Friday 11 August 2017, 07:58

Big and little, old and new

  • A 40-something popping the cork in the Champagne region

  • Real retention and a Hudson River hero

  • ‘The Big Team’ doing big things


positions is what Poland have jumped in less than three years to reach a record high of fifth on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. The Poles were 70th in September 2014, behind the likes of Guatemala, Jordan, Finland and Cape Verde Islands, who are now 100th, 108th, 110th and 114th respectively.


years had passed since a 40-something played in Ligue 1 until the weekend. Switzerland-born striker Roger Courtois, who France took to two FIFA World Cups™ in the 1930s, last played in the French top flight for Troyes, four days after his 44th birthday in 1956. Benjamin Nivet became the next – coincidentally for the same club – by starting against Rennes on their return to Ligue 1, aged 40 years and seven months.


points is what Corinthians finished the first half of the Campeonato Brasileiro with – a record for a first- or second-half of a campaign since it became a 20-team league in 2006. ‘The Big Team’, who haven’t lost in 34 matches in all competitions, are just three shy of their all-time greatest unbeaten run, which Gilmar, Luisinho and Claudio helped set in 1957.


minutes is what it took David Villa to score thrice as many goals against New York Red Bulls as he had in his first ten hours and 23 minutes in the Hudson River Derby. The 35-year-old FIFA World Cup™ winner’s first MLS hat-trick gave City back-to-back victories over the Red Bulls for the first time – they won 3-2 on Sunday – and left him having netted nine goals in his last eight appearances in the competition.


consecutive home games in Ligue 1 is what Lyon have scored in for the first time in their history. Furthermore, Les Gones have averaged scoring 3.5 goals per game over their last 13 appearances at the Groupama Stadium in all competitions.


years had passed since AC Milan, inspired by Frank Rijkaard, Alberigo Evani and Ruud Gullit, became the last team to retain the UEFA Super Cup until Real Madrid beat Manchester United 2-1 on Wednesday. Los Merengues, who have now won three of the last four Super Cups, haven’t lost a tie to the Red Devils since Bobby Charlton, George Best and team-mates edged Pirri, Francisco Gento, Amancio and Co 4-3 on aggregate in the 1967/68 European Cup semi-finals.


matches: that is what Amkar Perm have gone without victory in the Russian Premier League. Amkar have scored just one goal in their last 16-and-a-half hours of play in the competition.


seconds of action: that is all that expired between Pedro reducing Chelsea to ten men and Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac equalising to send the Community Shield to penalties. The Gunners duly won the shootout to ensure the FA Cup winners have overcome the Premier League champions four years in a row.


per cent: that is Nordic sides’ success rate in the last five UEFA Women’s EURO finals in which they have competed. After Sweden lost in the 1995 and 2001 deciders and the same fate befell Norway in 2005 and 2013, Denmark lost 4-2 to the Netherlands on Sunday. The Dutch are 12th on the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking, behind five European teams – Germany, France, England, Sweden and Norway. It was the first time the Women’s EURO wasn’t won by the highest-placed European team on the global ladder since its introduction in 2003.