FIFA.com reflects on a week that witnessed another landmark for Francesco Totti, a 15-year-old debutant in Australia, yet more defensive excellence from Bayern Munich and bittersweet achievements by Ryan Giggs and Lionel Messi.
competitive appearances was the magnificent milestone reached by the evergreen Giggs last night. Sadly for the Manchester United veteran, whose total comprises 932 outings for his club, 64 for Wales and four for Great Britain, his feat was overshadowed by a painful UEFA Champions League exit. Real Madrid, in winning 2-1 to edge through 3-2 on aggregate, Madrid became the team to win a Champions League knockout match at Old Trafford in eight years and the first to beat United twice away from home in the competition. It had all looked so promising for the Red Devils when Sergio Ramos inadvertently put them ahead with a goal that just happened to be the 6000th ever scored in the Champions League. However, Luka Modric restored parity and duly set the scene for Cristiano Ronaldo to send his former team crashing out with his first goal at the Theatre of Dreams since 10 May 2009.
minutes of football have now passed since Bayern Munich last conceded an away goal in the Bundesliga, setting a new national record. The runaway German leaders have registered shutouts in each of their last six league matches on the road, with Nurnberg’s Markus Feulner responsible for their last away goal conceded – way back on 17 November. That, in fact, is the only Bundesliga strike Bayern have conceded on their travels all season. Hoffenheim were the latest side unable to find a way through as the Bavarians won 1-0 to rack up their tenth successive victory in all competitions. The decisive goal came from Mario Gomez, allowing the Germany international to draw level with Bayern legend Giovane Elber in the all-time standings on 133 Bundesliga goals.
Serie A goals was the landmark reached by Francesco Totti on Sunday, taking him alongside Gunnar Nordahl as the league’s second-highest all-time scorer. The Roma captain, who has accrued his impressive haul over 525 appearances, now trails only record-holder Silvio Piola (274) in the historical chart. It was an outstanding performance that took Totti to this latest milestone, with his goal supplemented by two assists in a 3-1 win over Genoa. One of the beneficiaries of his set-up play was 18-year-old Alessio Romagnoli, who duly became the club’s youngest goalscorer of the season. Putting the length of Totti’s service into perspective, Il Bimbo d'Oro’s first Serie A goal came on 4 September 1994 – four months and eight days before Romagnoli was born.
Clásico goals is the all-time record now shared by Alfredo Di Stefano and Lionel Messi after the Barcelona No10 equalled his fellow Argentinian on Saturday. Messi can also boast of having accumulated his total in just 25 appearances, five fewer than his illustrious predecessor required. This latest Clásico strike was Messi’s 50th Barcelona goal of the season, establishing him as the first player in the history of Spanish football to reach the half-century mark in three successive campaigns. He also extended another of his own records by finding the net for the 16th Liga match in succession. Yet, impressive though these feats were, of greater importance to Messi would have been a 2-1 defeat that means Barcelona have failed to win any of the last five Clásicos. This represents the club’s worst run in the fixture since an identical streak between 2006 and 2008, prior to Pep Guardiola’s appointment.
is the number of candles that Daniel De Silva will be blowing out on his birthday cake today, four days on from his Australian A-League debut. The Perth Glory midfielder made his first senior appearance on Saturday, coming off the bench to play his part in a 2-1 win over Sydney FC. Remarkably, though, De Silva did not become the A-League’s youngest-ever player. That record remains with Teeboy Kamara, who was just 15 years and 212 days old when he turned out for Adelaide United last year. One benchmark that was equalled, however, was Melbourne Victory’s eight-match winning streak, which A-League new boys Western Sydney Wanderers emulated with a 1-0 victory over Central Coast Mariners. Victory also had reason to celebrate though, with Mark Milligan claiming a place in A-League history by scoring the division’s 2500th goal in his side’s 5-0 win over Newcastle Jets.