In FIFA.com’s latest stats review, we look back on a week that included emotional goodbyes for Javier Zanetti and Juan Sebastian Veron, trophies for Saprissa, Manchester City and Galatasaray and a top-scorer award for Robert Lewandowski.
Inter Milan appearances, a club record, was the tally reached by Javier Zanetti in his farewell match at the San Siro on Saturday. The 40-year-old, who has been with Inter since 1995, has made 614 of those appearances in Serie A and will retire just short of Paolo Maldini’s league record of 647. Zanetti’s presence also seemed to inspire Inter, who ended a four-match winless streak by beating Lazio 4-1, with Mateo Kovacic becoming the first Serie A player this season to provide three assists in a single match. There was also joy for Juventus, who set an all-time Serie A record of 99 points, eclipsing the haul of 97 achieved by Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan in 2006/07.
competitive club appearances was the landmark reached by Juan Sebastian Veron on Saturday. The 38-year-old midfielder was presented with a commemorative shirt before Estudiantes’ meeting with San Lorenzo, and marked the occasion in style, helping the La Plata side to a 3-0 victory that put them top of the Clausura standings. It was Veron’s final home match for the club with which he started his illustrious career two decades ago, and though River Plate returned to the summit the following day, he will go into the last game of the season at Tigre still with a chance of winning a sixth top flight title.
goals were scored by Manchester City en route to the English title - their best tally in 56 years. City had not been able to break through the century-mark since 1957/58, and they were joined in doing so this season by Liverpool, who scored 101. Indeed, this was the first English top flight season to include two teams with 100 or more goals since 1960/61, when Tottenham Hotspur (115), Wolverhampton Wanderers (103) and Burnley (102) were the prolific trio. The league championship was a personal triumph for Manuel Pellegrini, who became the first coach from outside Europe to win England’s top division. City’s fans have, of course, derived further delight from the woes of Manchester United, who finished with their fewest points (64), fewest wins (19) and most defeats (12) since the Premier League’s inception.
Costa Rican league titles was the landmark reached by Saprissa on Saturday, enabling them to set a new national and continental record. The San Jose outfit are, after all, the first team in Central America to rack up 30 championships, having reached the milestone ahead of Costa Rican rivals Alajuelense, Guatemala’s Municipal (both 29) and Olimpia of Honduras (28). It was Alajuelense that Saprissa beat to this latest title with a 1-0 aggregate win in the Clausura final, and in doing so they ended a run of seven consecutive unsuccessful tournaments.
Bundesliga goals this season have enabled Robert Lewandowski to become the first Pole to claim the league’s top scorer award. This is the third successive campaign in which the Borussia Dortmund striker has finished with 20 or more goals to his name, and is in fact his lowest haul of the three. Lewandowski scored 22 in 2011/12 but was beaten by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (29), and was edged out last season by Stefan Kiessling (25) despite setting a personal record of 24. The Bayern Munich-bound star made sure of claiming the award on this occasion with a brace - his fifth of the season – in Dortmund’s 4-0 win over Hertha Berlin. The game also saw him score his first-ever free-kick in his 131st Bundesliga outing. It wasn’t such a happy weekend, though, for Nuremberg, who were relegated from the German top flight for a record-breaking eighth time.
different clubs in three different countries have now won their domestic cup competition with Roberto Mancini in charge after Galatasaray joined the list last Wednesday. Mancini’s haul has been established with Gala, Manchester City, Inter Milan (2), Lazio and Fiorentina, and he is firmly established as a cup specialist, having reached at least the semi-finals in every season since becoming a manager in 2002. Before entering the dugout, he was also the most successful player in the history of the Coppa Italia, lifting the trophy on a record six occasions. For Gala, this was their first Turkish Cup in nine years and the club’s 15th overall, strengthening their hold on the national record and extending their historical advantage over nine-time winner Besiktas.