Strikers toast milestone moments
In many ways, football is a simple game: the team that scores the most goals, wins. Yet in every week, in every league and in every single match, there are intriguing statistical sub-plots that help make the beautiful game the fascinating spectacle that it is.
That's why, every week, we at FIFA.com take a look at the numbers behind the results, highlighting football's biggest winners and losers from the week just past. In this, the latest of our regular round-ups, we reflect on a week on landmarks for the likes of Sergei Barbarez, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Humberto Suazo.
Bundesliga appearances, the career tally of Ole Bjornmose, stood as a record for 31 years, the Dane having played more German top-flight games than any foreigner in the league's history. History, however, was rewritten at the weekend - a year and seven months to the day since Bjornmose passed away - when Bosnian striker Sergei Barbarez eclipsed this milestone by starting for Bayer Leverkusen at Borussia Dortmund. Sadly for the 36-year-old ex-Hamburg striker, this landmark occasion was not to have a happy ending, with Dortmund - another of Barbarez's former clubs - striking in the 87th and 93rd minutes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
is Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's running goal tally in the Eredivisie after the Ajax talisman smashed through the century mark with a hat trick in the Amsterdam club's 4-1 win over De Graafschap on Sunday. In the previous 25 years, only Dennis Bergkamp and Dirk Kuyt had managed this feat before their 25th birthday. Huntelaar's treble also saw him join an elite group of Ajax players to have scored more than 30 league goals in a season, with the last to have reached his current total of 32 none other than Marco van Basten. The 24-year-old now only needs two more goals to beat his previous season's best, which was achieved in season 2005/2006, when he scored a combined total of 33 for SC Heerenveen (17) and his current employers (16).
days after blowing out the candles on his 38th birthday cake, Danubio's Carlos Morales became the week's oldest goalscorer when he slotted home from the penalty spot to give his side a 48th-minute lead at Penarol. The former Toluca, Atlas and Defensor striker's goal was not enough, however, to prevent Danubio's faltering Clausura campaign suffering another setback as Penarol stormed back to win 2-1. The week's youngest goalscorer, meanwhile, was Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli, who at the age of 17 years and 238 days, settled the Serie A leaders' nerves with the decisive second goal in their 2-0 win at Atalanta. Born in Palermo to Ghanaian parents, Balotelli - full name Mario Balotelli Barwuah - has previously rejected a senior call-up from the Black Stars, stating his intention to represent Italy once he turns 18, the age at which he can request citizenship.
goals were scored in the first half alone at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday as Atletico Madrid raced into a 4-3 lead over Almeria. This made it the highest-scoring opening 45 in La Liga for the past 10 years, and although Atletico managed to plug the gaps in their leaky defence after the break, they still managed to add two more goals in a thrilling 6-3 win. With seven separate players on target - Simao (2), Diego Forlan, Antonio Lopez, Sergio Aguero (2) for Atletico, Juanma Ortiz, Felipe Melo, Alvaro Negredo for Almeria - this was also the match with the joint-most individual goalscorers over the past week, a record shared with Hammarby's 5-3 win over GIF Sundsvall.
successive draws have left South African side Jomo Cosmos teetering precariously over the relegation trapdoor. Remarkably, the Ezenkosi have contrived to draw 14 of their 24 top flight matches this season, a record which, combined with just two wins - the fewest of any PSL club - has left them second from bottom, five points above basement boys Black Leopards. These two sides meet on the 30th of this month in what could be a decisive match in determining which of them drops into South Africa's second tier. At the other end of the table, meanwhile, Supersport United and Ajax Cape Town - neither of whom has ever a league championship - remain engaged in the tightest of duels for the PSL title.
goals in Monterrey's thumping 7-2 win over Veracruz made Humberto Suazo the week's highest-scoring individual and helped propel the Chilean to the top of the Mexican scoring charts. Suazo now has 10 goals for the season and will be crucial to Ricardo Lavolpe's team's hopes of closing the four-point gap that separates them from leaders Santos Laguna at the summit of the 1a Division's Group 2. Suazo has certainly wasted little time in endearing himself to the Rayados faithful since his $5 million move from Colo-Colo last summer, firing 13 goals in this, his first season in the Mexican top flight.