11 incredible football stats you won’t believe are real: Messi, Ronaldo…
From stats about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to groundbreaking facts about the beautiful game itself, you won’t believe some of these facts are real.
We are lucky enough to be treated to more football now than ever before and over the past few decades we have seen some truly incredible football stats.
We have gone back through the years and picked out 11 football stats that you won’t believe are real.
1. Neymar won La Liga Player of the Month before Lionel Messi
This one makes out brain hurt a little bit. Believe it or not, the Argentine genius didn’t actually win the Player of the Month award until January 2016.
The slight caveat to this stat is that the award itself didn’t exist until September 2013, but it’s still a baffling fact nonetheless. As many as 17 different players won the award before Messi finally got his hands on it in early 2016.
2. Dundee United have a 100% win ratio against Barcelona
The Scottish side has come up against the Catalan club on four occasions and they have been victorious each time. Dundee United are the only British side to boast this amazing record against Barcelona.
They did the double over them in the 1966-67 season, beating the Spanish giants home and away in the Europa League. Then they managed to pull off the same feat again in 1986-87.
3. Philipp Lahm didn’t commit a foul for an entire year
The German legend was a master of reading the game and he didn’t dive in unnecessarily. In the Bundesliga, he somehow managed to go from September 2014 to October 2015 without conceding a single foul.
After learning that stat it will come as no surprise to learn that Lahm wasn’t sent off throughout his entire career for club or county. He was a gem of a player.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) January 31, 2023
4. Mark Hughes played two matches in one day
These days he is known for being a manager, but back in the day Hughes was one hell of a player. Amazingly, he played in two matches on the same day back in November 1987.
He first played for Wales in a midday kick-off against Czechoslovakia, before he was rushed onto a plane to play for Bayern Munich later that day. Hughes didn’t arrive in time for the first half but was used as a second half substitute and subsequently made history.
5. Chris Nicholl scored all four goals in a 2-2 draw
Back in March 1976, Nicholl somehow managed to score four goals in a 2-2 draw between Aston Villa and Leicester City. He twice gave Leicester the lead by scoring an own goal before he then equalised on both occasions.
“So after I scored those four goals in that 2-2 draw, I asked the referee if I could have the ball. No,’ the ref said. ‘This is my last match and I am keeping the ball’. Just my luck, I suppose. My first hat-trick in a Villa shirt and I don’t even get the ball.”
6. Rogerio Ceni scored 131 goals as a goalkeeper
That is more than some forwards manage in their entire careers. The Brazilian goalkeeper was the designated penalty and free-kick taker for Sao Paulo.
His best goalscoring year came in 2005 where he scored 21 goals across all competitions which is absolutely ridiculous. Ceni made 17 appearances for Brazil but never managed to score on the international stage.
O jogador vai tentar antecipar a batida do Rogério Ceni, antes que a bola caísse no gol, só que…
— spfcpics (@spfcpics) April 2, 2023
7. Timo Werner has more Champions League goals than R9
Considered as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo Nazario only scored 14 Champions League goals throughout his illustrious career, which is three less than Werner has scored.
Ronaldo also never got his hands on the trophy, whereas Werner won it with Chelsea in 2020-21.
8. Jose Mourinho went nine years without losing a home game
The special one truly was built different back in the day. Across 150 league matches, Mourinho didn’t lose a single game on home soil from 2002 to 2011.
In that time he had managed the likes of Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. A truly astonishing stat.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals since turning 30 than Wayne Rooney has in his entire career
Somehow the Portuguese marksman has become even more prolific in his later years.
10. AC Milan won Serie A by scoring just 36 goals
We usually associate the league champions as being the most prolific team, but that was not the case for AC Milan in 1993-94. Amazingly, they managed to win the league by scoring just 36 goals all season.
They did boast an exceptional defensive record to be fair as they only conceded 15 goals all year. Even more bizarre is that Udinese and Atalanta only scored one less than goal Milan that year but were relegated in the process.
11. Manchester United have never lost a PL game at Old Trafford when they are leading at half time
Visiting sides rarely leave with anything when playing at Old Trafford and this stat sums up United’s unbelievable home record. Under Erik ten Hag so far, they have only lost one league home match.