In the long line of famous footballers from Brazil, perhaps the very first one is Arthur “The Tiger” Friedenreich (1892 – 1969).
In early 2012, 17-year-old French Cameroonian midfielder Lionel Messi Nyamsi made the news.
Update 17 December 2012
Pele scored 127 goals in 1959, 110 in 1961, and inspired Santos to consecutive Copa Libertadores triumphs in 1962 and 1963; conquests which preceded back-to-back Intercontinental Cup successes.
And another website claimed that in addition to the above, Pele scored 101 goals in 1965.
Above all that confusion, I suppose that all these eminent footballers are set for life – checking out real estate sunset beaches is perfectly in order.
10 December 2012
On 9th December 2012, Real Betis lost 1-2 at home to Barcelona in a Primera Liga match. Both Barca goals were scored by Lionel Messi, taking his tally for the year to 86.
So Messi becomes “The Greatest Goalscoring “Machine” Ever as he consigned Gerd Muller’s “unbreakable” record to dust, leaving journalists struggling for superlatives:
He put himself on the Mount Olympus of football aged 25, with a whole career still in front of him. FIFA would have done well to give him his fourth Ballon d’Or tonight and not wait until January 7. He is an extraterrestrial, there is no doubt.
A Messianic Record: what happened will pass into the history of world football. It is not just one more record, it is a mark which has lasted 40 years and we dare to suggest that it will be very difficult to surpass in the future. We are very lucky that we will always be able to tell that we lived through this marvellous year in which Messi scored 86 goals. It is an explosion, a spectacle, a marvel to see the best player in the world in action.
La Pulga torpedoes history.
The most amazing thing about Messi’s achievement was that nobody was really surprised he had done it – and with three games still left to play in 2012.
But almost immediately the Zambian FA came forward to say that Gerd’s 85 goals is not the record, you need to score 21 more goals to equal Godfrey Chitalu’s (1947-1993) 107 goals in 1972.
Chitalu in 1974
Chitalu is probably Zambia’s greatest ever player – was his country’s Player of the Year 5 times, and played for his country’s top professional football team, the Kabwe Warriors. He died in a tragic plane crash in 1993, which also wiped out the country’s entire first team.
Then there’s Zico’s purported 89 goals with Flamengo in the late 1970s. I suppose when people start talking about “Most Number of Goals Scored in a Calendar Year”, then only they scrambled to check their records, which was probably not very well kept, because the focus was more on titles, money etc.
Still, to erase all doubt, Barcelona can easily arrange a friendly match before the end of the year and let Messi score 20 goals.
Note: on 6th December, Messi has already scored 28 goals for Barcelona this season (1st week of December), when almost every other striker would be happy with that many all year.
On 14 November 2012, Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored all four goals in a 4â€“2 international friendly win over England.
His fourth goal was an exquisite 30 yard volley with a bicycle kick (also called a scissor kick or an overhead kick), gifted by England goalkeeper Joe Hart’s poor headed clearance.
But surely that is not as good as the goal scored by Italian footballer Mauro Bressan (Fiorentina), then 28, in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League game against Barcelona on 2nd November 1999, because, while the distance was rather similar, crucially the goalkeeper was not out of position.
The 14th minute wonder goal
That was rated the second best goal in Champions League history as rated by media company ITV.
The match ended in a 3-3 draw.
But perhaps one could argue that it’s basically a fluke goal, because Bressan was hardly in Ibrahimovic’s class – Bressan wasn’t an automatic choice in Fiorentina’s first eleven, and scored only 2 goals in 59 games for the team. Okay, he’s not a forward or a winger so that could explain it, but in his entire career, he never played for a another high profile team, lasted a mere 2-3 years at Fiorentina, and never made the Italian national team.
Anyway these 2 goals make Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick goal against Manchester City in 2011, which was voted the best goal ever scored in the first 20 seasons of the English Premier League look rather ordinary in comparison.
Even the world’s best players can miss from arguably the easiest position to score from, perhaps akin to saying even Avira might miss some viruses at some time.
By miss I mean unforced errors – even if the goalkeeper wasn’t there it still wouldn’t have gone in.
Relatively recent examples follow.
Neymar, 14 Nov 2012, on the 80th, during Brazil’s friendly with Colombia which ended 1-1
Some said he did it on purpose.
Lionel Messi, 24 April 2012, on the 48th, during Barcelona’s Champions League match against Chelsea
Cristiano Ronaldo, 25 April 2012, during Real Madrid’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich
- Darrel Brown is the fastest ever 13-year old, clocking 10.92s in the 100m in 1998.
- 16-year old Rynell Parsons clocked 10.23s in the 100m in 2007, better than Malaysia’s national record.
- Yohan Blake is the youngest person to run 100m in less than 10 seconds, when he clocked 9.93s at 19
- At 17, Usain Bolt broke the 20-second barrier in the 200m
- 15-year old Kirani James clocked 45.70s in the 400m in 2008, better than Malaysia’s national record.
- 9-year old Wesley Paul ran the marathon in less than 3 hours in 1978
- 13-year old Hisanori Yamamoto high jumped 2.03m in 1976
During the 24-hour Le Mans race on 11th June 1955, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR driven by Pierre Levegh, 49 crashed, causing huge pieces of its debris hitting the crowd, killing Levege and 83 spectators, and injuring 120 others.
The bonnet, which had separated from the car frame, flew through the crowd, decapitated tightly jammed spectators like a guillotine.