World Football

Records being hunted in 2020

Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks on
© Getty Images
  • Messi and Ronaldo could make more history in 2020
  • Koeman, Passarella, Pele and Wambach records are under threat
  • Who could emulate the great Real Madrid side of Di Stefano and Puskas?
643

goals for one club is the world record held by Santos immortal Pele. Lionel Messi is on 618 goals for Barcelona (see the top ten below). The Argentinian is also just eight goals shy of outranking the 77-goal Brazilian as South America’s leading marksman in international football.

Player Club Goals Appearances Ratio
Pele Santos 643 659 0.98
Lionel Messi Barcelona 618 705 0.88
Gerd Muller Bayern Munich 564 605 0.93
Fernando Peyroteo Sporting 544 334 1.63
Josef Bican Slavia Prague 534 274 1.95
Jimmy McGrory Celtic 522 501 1.04
Jimmy Jones Glenavon 517 419 1.23
Uwe Seeler Hamburg 507 587 0.86
Eusebio Benfica 473 440 1.08
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 450 438 1.03
184

international caps is the men’s world record, belonging to Egypt legend Ahmed Hassan, that Ahmed Mubarak (179) and Bader Al-Mutawa (178) are closing in on. The Oman midfielder and the Kuwait forward will both turn 35 in the early part of 2020, but won 16 and 12 caps respectively last year.

184

international goals is the record belonging to USA legend Abby Wambach that Canada’s Christine Sinclair is merely one shy of equalling. Sinclair and Carli Lloyd, who have 289 and 288 caps respectively, are also vying to become the third player to join the 300-cap club after Kristine Lilly (352) and Christie Rampone (311).

109

international goals is the men’s record held by Ali Daei. Cristiano Ronaldo rocketed on to 99 with 14 goals in ten appearances for Portugal in 2019. The 34-year-old could become the first player to appear in five UEFA EUROs, three of its finals, and eclipse Michel Platini to become its outright record marksman.

100

points in a Premier League season, set by Manchester City in 2017/18, is the record Liverpool are threatening. The Reds collected 55 points from a possible 57 in the first half of the season, and require another 46 from the second half to set a new high.

51

matches unbeaten in the Greek Super League is the unbelievable run on which PAOK will begin the year (43 wins, eight draws). If the Thessaloniki force survive another 13 games unscathed, they will set the third-longest undefeated run in a domestic league in Europe.

28

matches unbeaten in the FIFA Futsal World Cup is the exceptional record Brazil will look to extend at Lithuania 2020 – provided they qualify. Since a dramatic 4-3 loss to Spain in the Guatemala 2000 final, Brazil have won 25 and drawn three, though those three stalemates have all preceded penalty-shootout losses: two against Spain and one against IR Iran at Colombia 2016.

22

goals is what makes Daniel Passarella the highest-scoring defender in international football history – a majority of Fernando Hierro’s 29 goals for Spain came while playing in midfield – but for how much longer? Sergio Ramos has 21 to his name. The Real Madrid captain has also scored 64 goals in La Liga, just three shy of Ronald Koeman’s record for a defender.

17

goals is the Copa America record Argentinian Norberto Mendez and Brazilian Zizinho have shared since the 1950s. Paolo Guerrero moved on to 14 with three goals at Brazil 2019, and will look to enhance his tally when Peru face Qatar, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela in Group B in June and July.

5

successive titles in Europe’s top men’s or women’s club competition is what an Ada Hegerberg-spearheaded Lyon could become the second side in history to conquer. Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas inspired Real Madrid to five consecutive European Cup crowns between 1956 and ’60. Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema, who has ten goals in four appearances in the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League, has her eye on Hegerberg’s single-season record of 15 goals.

4

consecutive Women’s Olympic Football Tournament finals is what Pia Sundhage will be out to reach at Tokyo 2020, having led USA to gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and Sweden to silver at Rio 2016. Her Brazil midfielder Formiga, who will turn 42 in March, could outrank compatriot Meg and become the oldest player in the competition’s history, while Cristiane will be out to extend her unparalleled 14 goals in it.

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