Thursday, December 17, 2009

Facts and figures of the group stage

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid

FC Girondins de Bordeaux proved the most successful side during the group stage while Cristiano Ronaldo topped the scoring chart, as looks over the key facts and figures from the UEFA Champions League so far.

Most points: 16 Bordeaux
The French champions' record of five wins and a draw has been matched 12 times before, most recently by eventual champions Manchester United FC in 2007/08. Four teams have finished with six wins out of six: Barcelona (2002/03), Spartak Moskva (1995/96), Paris Saint-Germain FC (1994/95) and Milan (1992/93), the only club in that quartet to reach the final in that season.

Fewest points: 0
Maccabi Haifa FC and Debreceni VSC
Haifa and Debrecen became the ninth and tenth teams to finish a UEFA Champions League group stage without a point. The other eight were: FC Dynamo Kyiv (2007/08), PFC Levski Sofia (2006/07), SK Rapid Wien (2005/06), RSC Anderlecht (2004/05), Bayer 04 Leverkusen (2002/03, second group stage), FC Spartak Moskva (2002/03), Fenerbahçe SK (2001/02), 1. FC Košice (1997/98).

Most goals conceded: 19 Debrecen
The Hungarian champions' tally was the joint-worst defensive record in the competition's history. Debrecen join Dynamo Kyiv (2007/08) and Ferencvárosi TC (1995/96) in holding such a dubious honour.

Fewest goals conceded: 2 FC Girondins de Bordeaux

Most goals scored: 15

Highest scorer: 6 Cristiano Ronaldo (Madrid)

Most assists: 4 Luis Fabiano (Sevilla FC), Tomáš Necid (PFC CSKA Moskva) Juan Vargas (Fiorentina) Wendel (Bordeaux)

Caught offside most times:
14 Filippo Inzaghi (Milan)

Most fouled: 29 Diego (Juventus)

Most shots: 31 Diego Forlán (Club Atlético de Madrid)
Forlán had the most shots on target (16) and off target (15).

Most possession: 69 per cent Barcelona
The holders enjoyed 69 per cent of possession on average in their six group games, with eliminated Liverpool second on 59 per cent. Of the 16 teams which qualified for the knockout phase, Group E winners Fiorentina enjoyed the least possession with 46 per cent (though only Madrid scored more than their 14 goals and only Bordeaux collected more than their 15 points).

Winning streaks: 5 Fiorentina and Bordeaux
Neither side has dropped a point since Matchday 1.

Number crunching

Sinan Bolat became the first goalkeeper to score from open play in the UEFA Champions League group stage when he headed in R. Standard de Liège's dramatic added-time equaliser against AZ Alkmaar on Matchday 6 to earn his side a UEFA Europa League place. The night before, Hans-Jörg Butt scored his third UEFA Champions League goal from the penalty spot in FC Bayern München's 4-1 win over Juventus. It was the first time two goalkeepers had scored on one matchday in the competition.

2 Hat-tricks scored: Michael Owen (Manchester United FC v VfL Wolfsburg), Grafite (Wolfsburg v CSKA Moskva).

2.48 Average goals per game in the group stage. A total of 238 goals were struck in the 96 matches played, down from 2.57 last season.

3 Yellows cards awarded to Liverpool. The fewest in the group stage. The Reds did not have any players sent off.

4 Teams that came through the qualifying process and reached the first knockout round: Arsenal FC, Olympique Lyonnais, VfB Stuttgart and the only team remaining from the third qualifying round, Olympiacos FC.

4 Olympiacos scored the least number of goals of a side through to the last 16 (four) since Villarreal CF needed just three to top Group D in 2005/06.

5 Following Owen's hat-trick, Manchester United have now equalled Barcelona's record as the team to have scored the most hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League with five.

7 Seven of the top eight seeds advanced with Liverpool, ranked third, the exception. The eight top-seeded sides were Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Liverpool, Manchester United, Milan, Arsenal, Sevilla and Bayern.

8 Nations represented in the first knockout round: England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Russia and Spain.

11 Manchester United and Barcelona have now won their groups on more occasions than any other side. Real Madrid moved level with Milan on ten after finishing ahead of the Rossoneri in Group C.

13 Madrid have reached the knockout phase for the 13th successive season, the longest run of any side. Arsenal, Chelsea and Lyon are through for the seventh successive campaigns, while Barcelona and FC Internazionale Milano are appearing for the sixth straight year.

45 Average minutes per goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo in the group stage. Despite starting just three games, the Real Madrid player scored six times in the 270 minutes he was on the pitch.

51 More goals were scored in the final quarter of an hour (76th-90th minutes) than at any other point during the group stage. The next highest tranche was between minute 61 and 75, when 36 goals were scored.

66 Raúl González tops the all-time UEFA Champions League scoring chart (group stage to final only) with 66 goals after scoring twice in the group stage. He also holds the appearance record with 129 matches.

100 Dynamo Kyiv striker Andriy Shevchenko entered the prestigious 100 club against Barcelona on Matchday 6, racking up a century of appearances in the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas will join the club with his next appearance.

© 1998-2009. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Match facts: Marseille v Real Madrid

cristiano ronaldo real madrid

UEFA milestones
• None

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Brandão has committed 18 fouls to date, more than any other player in the group stage.

• Gabriel Heinze, Brandão and Stéphane Mbia are all within a booking of a ban.

Latest domestic information
• Saturday 5 December: OGC Nice 1-3 Olympique de Marseille (Coulibaly 33; Niang 19, Lucho 77, Koné 86)
Mandanda; Bonnart (Kaboré 83), Heinze, Diawara, Taiwo; Abriel, Lucho, Cheyrou, Cissé (Valbuena 67); Niang (Koné 86), Brandão.

• Mamadou Niang's opener against Nice was his first gosl in Ligue 1 since 4 October.

• Marseille had not won by more than a one-goal margin in the league since 17 October, when they beat AS Nancy-Lorraine 3-0.

• Substitute Bakari Koné scored OM's third – against his former side – just 28 seconds after coming on as a substitute.

• On 28 November, Marseille suffered their third Ligue 1 reverse this season, going down 1-0 at RC Lens. Eduardo hit the home side's winner in added time after OM goalkeeper Steve Mandanda had earlier saved a Yohan Demont penalty.

• The defeat was the first time Didier Deschamps's men had failed to score away from home this season since losing 3-0 to Madrid on Matchday 2, 30 September.

• Marseille have not won at Lens in the league since 2002/03.

• Fernando Morientes made his fourth start in all competitions since joining OM against Les Sang et Or, with all four of those matches ending in defeat.

• Mandanda has played all 1,260 minutes of Marseille's championship campaign this season, while Niang has featured in every game.

• The eleventh round of the Ligue 1 season was postponed to give the French national team added preparation time for their successful FIFA World Cup play-off against the Republic of Ireland. Marseille's meeting with FC Lorient will now take place on 16 December.

• Marseille are yet to lose a game when Brandão has scored, winning on eleven occasions and drawing twice.

Injury news
• Cyril Rool – out since 13 October (knee)
• Julien Rodriguez – out 15 April to 30 September and since 9 October (ankle)
• Stéphane Mbia – out since 20 November (ankle)

• Fabrice Abriel was voted Player of the Month for November by Marseille fans, following two consecutive awards for Niang.

• On 26 November, the French Football Federation ruled that Marseille must play one match behind closed doors due to crowd disturbances during their 2-1 loss to AS Monaco FC on 4 October.

• On 28 November, the Stade Vélodrome played host to a rugby match between France and New Zealand, which the visitors won 39-12.

Real Madrid

UEFA milestones
• None

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the competition with four goals.

• Thanks to their 12 efforts overall, Madrid are joint top scorers in the group stage after five outings along with ACF Fiorentina and Arsenal FC.

• The Spanish side have also won more corners than any other club: 46.

• Madrid have collected 14 yellow cards so far, the highest total in the group stage along with FC Internazionale Milano.

• Marcelo and Lassana Diarra's next yellow cards will incur a suspension.

Latest domestic information
• Saturday 5 December: Real Madrid CF 4-2 UD Almería
(Sergio Ramos 31, Higuaín 73, Benzema 82, Ronaldo 84; Soriano 58, Uche 62)
Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Albiol, Arbeloa; Granero, Xabi Alonso (Drenthe 88), Van der Vaart (Benzema 62), Marcelo (M. Diarra 84); Ronaldo, Higuaín.

• Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty before scoring Madrid's fourth against Almería but was sent off in the 88th minute and will now miss the trip to Valencia CF on 13 December.

• With Lassana Diarra suspended and Kaká carrying a groin injury, Manuel Pellegrini gave midfield starts to Esteban Granero and Rafael van der Vaart against Almería. Ronaldo partnered Gonzalo Higuaín in attack for the second Liga game in a row.

• Madrid have won ten of their eleven contests at home in all competitions this season, with their only defeat at the Santiago Bernabéu coming at the hands of AC Milan on Matchday 3.

• Madrid slipped from top spot in Spain when they were handed their second Liga defeat of the campaign, losing 1-0 away against eternal rivals FC Barcelona in 'El Clásico' on 29 November.

• Zlatan Ibrahimović's second-half strike was enough to seal the 159th championship meeting between the two teams and send Barça to the summit.

• It was only the second time in 12 Liga games that Los Merengues had failed to register this term. The capital club had previously been shut out by Real Sporting de Gijón in a 0-0 draw on 24 October.

• The loss nonetheless left Madrid with the same points tally (28) that they boasted at the same stage of their most recent title-winning season, 2007/08. They had 29 points after 13 fixtures that year, two fewer than their current tally.

• Pellegrini's side have conceded eleven goals from their first 13 league fixtures, nine fewer than they had shipped at the same stage last season.

Injury news
• Cristiano Ronaldo – out from 10 October to 25 November (ankle)
• Lassana Diarra – out from 18-25 November (thigh)
• Raúl Albiol – out from 25-29 November (knee)
• Guti – out since 20 November (thigh)
• Ruud van Nistelrooy – out since 20 November (thigh)
• Christoph Metzelder – out since 26 November (hamstring)
• Kaká – out since 1 December (groin)

• Kaká aggravated a persistent groin injury in the lead-up to the Almería match. "He has been playing through the pain," commented Madrid sporting director Miguel Pardeza.

• On 4 December, Raúl González celebrated the birth of his fifth child and first daughter, María González Redondo.

• On 2 December, Guti celebrated his 14th year as a senior Madrid player. The midfielder debuted for the club in a home encounter against Sevilla FC on the same day in 1995.

• Ronaldo finished as runner-up to Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the running for the 2009 Ballon d'Or award, the result of which was announced on 1 December.

© 1998-2009. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cristiano honored by AS

cristiano ronaldo real madrid
A large contingent of Madridistas attended the AS Sports Awards

Arancha Diaz / Translation by

Florentino Perez, Jorge Valdano, Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Felipe Reyes, Jorge Garbajosa and Sergio Llull attended the AS Sports Awards ceremony on Thursday evening.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the center of attention of the third edition of the award ceremony as the recipient of the award. "It is an honor to be the first foreigner to win this award," said the Madridista, "but it couldn't have happened without team work."

"I do not feel any added pressure," for being the most expensive signing ever," added Ronaldo, "the President was correct in signing me and I will bring a lot of joy to Real Madrid and football fans during my time here."

Cristiano Ronaldo also discussed the World Cup draw and commented on the Spanish national team, who "I wouldn't like to have to play against any time soon but preferaby in the final."

Felipe Reyes, Jorge Garbajosa and Sergio Llull later took the stage to collect another award based on the success of the Spanish national team.