World Football

The Week in Numbers

Franco Armani #1 goalkeeper of River Plate celebrates after saving a penalty.
© Getty Images
  • An Argentinian in Brazil
  • A record-breaking transfer
  • An Italian keeper and a French forward feature
454

outings for Internacional is what Alessandro D’Alessandro, an Argentinian, made it by playing against Nacional – 11 years and one day after he joined the Brazilian giants – to go fourth on the 110-year-old club’s appearance list. The 38-year-old outranked Luis Carlos Winck and trails only Dorinho (460), Bibiano (523) and Valdomiro (803). D’Alessandro also eclipsed Bolivar to become the player with the most appearances in international competitions for Inter (57).

80

million euros is what Arsenal paid Lille to make Nicolas Pepe the most expensive African footballer in history, surpassing the €74m Beijing Guoan gave Villarreal for Cedric Bakambu. The Côte d'Ivoire attacker also became the costliest-ever sale by a French club overseas, breaking James Rodriguez’s €76m move from Monaco to Real Madrid in 2014.

32

nations is what the next FIFA Women’s World Cup™ will involve after the FIFA Council unanimously approved its expansion. It only grew from a 16 to 24-team event for Canada 2015 and has since rocketed in popularity.

11

successive away games unbeaten is what River Plate became the first team in the Copa Libertadores’s 59-year history to register. Seven of those were against Argentinian or Brazilian opposition. Franco Armani helped River record 0-0 draws in the Monumental and Mineirao, and then saved two penalties in the shoot-out to render Cruzeiro just the sixth side ever to lose a Libertadores knockout tie without conceding a goal.

8

years had passed since a team kept a clean sheet in the MLS All-Star Game until Atletico Madrid’s new-look defence kept Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Nani, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Vela and the MLS All-Stars at bay in a 3-0 win. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra helped nullify David Beckham and Thierry Henry as Manchester United won the fixture 4-0 in 2011.

8

years had surprisingly passed since a Real Madrid player scored a hat-trick in pre-season – Cristiano Ronaldo was the last against Guadalajara in 2011 – until Karim Benzema completed the feat against Fenerbahce. Real’s five friendlies during the off-season have averaged 5.4 goals per game.

6

goals was the margin by which Russia thrashed Italy in the Moscow 2019 decider – double the previous biggest victory in the final of the European qualifiers for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Yuri Krasheninnikov, Maxim Chuzhkov, Boris Nikonorov and Co head to Paraguay 2019 having taken a plus-44 goal difference from their eight preliminaries.

3

of Honved’s four penalties is what Mirko Pigliacelli saved to decide a shoot-out and send Universitatea Craiova through to the third round of UEFA Europa League qualifying. The Italian goalkeeper has now gone almost seven hours of action without conceding.

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