Goals 101

Cristiano Ronaldo reached 100 league goals for Real Madrid in just 92 games, easily surpassing Ferenc Puskas’ Spanish record of 105 matches. The Portuguese added a second on the night to make it 101.

Here’s a video showing every single one of those goals.

Anything he can do…

Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are tied with 35 goals each this season in the Spanish league. With nine games to go, the duo are closing in on Ronaldo’s league record of 40 goals from last season.

Messi, who seems to reach a new milestone every time he sets foot on the pitch, has now overtaken Brazil’s Ronaldo to become Barcelona’s record goalscorer for a league season. Also, in scoring his 55th goal of the season, he has become the first player to reach that landmark in a top-level European league since Sporting Lisbon’s Mario Jardel in 2002.

As the records fall, the desire to acclaim Messi, the greatest of all time grows. The latest former player to pass judgment is Brazil legend Tostao, who rates the Argentinian as a better player than Diego Maradona, but not quite as good as his former team-mate Pele.

“Even if you do not take the cold numbers of how many trophies he has won and how many goals he has score into account, I have no doubt about it that he [Messi] is already better than Maradona,” Tostao said to Globoesporte.

“Many will disagree because he has not won a World Cup or scored a wondergoal in a big game at the World Cup, but at his current level he is only behind Pele in my opinion.

“Pele was more complete and had qualities that Messi lacks. He scored many headers for example, and make excellent use of his body.”

Goal of the day

Already hailed as the goal of the season in England, Peter Crouch’s ludicrous volley against Manchester City deserves as wide an audience as possible.

Quote of the day

“Barcelona are not a normal team, but a team full of mythological gods. They’re on another level to all the other teams.”

Edgar Davids staggers out of an Amsterdam coffee shop and offers his opinion of the current Barcelona team.

A-League on the up

The A-League this season boasted the largest aggregate attendance in the seven years since the league was launched in 2005.

A total of 1.416 million fans attended 135 matches in the regular season at an average of 10,490 per game, the first time the average has exceeded the 10,000-mark since the league was expanded beyond eight teams in 2009.

The figures are quite impressive, especially when you consider some of the problems faced this season, not least the demise of Clive Palmer’s Gold Coast United.

One of the major selling points this season was the return to Australia of Harry Kewell and although his club have under performed (finishing 8th in the 10-team league and missing out on the play-offs) he did, as hoped, bring in the crowds and helped increase the TV audience by a massive 46 per cent on 2010-11.

“This has been a fantastic season with our goals per game average in line with some of the biggest leagues in the world,” said A-League chief, Lyall Gorman, in a news release.

“The on-field action has been watched by more people, proving that football has a growing footprint in this country.”

Dog bites man

A first-division match in southern Brazil was delayed for a several minutes after a police dog bit a player on the back of the leg.

Television cameras showed the dog biting Caxias striker Vanderlei as he and several other team-mates argued with match officials during their state championship game with Novo Hamburgo.

The Globoesporte.com website said Vanderlei had to be treated and the match in the Rio Grande do Sul state championship was stopped for nearly 10 minutes before the player was eventually able to return.


Fan dies as hooligans clash

A fan was shot to death and three were taken to hospital in a serious condition after a fight between rival supporter groups in Brazil.

Andre Alves was killed with a shot to the head in a confrontation that involved nearly 500 fans before a match between Corinthians and Palmeiras.

Alves was among a group of Palmeiras fans who got ambushed by Corinthians supporters in Sao Paolo.

Skill of the day

Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t just score goals, he can go past players by turning his back on them and tensing his neck muscles.

Hoddle back for more?

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle is interested in leading his country again on a caretaker basis at this summer’s European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

Hoddle managed England from 1996 until after the World Cup finals in France 1998, but he lost the job shortly afterwards following his claim that disabled people were being punished for sins committed in a previous life.

Although Hoddle paid the price for stupidity in his current life, he feels he has not suffered enough: hence the bewildering desire to re-enter the (three) lions den and have another crack at managing England.

“If I were to die tomorrow, my life would be incomplete,” he said. Although, unlike most of us, at least he’s confident he’ll be able to come back and try it all again.

Asked if he could manage England again, he replied: “Would I get that opportunity ? Probably not.

“But I don’t dwell on the past and, if we fast-forward to the present, I think we have a batch of players capable of going to the Euros and doing well. I find it a very interesting moment.

“Because Stuart Pearce, Harry Redknapp, Roy Hodgson, myself – anyone – who went to the tournament with the status of a caretaker would have the pressure off him and the players would be liberated too, not least those who have been on the fringes and are accustomed to thinking that the manager doesn’t fancy them.”

Pieth’s take on FIFA

The anti-corruption expert appointed by FIFA to advise on restoring its reputation has promised to deliver a “tough” report to football’s governing body.

“It’s going to be pretty tough. There are a few issues that will need heavy negotiation,” Mark Pieth said in an interview with Associated Press. “If they are wise, they will pick up most everything that is put before them.”

Anyone who has followed the FIFA circus for the past few years, will know that is a pretty big if.

Pieth Independent Governance Committee, has examined the FIFA’s recent history – including alleged bribery and vote-rigging in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests and its presidential election – to help understand how FIFA functions.

“They have rules, they have sanctionable offenses,” Pieth said. “They have just not applied them.

“They have a horrible reputation. They should know that. And they have lost a few people recently from high places under allegations or proven allegations, even. That’s really bad for them, and they have to tidy up quickly.”

Pieth is to recommend that FIFA appoint outsiders to it’s Executive Committee and establishes a genuinely independent ethics commission.