To be Broken

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar November 24, 2015 21:37

To be Broken

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (November 24th 2015)

Foxes in the Box

Currently involved in the Netherlands’ coaching staff, Ruud van Nistelrooy record of scoring in ten consecutive English Premier League matches remains intact – for now. Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy’s incredible journey from Fleetwood Town to England international includes an achievement that eluded strikers of the calibre of Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer. Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge came closest in 2013-14, scoring in eight.

Vardy like the current top scorer in World Cup Finals history, Miroslav Klose is prolific in the box – all came from inside the area. But while Vardy has equalled the Premier League record – with the power to add – it is not a record for top flight English football. Stan Mortensen scored in 15 matches – consecutive for him, as he missed some for his team through injury. His streak was interrupted by injury twice.

Record Holders

But if that counts against Mortensen, there are no such knocks on Sheffield United’s Jimmy Dunne –a very interesting character on and off the pitch. Dunne’s political leanings made him a character. He had been interned during the Irish Civil War – he had been a member of the Irish Republican Army – and a socialist, not to mention an impressive goal-scorer. Nobody in English football has matched let alone surpassed his achievement of scoring in 12 consecutive matches – 18 goals. The last of his run being on New Year’s Day 1932.

Despite boasting some great strikers over the years, Serie A’s record is eleven matches – held by Fiorentina’s Argentine hero Batigol – Gabriel Batistuta. Germany’s record is held by the legendary Bayern München goal-poacher extraordinaire Gerd Müller. In the 1969-70 season Müller scored in 16 consecutive matches. Müller was Germany’s leading scorer too until Klose broke his record. He also scored an incredible 85 goals in 1972. The European record he set that year was broken by Lionel Messi in 2012. (1)

The Best

The Brasilian Sonny Anderson graced La Liga too, but one of his major achievements was in French football. Anderson scored in nine consecutive Ligue Un matches for Olympique Lyonnais in the 2001-02 season – matching the feat of Vahid Halihodžić. The Bosnian striker was appreciated as a great import into French football and went on to distinguish himself as a coach, first in Africa, and then French clubs, including former club PSG.

Afterwards he returned to Africa to coach la Côte d’Ivoire and Algeria. Halihodžić set the consecutive matches scoring record for Ligue Un in the 1984-85 season with Nantes – it has yet to be beaten, although Anderson equalled it. The Spanish season record will take some beating anywhere – 21 matches by Messi. It took a fellow Argentinian to find a way to stop him scoring. Messi’s streak was ended on the last fixture of the 2012-13 season by Diego Simeone’s Atlético de Madrid. Vardy’s achievement isn’t even half way to Messi’s.

(1) The world record, if there is one, still belongs to the late great Zambian striker Godfrey Chitalu. For further information on a sadly neglected football great see Jerry Muchimba’s book “Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu – Scorer of 107 goals in a single season”, published by Matador. Chitalu actually scored 116 goals that year – he scored 9 goals in the two legs of African Champions Cup qualifier.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar November 24, 2015 21:37
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