World Football

The Week in Numbers

Messi the Century man
© AFP
  • ​Armani’s all the rage for millionaires
  • An orange-haired infant oranje
  • Who are the world’s record league champions?

128 seconds is what it took Lionel Messi to score the quickest goal of his entire career on Wednesday. The 30-year-old’s previous fastest was the 146 seconds it took him to net for Argentina against Nigeria at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Messi added a second against Chelsea to became the second player to score 100 Champions League goals, taking 14 fewer appearances than Cristiano Ronaldo (123 compared to 137).

60 years: that is how long had passed since Sevilla reached the European Cup/UEFA Champions League quarter-finals until Tuesday. Wissam Ben Yedder was the hero, becoming only the fourth player to score a double away to Manchester United in the tournament’s knockout phase after Raul, Ronaldo and Kaka.

50 assists in the Premier League is what Mesut Ozil became the player with the fewest appearances to reach (141). Eric Cantona had held the record for reaching the half-century (143 games).

40 league titles is what Al Ahly became only the ninth team on the planet to reach. Sunday’s win at ENPPI left them on a run of 45 points from a possible 45, clinched the trophy with six rounds remaining, and saw the Cairo colossuses emulate Rangers (54), Linfield (52), Penarol (49), Celtic (48), Nacional (46), Olympiacos (44), South China (41) and Olimpia (40).

21 years is how long it had been since a club from Punjab had reigned as Indian league champions – JCT conquered the inaugural season – until Minerva won the I-League. Minerva were all but champions heading into February, but four losses within a month left four sides battling for glory in the final round, with Minerva the only of them to emerge victorious.

19 games unbeaten in Europe is the exceptional run Salzburg are on after they upset Borussia Dortmund to become the first Austrian side to reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. Eight of those examinations have come against formidable opponents Dortmund, Marseille, Nice, Real Socieadad and Schalke.

16 years and 81 days was the age at which PEC Zwolle’s Sepp van den Berg became the fourth-youngest player in Eredivisie history. The orange-haired defender trails Wim Kras (15 years and 290 days in 1959), Michel Mommertz (16 years and 9 days in 1977) and Mark van Bommel (16 years and 23 days in 1993).

11 years after River Plate kept a clean sheet and scored multiple goals against Boca Juniors, they repeated the feat – in no small part due to Franco Armani’s superlative reflexes – to win the first trophy-decider between the fiercest of foes since 1976. Goals from 21-year-old Falcao and Ariel Ortega, 33, spurred Los Millonarios to a 2-0 victory in a 2007 Superclásico.

8 matches winless in Liga MX was the run Cruz Azul ended with their biggest victory in five years. Angel Mena, who had gone 27 appearances in all competitions without scoring, bagged a brace to inspire the 5-0 win over Pachuca.

0 wins is what Hong Kong clubs had registered in AFC Champions League history until Kitchee produced a stunning 1-0 upset of Japanese big guns Kashiwa Reysol. Cheng Chinlung, who was plucked from Kitchee’s reserves due to a player shortage, came on late, received a Diego Forlan pass and produced a sensational finish to become the first Hongkonger to ever score in the tournament.

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