FIFA Ballon d’Or hopefuls Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie are among the stars of FIFA.com’s latest weekly stats review, which also looks at a spate of red cards for Standard Liege and a Thai title secured in some style.
English Premier League goals have now been scored by Robin van Persie, taking the Manchester United striker level with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as the highest-scoring Dutchman in the division’s history. Van Persie’s latest goal, in United’s 3-2 win over Stoke City on Saturday, also took him into the top ten of all-time leading marksmen in the Premier League, a list still led by Alan Shearer with 260. Stoke remain a favourite opponent for the former Arsenal star, who has now scored nine times in his last seven league appearances against the Potters. United's match-winner, though, was Javier Hernandez. The Mexican’s decisive goal was the 12th he has scored coming off the bench in the Premier League, making him the Red Devils' second-most prolific substitute, behind only legendary super-sub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
European goals was the landmark reached by Cristiano Ronaldo last Wednesday, taking him level with Eusebio as Portugal’s all-time leading scorer in continental competitions. All 57 of the Real Madrid star’s European strikes have come in the UEFA Champions League, and his most recent efforts – both in a 2-1 win over Juventus – elevated him to third in the competition’s historical top scorers list, ahead of Ruud van Nistelrooy and behind only Lionel Messi (63) and Raul (71). Ronaldo has also become only the second player – the first having been Filippo Inzaghi in 2002/03 – to score seven times in his first three appearances in a Champions League campaign. Another player who climbed the all-time standings last Wednesday was Didier Drogba, who moved up to eighth alongside Alessandro Del Piero with his 42nd Champions League strike. As for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he became just the tenth player in the competition’s history to score four times in a single match, and the first Swedish player in four decades - since Malmo's Tore Cervin in 1973 - to produce such a prolific performance in a European match.
competitive club matches without defeat is the remarkable streak currently being protected by Franck Ribery at Bayern Munich. The France international hasn’t tasted defeat for Bayern in a meaningful fixture for over a year, since a shock 3-1 Champions League loss to BATE Borisov on 2 October 2012, and his 39-game run in the Bundesliga alone has set a new division record. Ribery's coach is also making history, with Pep Guardiola’s record of no losses from his opening ten league matches equalling the Bundesliga record for a new coach, set by Branko Zebec 45 years ago. Elsewhere, Schalke's Max Meyer – at 18 years, one month and eight days – became the youngest-ever player to accrue three Bundesliga goals. But there was a less welcome record for Mame Biram Diouf, who took just 12 minutes in Hannover’s match against Hoffenheim to earn two yellow cards – the quickest-ever such dismissal in the German top flight.
matches, 0 defeats is the record that secured the third Thai Premier League title of Buriram United’s history. Alejandro Menendez’s side clinched the championship with a game to spare and now only have one more hurdle to overcome before they can reflect on an entire league season unbeaten. All three of Buriram’s league titles have come over the past five years, and their free-scoring current side have been inspired by the form of Spaniard Carmelo, who goes into the final game of the campaign having scored 23 times in just 22 appearances.
red cards were collected by Standard Liege in just two matches over the past week. On Thursday, Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez and Antonio Kanu saw red in the Belgians’ 2-1 UEFA Europa League defeat to Red Bull Salzburg and, four days later, Daniel Opare and William Vainqueur headed for an early bath in a 1-1 league draw at Anderlecht. The former match also included a red card for Salzburg’s Sadio Mane and, as such, set a new Europa League record for most dismissals in a single game. A more positive milestone was reached elsewhere in the competition the same night though, with Jermain Defoe scoring his 22nd European goal for Tottenham Hotspur and, in the process, equalling Martin Chivers’ long-standing club record.