- Argentina's 'Chubby One’ creates some fat stats in China
- *A French model continues to catwalk his way up the scoring ladder *
Brazil's talisman remains in scorching form against ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’
189 caps fewer than their opponents: that is what England’s starting XI had compared to Germany’s when they kicked off at Wembley. They played out the fixture’s first 0-0 draw since 1982.
63 domestic games unbeaten is what Celtic swaggered on to with a 4-0 win at St Johnstone to break their own British record, which had stood for 100 years. The Bhoys have, however, some way to go in pursuit of the European record – Steaua Bucharest went 119 domestic matches without defeat between 1985 and ’89.
35 combined goals (20) and assists (15) – in only 27 appearances – is the unparalleled total with which Hebei China Fortune attacker Ezequiel Lavezzi finished the Chinese Super League 2017. The only other player to record double figures in both categories was Shanghai SIPG’s Hulk (17 goals, 12 assists).
30 years: that is what Sweden had gone without beating Italy in a competitive game until victory in the first leg of their FIFA World Cup™ playoff. Jakob Johansson’s first international goal, four minutes after coming on, ensured the Swedes last three wins over the Italians have all been 1-0.
20 years had passed since Croatia defeated Greece until they ended the drought with a thumping 4-1 win in the first leg of their Russia 2018 playoff. It was the Greeks’ heaviest competitive defeat since a 4-1 loss to Turkey in 2007. Davor Suker got the only goal in Thessaloniki in 1997 to help the Croatians pip the Greeks to a place at France 1998.
8 goals in just four appearances against Japan is what Neymar has recorded – double the tally he has scored against any other side (the pride of Mogi das Cruzes has four against USA). Neymar is just one goal shy of fifth-placed Gabriel Batistuta on South America’s list of all-time leading marksmen, behind Romario (55), Lionel Messi (61), Ronaldo (62) and Pele (77).
7 goals in his last seven starts for France has propelled Olivier Giroud to seventh on France’s list of all-time leading marksmen. With 29 in 69 caps overall, the 31-year-old trails only Thierry Henry (51) Michel Platini (41), David Trezeguet (34), Zinedine Zidane (31), Just Fontaine (30) and Jean-Pierre Papin (30).
7 goals in four appearances is what Romelu Lukaku has scored to become the joint leader of historical top scorers for Belgium. With 27 goals in 62 appearances overall, the hulking 24-year-old equals the record jointly held by Bernard Voorhoof and Paul van Himst.
7 assists is what David Silva has registered in only 11 appearances in the 2017/18 Premier League – as many as he got in 34 last season. ‘Merlin’ is the competition’s top assister, one clear of Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez.
0 Americans had appeared in their country’s U-17, U-20 and senior squads in the same calendar year until Josh Sargent cracked the remarkable milepost. The striker, who became the second USA player to appear in the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cups in the same year, after Freddy Adu, was in interim coach Dave Sarachan’s camp for the friendly against Portugal.