215 goals is the Chilean Primera Division record Francisco Valdes has held since the early 1980s. Pedro Gonzalez (213) fell just short of eclipsing it before his 2006 retirement, but now 38-year-old Colo-Colo striker Esteban Paredes (210) is on its brink.
184 goals is the international football record, belonging to former USA striker Abby Wambach, Canada’s Christine Sinclair (177) is closing in on. The 34-year-old hit 11, 16, eight and ten goals respectively in each of the past four FIFA Women’s World Cup years. Sinclair could also become the first men’s or women’s footballer to score an international goal in 20 calendar years.
175 goals is the English top-flight record for a foreign player, held by Thierry Henry. Sergio Aguero began 2019 with 152 to his name.
122 goals in an Eredivisie season is the record Ajax, aided by 33 from Johan Cruyff, have held since 1966/67. Ajax aces Hakim Ziyech, Dusan Tadic and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and PSV stars Hirving Lozano, Gaston Pereiro, Steven Bergwijn and Luuk de Jong, have helped their clubs score 60 goals in the first 17 rounds of 2018/19.
72 years have passed since a country won three consecutive Copa Americas – a statistic Chile will strive to shift at Brazil 2019. Alfredo Di Stefano, Angel Labruna, Jose Manuel Moreno, Felix Loustau, Norberto Mendez and Adolfo Pedernera helped Argentina become the first and only nation to win three in a row between 1945 and ’47.
50 appearances at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is what Mao (46) could become the first player to reach at Paraguay 2019. The Brazil goalkeeper could, nevertheless, lose the distinction of being the tournament’s most-capped player to Portugal’s Alan.
20 assists in a La Liga season – set by Xavi in 2008/09 – is the record Lionel Messi’s extraordinary invention is threatening. ‘The Atomic Flea’ has ten to his name after 17 of 38 rounds.
14 consecutive top-tier titles is what Belarussians BATE Borisov could make it in 2018 to tie the European record shared by Latvians Skonto Riga (1991-2004) and Gibraltarians Lincoln Red Imps (2003-16). Vanuatu’s Tafea hold the world record: 15 in succession.
10 is the number of successive Women’s World Cup matches that Japan have scored in. The tournament record is the 15 games Norway netted in between 1991 and ’99.
9 German Bundesliga crowns is what Franck Ribery could become the first player to pocket. The 35-year-old Frenchman currently shares the record with Mehmet Scholl, Oliver Kahn, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm. Bayern Munich are, however, six points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund at the halfway stage.
8 consecutive top-flight titles in Europe’s big five leagues is what Gigi Buffon will become the first player to reach if he follows up seven straight Scudetti with Juventus by helping Paris Saint-Germain win Ligue 1. Gregory Coupet, Sidney Govou and Juninho Pernambucano won seven successive titles with Lyon from 2002 to ’08.
7 World Cups is what Formiga is in line to become the first player – male or female – to play in. The Brazil midfielder, who turns 41 in March, could also become the second player in their 40s to score in a men’s or women’s global finals.
6 straight UEFA Champions League trophies will have gone to Spain if Atletico Madrid, Barcelona or Real Madrid triumph in the Wanda Metropolitano decider. It would equal the European Cup/Champions League record held by England, thanks to Liverpool (thrice), Nottingham Forest (twice) and Aston Villa keeping the trophy between 1977 and ’82.
0 players have won the English, Italian and Spanish top flights, with Cristiano Ronaldo set to become the first if Juventus conquer Serie A. The 33-year-old is also bidding to become the second player to win the Champions League with three different clubs after Clarence Seedorf (Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan).
Algeria crowned African champions
Algeria has won its second AFCON title in Egypt after 29 years they did as hosts in 1990. Baghdad Bounedjah’s second-minute goal was all the Desert Warriors needed to claim the crown in Egypt.
For Senegal, the search for their first AFCON title continues despite coming so close to it as they did in 2002. Baghdad Bounedjah’s shot took a huge deflection off Salif Sane and looped over goalkeeper Alfred Gomes.
Senegal was awarded a penalty for handball in the second half but it was overturned after a VAR review.
Algeria closed out the rest of the game to win their first title since 1990.
Senegal’s players collapsed on the pitch in tears at the final whistle.
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, who said before the game he would swap his Champions League winners medal for Africa Cup of Nations success, looked disconsolate as Algeria players celebrated around him.
“Without the players I am nothing,” said Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi. “They are the main ones. I suppose the staff played its part in guiding the players but they applied the instructions incredibly well.”
Mikel calls time on Super Eagles career
Super Eagles’ skipper, Mikel Obi has retired from international football stating that it was time to allow youths to take over. 32-year-old Obi made the disclosure via his Instagram handle @mikel_john_obi on Thursday, after leading the side to the third place of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
He made his debut at AFCON in the 2006 tournament hosted by Egypt.
“Egypt is a country where I started and have finished my national career. In 2006, I played my first official championship for my country.
‘‘2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for the national team with Super Eagles,” he wrote on his page.
The 32-year-old began his career in 2003.
“My national career started in 2003 under 17 World Cup and ‘am grateful to the national team for placing me on the world arena and giving me an opportunity to show my skills and have an incredible national and international career.
“At the age of 32, it’s time for me to retire from the national team and let the youth take over, we’ve done an amazing job by securing a bronze medal at AFCON 2019.
“Thank you to all my Nigerian supporters and to my country for all the trust, support and love you’ve shown me over the past 15 years.”
Mikel also won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Nigeria matches into AFCON semi-finals
Super Falcons scrape into knockout stage
The Super Falcons on Thursday qualified for the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup for the first time in 20 years. The Falcons have reached the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup just once before now, a quarter-final appearance in the competition in the United States in 1999.
They will confront former champions Germany in the last 16 of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in Grenoble on Saturday.
The Falcons qualified as one of the best losers to the round of 16 after finishing third in Group A behind France and Norway but had to endure a torrid time before confirming their place in the last 16 of the event.
The African champions had ended their Group A campaign with three points, courtesy of a 2-0 win over the Korea Republic and losses to former champions Norway (3-0) and hosts France (1-0).
But they had to wait three days later after their final group game on Monday to know their fate.
And the Nigerians were almost left frustrated after Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses beat New Zealand 2-1, meaning they (Falcons) had to slip from third on the best third-placed teams table to fourth.
A 3-0 win for Chile over Thailand would have ended the Falcons dreams of qualification but having led 2-0, the South Americans lost a penalty late on in dramatic fashion to hand the Nigerians a spot in the knockout stage.
Cameroon also qualified as one of the third best-placed teams, thus making it the first time two Africans will reach the knockout stages of the competition.
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