Club Football

Messi provides 250th assist as Reds collect silverware

Team captain Manuel Neuer of FC Bayern Muenchen lifts the trophy to celebrate the championship
© Getty Images
  • Bayern Munich presented with championship trophy
  • Liverpool confirmed as English Premier League champions
  • Lionel Messi registers his 250th assist for Barcelona

After an enforced break lasting several months, various leagues and competitions have tentatively resumed in recent weeks. While many things have changed – matches without fans, substitutes sitting far apart on the bench while wearing face masks, elbow-based greetings and celebrations, stands either empty or populated by cardboard cutouts – an element of “normality” has returned nonetheless.

The newly crowned champions in England and Germany will have particularly welcomed the restart, while Lionel Messi and his team-mates celebrated a double milestone this week. FIFA.com brings you a round-up of all the latest goings-on out on the pitch.

50

Ivan Rakitic scored his 50th La Liga goal (25 for Barcelona and 25 for Sevilla).

Lionel Messi also registered his 250th assist for the Blaugrana:

  • 177 - La Liga
  • 33 - Champions League
  • 32 - Copa del Rey
  • 5 - Supercopa de España
  • 2 - UEFA Super Cup
  • 1 - FIFA Club World Cup


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Although Arjen Robben called time on his footballing career in summer 2009, he could not stay away from the beautiful game for long. Two days ago he gleefully announced his decision to come out of retirement to play for his boyhood club Groningen. The 2010 FIFA World Cup runner-up began his career in the Green and White Army’s youth ranks back in 1999, making his debut for the first team at the age of 16. It was the start of an illustrious career. He moved to PSV Eindhoven in 2002 and went on to play for Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Robben celebrated many of his biggest successes with Bayern, including eight Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League – where he scored the winner in a 2-1 triumph over Borussia Dortmund. During his international career for the Netherlands he reached the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Final and finished third four years later.

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Liverpool won the Premier League title to end their 30-year title drought in England’s top flight, after defending champions and second-placed Manchester City lost 2-1 to Chelsea on Thursday night. The Reds are now an unassailable 23 points ahead of City in first place. "Congratulations to Liverpool – the fans, the manager, the players. It’s well deserved. Great champions," Pep Guardiola said after the final whistle.

"It’s for you out there – incredible. Celebrate it, enjoy it! It’s the best thing I can imagine and it’s more than I ever dreamed of. What can I say? It’s an incredible moment," said a visibly emotional Reds coach Jurgen Klopp in a tearful television interview.

15

It is a record that has stood for almost 81 years, but now Luka Romero is the youngest player ever to appear in Spain’s top flight. Mallorca’s talented youngster came on as a substitute in the 84th minute with his team 2-0 down against none other than Real Madrid. The previous youngest-ever player in the Spanish first division was Francisco Bao Rodriguez, known as Sanson, who played for Celta Vigo in December 1939 at the age of 15 years and 255 days.

8

Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga in Germany for the eighth successive year. Although they secured the title last week, they were officially presented with the trophy on Saturday after the 34th and final round of league games. By easing to a 4-0 victory over Wolfsburg, Bayern hit the 100-goal mark in the Bundesliga for only the second time in their history – a feat unmatched by any other club. The FCB side of 1971/72 still hold the record, netting just once more to reach 101. Striker Robert Lewandowski racked up an impressive 34 goals for Germany’s most prolific champions during this campaign – only Der Bomber Gerd Muller has found the net more times in a single season. There were more records, too: Thomas Muller set up 21 goals in 2019/20 to beat Kevin De Bruyne’s previous best and become the Bundesliga’s new assist king. Alphonso Davies broke yet another record in Bayern’s match away to Werder Bremen. The Canadian hit 36.51 km/h during the game, the highest speed ever recorded in Germany’s top flight.

6

Anything the men at Bayern Munich can do, the women at Wolfsburg can do too. On Sunday the She-Wolves stormed to an impressive 5-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen to secure their sixth championship title and remain unbeaten for the entire Bundesliga season for the first time in the club’s history. Their last defeat in all competitions came at the hands of Olympique Lyon in March 2019.

Players of Wolfsburg celebrate with the trophy to celebrate the championship 
© Getty Images
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Thomas Meunier has signed a four-year deal with Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund, arriving on a free transfer from Thomas Tuchel’s side Paris St. Germain. "The big day has come!" the 28-year-old right-back tweeted. "It’s a great honour for me to announce that I am now a Borussia Dortmund player. A new chapter opens up for us, you and me. I will wear the black and yellow jersey with pride." Meunier, who has 40 international caps and seven goals for Belgium to his name, scored against England in the play-off for third place at the 2018 World Cup.

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