As is so often the case, goals and goalscorers dominate FIFA.com's latest statistical review. From Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining an elite band of marksmen through the fantastic form of Messrs Cunningham and Cardozo to a lightning strike from Balazs Dzsudzsak, we throw the spotlight on some superb scoring feats.
seconds was all Balazs Dzsudzsak needed to open his PSV account on Sunday and, in the process, create a little bit of history at the Eindhoven club. The Hungarian winger's opener in the 4-0 win at NEC was, after all, the fastest of PSV's long Eredivisie history, eclipsing an 18-second effort from Mark van Bommel in October 1999. Yet although he was quick enough off the mark to create a new club record, Dzsudzsak surprisingly couldn't even scrape into the top ten when it came to the Dutch top flight's fastest-ever goalscorers. Ajax legend Johan Cruyff held the record for over a decade thanks to his nine-second effort against Telstar in November 1971, but that was until Koos Waslander set a new benchmark in March 1982, taking just eight seconds to open the scoring for NAC Breda in a 2-1 win at PEC Zwolle.
goals in his final 15 Major League Soccer games earned Jeff Cunningham the 2009 Golden Boot this week and left him second on the league's all-time scorers list. The 33-year-old, who previously finished as the US top flight's leading scorer in 2006 while with Real Salt Lake, is one of five players to have topped the MLS scoring charts in two separate seasons. It took a Herculean effort for the Jamaica-born striker to pip long-time leader Conor Casey to the honour, with Cunningham having reached the halfway point of the 2009 campaign with just one goal to his name. His success was in peaking at the right time. The FC Dallas star finished the regular season in unstoppable form, scoring four goals in a single game against Kansas City Wizards on 1 August and finding the net in six straight games over September and October. Cunningham ended the campaign with a career-high tally of 17, and his overall total of 121 regular season goals leaves him just ten short of the MLS's all-time leading scorer, Jaime Moreno.
goals in his last six matches have propelled Oscar Cardozo to the top of the Portuguese scoring charts - and Benfica to the summit of the Liga table. The in-form Paraguayan grabbed a hat-trick in Monday's 6-1 win over Nacional to edge his team ahead of Sporting Braga thanks to the Lisbon giants' handsome plus-25 goal difference. With Cardozo thriving at the apex of a formidable attacking quartet that also includes the considerable talents of Angel di Maria, Pablo Aimar and Javier Saviola, Benfica are increasingly confident of claiming just their second domestic title in 15 years.
players, Hernan Crespo, Fernando Morientes and Nicolas Anelka, went into last week with the distinction of having scored in the UEFA Champions League for four different clubs. This small, elite group duly received a fourth member when Zlatan Ibrahimovic found the net for Barcelona in the European champions' shock 2-1 defeat by Rubin Kazan, adding to his earlier strikes for Ajax, Juventus and Inter Milan. Arjen Robben looks to be next in line to join, with the Dutch winger only needing a goal for Bayern Munich to complete a collection started at PSV and continued at Chelsea and Real Madrid. However, Crespo - the only player to have scored for five separate clubs - remains the Champions League's most successful nomad, having racked up a combined tally of 25 with Parma (2), Lazio (2), Inter (11), Chelsea (4) and AC Milan (6).
home European losses in the same week is a fate that had befallen Celtic and Rangers only once in their history before last Thursday. In fact, not since Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain emerged with victories from Ibrox and Celtic Park respectively on 1 and 2 November 1995 had these age-old rivals shared the bitter taste of defeat in their own back yard. Perhaps the greatest surprise was that it was Romanian side Unirea Urziceni who helped rewrite history, humbling Rangers 4-1 in the Champions League two days before Hamburg secured a 1-0 win on the other side of the city to leave Celtic floundering in the UEFA Europa League.