Thursday 29 December 2016, 15:54

2016 in Numbers

With FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers, the UEFA EURO and the Copa America, as well as club football, reviews 2016 in stats.


years and 275 days was the age at which Aritz Aduriz broke an 86-year-old record to become Spain’s oldest all-time marksman. Jose Maria Pena, who the Athletic Bilbao striker wrestled the distinction off by netting against FYR Macedonia, had been 50 days younger when he scored the only goal in a 1930 friendly against Portugal.


World Cup qualifiers unbeaten at home – including 30 victories – was the run that USA had ended by their bitterest rivals in November. Mexico became the first team to win a qualifier in the US since Milton Nunez propelled Honduras to a 3-2 triumph in Washington D.C. in 2001. It was El Tri’s first win away to the Stars and Stripes in World Cup qualifying in 44 years, with the Americans having won each of the previous four, all in Columbus, 2-0. A few days later, Costa Rica made it nine straight home wins over USA, who lost back-to-back World Cup qualifiers for the first time in 15 years.


straight losses to France is the run Portugal unexpectedly extinguished to win their first major trophy. They had last avoided defeat in the fixture fully 41 years ago, also in Paris, with a 2-0 friendly victory. The first goalless UEFA EURO final was a little over ten minutes away when Eder became the first player born outside Europe to score in it. The man from Guinea-Bissau also became the second non-French Ligue 1 player to score in a major international decider after Jorge Burruchaga at the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Portugal conquered the EURO having been ahead in only 73 of the 720 minutes they played in France.


straight trophy matches is what Paris Saint-Germain have conquered. Since losing the Coupe de France final to a Lille side comprising Adil Rami, Yohan Cabaye, Eden Hazard and Gervinho in 2011, PSG have won that competition twice and the Coupe de la Ligue three times, while August’s 4-1 win over Lyon in Austria gave the capital giants a fourth successive Trophee des Champions.


consecutive World Cup qualifying victories is what Brazil have made it for the first time in 47 years. The last time came when ten goals in six outings from Tostao helped Brazil win all six of their Mexico 1970 preliminaries – two apiece against Colombia, Venezuela and Paraguay. Back then, however, the standard of South American sides outside the big three – Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay – was nowhere near as high as it is today, making Tite’s team’s achievement all the more impressive. Since the 55-year-old assumed the reins in June, A Seleção have beaten Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina and Peru, scoring 17 goals and conceding just one.


hours and three minutes: that is how long Argentina have played without scoring in a Copa America final. After Cesar Delgado gave them an 87th-minute lead in the 2004 decider, Adriano volleyed home an 11th-hour equaliser before Brazil won on penalties. A Seleção then beat La Albiceleste 3-0 in the climax to the 2007 edition, while the last two Copa finals have both finished 0-0 after 120 minutes and ended with Chile winning penalty shoot-outs. La Roja, who took 99 years to finally lift the trophy, became the first country to win it in consecutive years since Argentina in 1947.


successive world transfer records had been broken by Real Madrid until Manchester United spent €105 million to land Paul Pogba from Juventus. Los Merengues had previously made Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale the sport’s most expensive player. British clubs had been responsible for 15 of the first 16 biggest signings – Bernabe Ferreyra’s move from Tigre to River Plate was the exception. They had, however, broken the record only once in 65 years – Newcastle United’s 1996 capture of Alan Shearer – until Pogba, 23, became the youngest holder of the title since a 20-year-old Denilson joined Real Betis in 1998.

Quick hits 49 years and 163 days is what Yokohama FC’s Kazu Miura extended his own record to as Japanese professional football’s oldest scorer in August.

6 players have now scored in the English, German, Italian and Spanish top flights after Kevin-Prince Boateng bagged on his Las Palmas bow. The former Ghana international emulated Florin Raducioiu, Gica Popescu, Jon Dahl Tomasson, Pierre Wome and Obafemi Martins.