday by extending his lead over Johan Cruyff as Barça’s most successful coach to thee trophies. Guardiola’s 14th and final piece of silverware at Camp Nou, at least for now, came in the final of the Copa del Rey, a competition Barça have now won on a record 26 occasions (Athletic Bilbao 23, Real Madrid 18). Athletic had no answer as the Catalans scored the 173rd, 174th and 175th goals of the highest-scoring season in the club’s history, with Lionel Messi leading the way with his 73rd of the campaign. The only unusual aspect to this latest Messi strike was that it came via his right foot – ending a streak of 26 consecutive left-footed goals. No-one, however, will be surprised to learn that Barcelona had the lion’s share of the ball in the match. Indeed, Guardiola departs with the statistics proving that his side have dominated possession in each and every one of his 247 matches in charge.

3

goals against Germany was the rare feat achieved by Eren Derdiyok on Saturday as Switzerland claimed a thrilling 5-3 win. Not since Michael Owen’s famous display in Munich in 2001 had anyone scored a hat-trick against the Germans, and all three of the Hoffenheim striker’s goals were laid on by another Bundesliga-based player, Tranquillo Barnetta. This latest reverse for Joachim Low’s side followed on from a 2-1 home defeat to France in February, and marked the first time in over nine years that Germany have lost two games in succession. It was also something of a personal nightmare for newcomer Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who became first German goalkeeper to concede more than three goals on his international debut in 58 years. There is encouragement, however, in the fact that his predecessor in this respect was Heinrich Kwiatkowski, who was beaten eight times by Hungary in the group stage of the 1954 FIFA World Cup™. After all, we all know how that tournament ended.

2

goals is the meagre amount conceded by Corinthians en route to the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores. The Brazilians have racked up eight clean sheets in ten matches thus far and are only the second team, after compatriots Sao Paulo, to reach the last four of the competition in its current format with such a miserly defensive record. O Timão now face an all-Brazilian semi-final against defending champions Santos, who are aiming to become the first team to retain the continental crown since Boca Juniors in 2001. Boca are themselves in the last four, having come from behind against Fluminense to secure a 2-1 aggregate win, maintaining their record of having never surrendered a first-leg lead since 1991.