Gracias Claudio: Pizarro hangs up his boots
Suarez up to third in all-time goal-scorer list for Barça
Cristiano Ronaldo closes in on Ciro Immobile as Italy’s top scorer
Caution is still the watchword as football’s return continues, but with comprehensive health and safety measures being implemented to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, play is back under way in a number of leagues and the weekends are once again filled with football – just the way the fans like them.
The stadiums may be filled with banners or cardboard cut-outs, but at least the supporters get to watch their beloved teams in action on television. And over the past seven days, they have had plenty of action to enjoy.
FIFA.com goes around the grounds and gives you a run-down of what has been happening on and off the pitch over the past few days.
Claudio Pizarro brought an end to his career by helping Werder Bremen retain their Bundesliga status. The 41-year-old Peruvian won the German league title no fewer than six times, and in 490 matches in the Bundesliga, he scored 197 goals, putting him sixth overall in the all-time list of top goal-scorers, behind only Gerd Muller, Klaus Fischer, Robert Lewandowski, Jupp Heynckes and Manfred Burgsmuller.
Luis Suarez notched his 15th goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Espanyol, not only consigning Barça’s bitter local rivals to life in the Segunda Division next season but moving him up to third spot in the all-time goal-scoring list for the Blaugrana. The Uruguayan is now on 195 goals for Barça, just ahead of Hungarian Laszlo Kubala (194) but still a considerable way behind Lionel Messi (630) who leads the list, with Cesar Rodriguez second on 230.
A strike from French FIFA World Cup™-winner Paul Pogba rounded off Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa, and that made it 100 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils this season. With Ole Gunnar Solskjær at the wheel, Manchester United are enjoying their football again.
In the 3-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday, Mohamed Salah was on top form for newly-minted Premier League champions Liverpool. The Egyptian striker bagged two of the goals himself and set up captain Jordan Henderson for the third, making him the fastest Liverpool player to reach 100 goal involvements in the Premier League, hitting the mark in just 104 appearances. The record was previously held by England striker Michael Owen, who hit the century in his 148th game.
Manchester City recorded a 5-0 win over Newcastle United and in the process, they made 840 passes, 787 of which were accurate. That made a success ratio of 93.7 per cent - the highest percentage since this statistic was introduced in the Premier League back in 2003.
Liverpool became the quickest team ever to win 30 matches in a season, doing so in their 34th match. The Reds are now on 93 points from 35 games, meaning that they are on course to break the 100-point barrier this season. The record for a Premier League campaign is currently held by Manchester City, who racked up 100 points exactly in the 2017/18 season.
Everton striker Richarlison scored his 30th Premier League goal in his side’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, making him the fifth Brazilian to reach that plateau after Roberto Firmino (56), Philippe Coutinho (41), Gabriel Jesus (38) and Willian (37).
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the second player in the 21st century to record at least 20 goals (22) and 20 assists in a season in one of the top five European leagues, after Thierry Henry, who managed the feat for Arsenal in the 2002/03 season (24 goals, 20 assists). The last person to hit the 20-assist mark in the Spanish top flight was Xavi back in 2008/09.
Thibaut Courtois is the first Real Madrid goalkeeper to keep 18 clean sheets in a La Liga season since Francisco Buyo, who played under the legendary Leo Beenhakker in 1987/88.
After Nyers and Nordahl in 1950/51, and Angelillo and Altafini in 1958/59, this is just the third Serie A season where two players have scored at least 28 goals by Matchday 32. This year, those two are:Ciro Immobile – 29Cristiano Ronaldo – 28