Icons excel as runs crumble
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FIFA.com’s latest stats review throws the spotlight on a week that brought run-ending defeats for USA’s women and the Netherlands, streak-stretching victories for Bayern Munich and Jose Mourinho, and a milestone for an evergreen Brazilian.

900

competitive appearances was the impressive landmark reached by Rivaldo on Sunday. The Brazil legend, a FIFA World Cup™ winner in 2002 and FIFA World Player of the Year in 1999, achieved this latest milestone just a month short of his 42nd birthday in Mogi Mirim’s 1-1 draw at Sao Bernardo. Rivaldo, whose career has taken him to Spain, Italy, Greece, Uzbekistan and Angola, is now in the role of player-chairman at Mogi Mirim, a little-known team in Sao Paulo state. And while appearance number 900 was remarkable enough, the former Barcelona star recently enjoyed an even more significant outing: the first alongside his 18-year-old son, Rivaldinho.

75

 English Premier League matches, zero defeats. That is Jose Mourinho’s remarkable home record after he extended his run of top-flight invincibility at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. The result equalled the Blues’ biggest top-flight home win over Spurs and saw the visitors become the first team in Premier League history to reach 1100 in the all-time goals-against column. It also brought another landmark for Frank Lampard, who became the first Chelsea player to make 400 Premier League starts, and the fifth overall, following in the footsteps of Ryan Giggs (522), Jamie Carragher (484), Steven Gerrard (431) and Paul Scholes (404). As for Demba Ba, he scored twice in the space of one second-half minute – equalling inside 60 seconds his goal haul from the previous 24 Premier League matches.

19

months unbeaten was the status surrendered by the Netherlands at the Stade de France last Wednesday. The Dutch had gone 17 matches without defeat, a run stretching back to August 2012, but met their match in the shape of an on-song France side. Les Bleus have now won four successive home matches for the first time since 2006, and they have kept a clean sheet in each one, racking up an aggregate score of 14-0. The Netherlands, by contrast, have scored just twice in their last three matches – their worst run since UEFA EURO 2012. Elsewhere, Brazil racked up a seventh straight win, beating South Africa 5-0 thanks largely to a Neymar hat-trick. The Barcelona star duly became just the 12th player to break through the 30-goal mark for A Seleção, moving past Careca and Kaka in the all-time standings.

16

successive victories, the most recent an emphatic 6-1 win at Wolfsburg on Saturday, have enabled Bayern Munich to set yet another German Bundesliga record. Nor was it the only record Pep Guardiola’s side claimed, with their tally of 72 goals after 24 matches eclipsing the previous benchmark of 70 laid down by Werder Bremen in 1985/86. This latest emphatic win included five goals in the space of just 17 second-half minutes, and Bayern have now found the net four times or more in each of their latest five Bundesliga matches. It also helped cap a fine week for captain Philipp Lahm, who last Wednesday won his 105th cap for Germany – moving into joint-fifth position with Jurgen Kohler in the all-time standings.

2

years and 43 matches without defeat was the run that came to a shuddering halt for USA’s women at the Algarve Cup on Friday. A 1-0 defeat to Sweden, managed by Pia Sundhage – the former USA coach who kicked off this long unbeaten run – was the Stars and Stripes’ first since Japan beat them in the same tournament in 2012. It was also the first loss suffered under the reign of Tom Sermanni, who had won 16 and drawn four of his first 20 matches since taking over. But from a record of 43 without defeat, USA are now facing up to an unfamiliar position of having lost two on the bounce, having followed up that defeat to Sweden with a 5-3 reverse at the hands of Denmark. It was the first time this women’s football superpower had lost back-to-back matches since 2001, and the first time they had lost a match by a two-goal margin since 2008. One positive for the US at the Algarve Cup has been the blooding of youngsters, two of whom - Kristie and Samantha Mewis - became the first sisters to start a senior match in the same USA line-up.