Goals galore and creators in focus
The hosts face the daunting challenge of subduing the FIFA Confederations Cup's record scorers in the second of the 2009 edition's semi-finals. As Bafana Bafana and A Seleção prepare to do battle, FIFA.com looks at one striker on a goalscoring quest and highlights two of the tournament's top creators.
goals in 29 appearances is the impressive international scoring record with which Luis Fabiano will start tomorrow's match. It is a tally that leaves the Sevilla striker with an average of 0.69 goals per match and elevates him into the company of some of A Seleção's all-time greats. In fact, only four players in Brazil's history with 20 or more goals can boast a better scoring average. Leonidas da Silva leads the way with a rate of 1.11 - established by 21 goals in 19 appearances - followed by the great Pele on 77 from 91 (0.85) and Ademir, with a record of 32 in 39 (0.82). O Fabuloso, who has already surpassed Ronaldo and Zico, whose ratios were 0.64 and 0.68 respectively, now has another legend in his sights. Romario established an average of 0.79 per cent with 55 goals in 70 internationals, leaving O Baixinho well within reach of Brazil's current predator-in-chief.
goalscoring chances have been created by Maicon in his two appearances at South Africa 2009, establishing him as the tournament's most creative defender. Castrol Performance Analysis revealed that the Brazil right-back has carved out two more opportunities than his closest rival, Spain's Sergio Ramos, with Joan Capdevila and Sibonsio Gaxa joint-third on five apiece. Remarkably, Maicon has even set up as many chances as Kaka, Dunga's principal playmaker, thanks largely to a crossing success rate of 50 per cent that is well above the tournament average of 20 per cent. The Inter Milan star's willingness to get forward has also been evident, with 60 per cent of his touches (56 out of 94) against Italy being made in the Azzurri half.
of Teko Modise's seven dribbles have been successful, giving him the tournament's best success rate (86 per cent). Only Italy's Mauro Camoranesi, who has an identical record, can match the South African midfielder in this respect. Yet while Modise has also created eight chances, more than any other Bafana Bafana player, he will be aware of the need to improve a shooting record that continues to make depressing reading. Castrol Performance Analysts found that the Orlando Pirates star failed to trouble the goalkeeper with any of his eight efforts on goal during the group stage, cementing his title as the tournament's most wayward finisher.
goals per game: that is the unrivalled scoring rate that Brazil have established over six FIFA Confederations Cup campaigns. Andrea Dossena's unfortunate own goal was A Seleção's 60th strike in just 26 matches and maintained their record of scoring at least three goals in their last five fixtures at the Festival of Champions. Brazil were already the tournament's all-time leading scorers when they arrived in South Africa, but they have outdone themselves at this edition, scoring ten times in the group stage for an average of 3.33 goals per game. Another six goals will give the five-time world champions a tally double that of the FIFA Confederations Cup's second-highest scorers, Mexico.