The Week in Numbers
A kindred charm in ‘The Big Smoke’
25th time lucky in ‘Old Line State’
On-song stars from Flanders and Funen
internationals is what Edin Dzeko made it to outrank Emir Spahic and become Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most-capped player. The 32-year-old striker marked the occasion by scoring for the first time in eight games for his country and sinking Austria in the UEFA Nations League. Dzeko has a better goals-per-game ratio at international level (0.56) than the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (0.55), Luis Suarez (0.53) and Lionel Messi (0.51).
years and 11 months was the age at which George Weah, Liberia’s President, represented his country in a 2-1 defeat by Nigeria on Tuesday. Thirty-one years after his international debut, and 15 years after the 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year recipient retired from football, he played 79 minutes against a side featuring several players on duty at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
minutes was all it took for the first leg of European champions the Netherlands's FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 qualifying play-off with Denmark to sell out all 14,000 tickets. In a re-run of the UEFA Women's EURO 2017 final, having missed out on automatic places, the pair will face off home and away before taking on the winners of the tie between Belgium and Switzerland to snatch a late spot in France.
and a half years after Spain won at Wembley for the first time, they won there for the second. Curiously, Marcos Alonso made his maiden international start in a 2-1 win away to England in 1981, and his son, also Marcos Alonso, made his maiden international start in a 2-1 win away to England on Saturday. Spain have failed to win any of their other seven appearances in the English capital.
years have passed since USA lost a friendly to Mexico. Since Paul Caligiuri played in a 2-1 defeat by Bora Milutinovic’s side in Mexico City in 1984, the USMNT have won eight – their latest 1-0 in Nashville – and drawn five friendlies against El Tri.
goals in his last 25 internationals is, splendidly, what Romelu Lukaku – the adidas Bronze Boot winner at Russia 2018 – has scored. Belgium have lost just one of their last 28 outings: 1-0 to France in that Saint Petersburg semi-final.
call-ups over eight years and three coaches – Mano Menezes, Dunga and Tite – is, astonishingly, what it took Valencia goalkeeper Neto to win his first Brazil cap against El Salvador.
goals in his last 18 appearances for Denmark is what Christian Eriksen has admirably netted – the 26-year-old scored merely five in his first 50 internationals. Eriksen’s double on Tuesday earned a 2-0 win over Wales that augmented the Danes’ undefeated dash – they were one of only three teams not to lose at Russia 2018 – to 14 matches.
hours and 11 minutes was the France goal famine Olivier Giroud ended to grab a 2-1 win over the Netherlands and extend the World Cup champions’ undefeated run to 13 matches. The FIFA Puskás Award holder – you can vote for this year’s winner now – scored another spectacular volley to move outright fourth on Les Bleus’ all-time leading marksmen, above Zinedine Zidane (31) and behind David Trezeguet (34), Michel Platini (41) and Thierry Henry (51).
years after they first lifted the Euro Beach Soccer League trophy, Italy upset Spain on penalties to repeat the feat. The first 13 spot-kicks in the Superfinal shoot-out were scored, before Simone Del Mestre saved Jose Enrique’s attempt to clinch it for the 2015 and 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup semi-finalists.
goals per game is what Russia-Czech Republic matches have averaged. The teams’ first meeting ended in a 3-3 draw at UEFA EURO 1996, while their fourth finished 5-1 in the recent World Cup hosts’ favour. Russia, who began the global finals winless in seven matches, have now lost only one of their last eight.