World Cup stats: Looking at the numbers from a record-breaking tournament

5 Comments

Whether or not you’re a believer in the long-list of statistics now churned out at every top soccer match, we have them.

Traditionalist often brush off stats as, ‘numbers without meaning’ but this World Cup saw the advent of plenty of mind-blowing stats that helped analyze the games and the entire tournament.

[ RELATED: Story of the 2014 WC ]

Below we have compiled a plethora of statistical picking from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Take a browse through and see what you think. We also have compiled a list of notable records broken at the World Cup.

As the German domination shows, the stats never lie. Plus a few U.S. players got in on the act. Nice!

Top 10 goals | PST’s best XI | Story of the WC | Top 10 moments | Grades |

RECORDS AT 2014 WORLD CUP

Most goals in a World Cup: 171 total goals equaled the 1998 World Cup as the highest scoring in history

Most goals by any player in World Cup: Miroslav Klose became the top scorer in World Cup history with 16 goals

Foreign soil: Germany became the first European team to win the WC in either North, South or Central America

Most CONCACAF teams into knockout rounds: For the first time since the new format in 1986, three CONCACAF teams made the last 16

Group winners prevail: All eight group winners won their last 16 matches for the first time in history

Impact off the bench:  More goals scored by substitutes than in any other World Cup (32)

Howard’s heroics: Tim Howard made more saves, 15, than any ‘keeper at the World Cup in recorded history vs. Belgium

Oldest player ever: Goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, Colombia became the oldest player at a World Cup aged 43 years, three days

Three-peat: Nine players scored in a third World Cup, Klose in his fourth – Tim Cahill, Cristiano Ronaldo, Clint Dempsey, Miroslav Klose, Asamoah Gyan, Rafael Marquez, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, David Villa.

source: AP
Germany won the cup, and came top in plenty of categories.

STATS FROM THE 2014 WORLD CUP

Top goalscorer: James Rodriguez, six

Most clean sheets: Manuel Neuer, Germany. Sergio Romero, Argentina. Jasper Cillessen, Netherlands. – Four

Late collapse: Argentina only trailed for seven minutes the entire tournament, that came in the final

Attendance: 3,429,873 (53,592 per match)

Fastest goal: Clint Dempsey, USA – 0:29 seconds (fifth fastest in history)

Youngest player to score: Julian Green, USA – 19 years and 25 days old

Youngest player: Luke Shaw, England – 18 years, 348 days

Oldest player: Faryd Mondragon, Colombia – 43 years, three days

Number of penalties: 13

Red cards: 8, the fewest number since 1986

Least goals conceded: Costa Rica, 2

Most goals conceded: Brazil, 14

Most goals scored: Germany, 18

Average goals per game: 2.7 (2.3 in 2010)

Average passes per team: 396 (353 in 2010)

Average passes per game: 1039

Average playing time per game: 57.6 minutes (54 minutes in 2010)

Most passes by a team: 4157 (Germany)

Player with highest pass completion: Philipp Lahm, Germany – 86.3 percent, 562 passes completed

Longest distance covered: Thomas Muller, Germany (83,957 meters)

Most goals in a match: Brazil 1-7 Germany (Eight)

Most attempts on goal in a match: Belgium vs. USA (52 shots)

Most cards in a match: Costa Rica vs. Greece (7 yellows, 1 red card)

Most passes completed in a match: Germany vs. Argentina (1501 passes)

Team who allowed the most shots: USA – 67, tournament average – 44.8

Team who had the most attempts: Brazil -111, tournament average – 52.6

Manchester derby “the game of the season”

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Whatever way you slice it up, Thursday’s Manchester derby is huge.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Manchester City host Manchester United (Watch, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Etihad Stadium with Pep Guardiola‘s side just one point ahead of United in the Premier League table.

City currently occupy fourth spot and the final UEFA Champions League qualification berth but are coming off the back of a damaging FA Cup semifinal defeat to Arsenal after extra time.

United and Jose Mourinho haven’t lost in 23 Premier League games, the longest current unbeaten streak across Europe’s top five leagues, and are in the UEFA Europa League semifinals as their banged up squad have stood tall in the final months of the campaign.

Speaking ahead of the derby, one of United’s stars this season believes everything comes down to this one game.

“It is going to be the game of the season,” Ander Herrera said. “We are one point behind them. If we win we have the chance to finish in the top four, if they win it is going to be very difficult. It is the game of the season.

“Make or break? Probably. Both teams are in a good moment so if one of us wins the game we are not going to lose a lot of games, or make mistakes after that. Us or them. It is going to be key. I don’t know the ‘winner takes all’ expression but it is going to be a massive game. We are in a very good moment, a very good run and we respect them but we are doing a lot of good things and we have to show it on Thursday.”

Herrera’s comments say it all.

It is fair to say that both Manchester clubs have flattered to deceive for much of this season with Guardiola’s tactics yet to flourish in England and Mourinho’s rebuild hampered by injuries and a lack of goals at crucial moments.

On Thursday there will be a raucous atmosphere at the Etihad as both teams are aware of what is at stake.

More of the pressure may well be on City who now have just a place in the top four to focus on and with many previously giving United no chance of finishing in the top four, a win at City would take them above their “noisy neighbors” and into the UCL spots.

Former Czech Republic defender Rajtoral kills himself

Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PRAGUE (AP) Former Czech Republic defender Frantisek Rajtoral, who won the domestic league title four times before joining Turkish club Gaziantepspor, died on Sunday. He was 31.

[ MORE: Bayern scouted Kyle Walker, Alex Sanchez this weekend ]

The Czech football federation said in a statement that Rajtoral had “committed suicide in Turkey.”

His agent Pavel Zika confirmed the player’s death, describing it as a “huge tragedy.”

Gaziantepspor announced Rajtoral’s death in a brief statement on its website.

Rajtoral played 14 international matches for the Czech Republic.

In the top Czech league, he won four titles with Viktoria Plzen and played in the group stage of the Champions League twice for the club. He moved to Hannover in the Bundesliga in 2014 for half of the season, on loan.

He left Viktoria Plzen last year to move to Turkey.

Bellerin wants to represent Spain U21s despite Wenger’s wishes

Ian Walton/Getty Images
2 Comments

Arsene Wenger has made it clear about Hector Bellerin representing Spain this summer but the Arsenal defender is prepared to go against his manager’s wishes if he is selected.

[ MORE: Bayern scouted Kyle Walker, Alexis Sanchez over the weekend ]

The 22-year-old has said he hopes to play for Spain’s Under-21 side this summer during the 2017 European U-21 Championship but Wenger has been weary of Bellerin’s injury status and wants his fullback to maintain a clean bill of health throughout the offseason.

“I really want to play,” Bellerin told IBTimes. “Representing Spain is very important. If [Albert] Celades gives me the chance I’ll be there.

“Those are opinions of the managers. I have to keep working. The truth is that I had a difficult injury but I think that I am at 100% now and I’ll try to prove it when I get the chance.”

Bellerin signed a six-and-a-half year deal with the Gunners in November, where he has resided since coming up in the club’s academy. He has made 102 appearances for Wenger’s team in that span over all competitions.

Roma boosts bid for 2nd in Serie A by beating Pescara 4-1

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PESCARA, Italy (AP) Roma boosted its bid for second place in Serie A and automatic entry into the Champions League with a 4-1 win at Pescara, which was mathematically relegated on Monday.

[ MORE: Newcastle joins Brighton in promotion to Premier League ]

Roma moved four points clear of third-placed Napoli, which drew against Sassuolo 2-2 on Sunday. Third place in Serie A receives a Champions League playoff.

Pescara remained 15 points behind Empoli. There are only five matches left and Empoli has the better head-to-head record, which is the deciding factor if two teams finish level on points.

There were 48 goals in total in the 33rd round, matching the record set in October 1992.

Roma took control shortly before halftime, with Kevin Strootman breaking the deadlock after Stephan El Shaarawy unselfishly rolled the ball across the area.

Radja Nainggolan, who earlier hit the bar, doubled Roma’s lead two minutes later.

Mohamed Salah extended Roma’s advantage three minutes after the break and the winger doubled his tally on the hour following a swift counterattack.

Ahmad Benali got a consolation for Pescara and a Cristiano Biraghi free kick also hit the post for the home side.