2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™

11 June - 11 July

2010 FIFA World Cup™

Klose, Villa close in on legends

© AFP

After a day in which Germany and Spain set up a mouth-watering semi-final, FIFA.comlooks at how the European duo's star strikers moved to within touching distance of records held by all-time greats.

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penalties have now been awarded to Spain at the FIFA World Cup™ – four more than Mexico and Germany, their nearest challengers in this respect. Ironically, the European champions came into this edition with a 100 per cent success rate from the spot but have missed both their penalties in South Africa. The only other team to miss from the spot twice in one FIFA World Cup was Korea Republic in 2002.

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goals in four successive matches have taken David Villa clear at the summit of the South Africa 2010 scoring charts and enabled him to equal Emilio Butragueno's Spanish record haul from Mexico 1986. La Roja's No7 has also become the first player since Brazil duo Ronaldo and Rivaldo in 2002 to score in four successive FIFA World Cup matches, taking him closer to the record of six shared by France's Just Fontaine (1958) and Brazil's Jairzinho (1970).

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unanswered Germany goals left Argentina to reflect on their heaviest FIFA World Cup defeat in 52 years. La Albiceleste need to look all the way back to a 6-1 humbling at the hands of Czechoslovakia in 1958 for a bigger loss on the world stage. Diego Maradona's side also surrendered their status as South Africa 2010's top scorers, with Germany – on 13 - now comfortably top of that particular table, four clear of their closest surviving challengers, the Netherlands.

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unsuccessful penalties in a single match had only been seen at the FIFA World Cup once before – and that was 80 years ago. Spain's Xabi Alonso and Paraguay's Oscar Cardozo were the men who reluctantly rewrote history eight decades after a very different match – Argentina's 6-3 win over Mexico – also witnessed two misses. Incidentally, that same nine-goal thriller also included the first-ever successful penalty at the FIFA World Cup, scored by Mexico's Manuel Rosas. A happier milestone to emerge from tonight's two misses was that Iker Casillas became the first keeper in the tournament's history to save a penalty in two separate editions, having also denied the Republic of Ireland's Ian Harte in 2002.

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minutes and 40 seconds of today's quarter-final was all Thomas Muller needed to score the fastest goal of South Africa 2010. The youngster's header, the quickest FIFA World Cup goal since Croatia's Darijo Srna's second-minute free-kick against Australia in 2006, also saw Germany become just the second team in FIFA World Cup history – after Brazil – to reach the 200-goal mark.

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more goal is all that Miroslav Klose requires to draw level with Ronaldo as the FIFA World Cup's greatest-ever goalscorer. By grabbing a double against Argentina, Klose joined compatriot Gerd Muller on the 14-mark and moved clear of Pele (12) and Fontaine (13). The Bayern Munich striker managed these feats on the landmark occasion of his 100th international appearance. Klose, in fact, became only the sixth German to reach his century and will be desperate to match predecessors Franz Beckenbauer, Jurgen Klinsmann, Jurgen Kohler, Thomas Hassler and Lothar Matthaus, all of whom won the game's ultimate prize.

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