Prizes, prodigies and a fond farewell
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Derby despair, title joy and a first-half goal deluge feature in FIFA.com’s latest stats review, which begins by highlighting the feats of two European youngsters.

16

years and 88 days was the age at which Richairo Zivkovic became the fourth-youngest player in the history of the Eredivisie on Sunday. The highly rated forward made his league debut in a 2-0 win over Heracles, although the record still belongs to Wim Kras, who was 75 days short of his 16th birthday when he turned out for Volendam against Ajax in 1959. And Zivkovic wasn’t the only 16-year-old making headlines this week. In Bulgaria, Levski Sofia prodigy Antonio Vutov (16 years, 175 days) earned his place as the week’s youngest goalscorer when he found the target in a 7-1 win for the 26-time champions over Etar 1924.

13

years, one month and 22 Madrid derbies have now passed since Real were last beaten by city rivals Atletico. Los Colchoneros need to look back to 30 October 1999 for their last victory in this fixture after their long and miserable winless sequence was extended on Saturday. Atletico had gone into the match eight points clear of their hosts – the first time since 1996 they had arrived at a derby with such a handsome advantage – but it was with relative comfort that Real extended their unbeaten home La Liga record to 19 matches. Cristiano Ronaldo set them on the road to victory with a superb free-kick, his tenth such goal since arriving in Spain. During the same period, only Messi (6) has come close, although it should be pointed out that Ronaldo has attempted 159 direct free-kicks in those four seasons – more than every single team in La Liga.

7

goals were served up inside the opening 34 minutes of Saturday’s meeting between Reading and Manchester United, equalling the Premier League record. It became the third match in the league’s history to produce seven first-half goals, although - strangely - the second halves of these encounters have yielded a meagre combined tally of just one goal. Remarkably, no team in the Premier League has conceded the lead more often this season than United, who top the table despite having fallen behind on ten occasions. Elsewhere in England, there were landmarks at St James’s Park on Monday, with Demba Ba scoring the 21,000th Premier League goal in Newcastle United’s 3-0 win over Wigan Athletic. Team-mate Gael Bigirimana also became the first Burundian to score in England’s top flight, and took the number of nationalities represented on the Premier League goal chart to an incredible 89.

6

different clubs have won the last six titles in Mexico, with Tijuana the latest to celebrate Liga success. This was the first championship of Los Rojinegros’ five-year existence, and sees them continue a sequence began by Toluca and extended by Monterrey, Pumas, Tigres and Santos Laguna. There was also a historic title party in Ecuador over the past week, with Barcelona securing a record 19th national crown to edge one ahead of Quito’s El Nacional. It was the Guayaquil outfit’s first league championship since 1997, with the subsequent 15-year wait their longest since winning the title for the first time in 1955.

4

Major League Soccer titles have now been won by Los Angeles Galaxy, with Saturday’s 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo enabling them to equal DC United’s record. This latest championship, the Galaxy’s second in succession, represented the perfect farewell for David Beckham, who has now won nine league medals across three different countries (six in England, one in Spain and two in the USA). And the game was also notable for another of the team’s stars, Landon Donovan, extending his already-record tally of post-season MLS goals to 22. The Galaxy captain has now scored five goals in MLS Cups - three more than any of his nearest challengers.