Cristiano Ronaldo features twice in this list.
The year 2021 has been quite eventful for world football. From the leagues tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, to great acts of sportsmanship, the year has seen it all. Another major part of the sport this year were the records. Despite them getting broken, one athlete constantly upping another, there were few that were born this year.
As the year comes to a close, Khel Now looks at some of the best records that were created this year in world football:
5. First player to score in three continental tournament fixtures- Almoez Ali
The Qatari forward created a new record by becoming the first footballer to score in three different continental tournaments. The record started its course back in 2019, when he became the highest goalscorer in any Asian Championship. His record nine goals helped Qatar clinch their maiden AFC Asian Cup title.
In the same year, he found himself on the scoresheet in South America’s Copa America. The record was finally created in 2021, after the striker scored against Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
4. First English team to win all their Champion’s League group stage matches- Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp’s men became the first English team to come away with a victory in all six group stage matches in the European competition. Other clubs to have reached this achievement in the past include AC Milan (1992-93), Paris Saint-Germain (1995-95), Spartak Moscow (1995-96), Barcelona (2002-03), Real Madrid (2011-12 & 2014-15), and Bayern Munich (2019-20). Dutch side Ajax and German giants Bayern Munich were the other sides to go unbeaten in this season.
The Merseyside team made the new record after their 2-1 win over AC Milan, thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi.
3. First player to score 20+ goals in 12 consecutive seasons- Cristiano Ronaldo
This list would be incomplete without the man who is always in the conversation about creating new records. The Portuguese striker found himself amidst the creation of yet another record: being the first player to score more than 20 goals in 12 consecutive seasons. The feat started back in the 2009-10 season, which matured in the 2020-21 campaign.
He made the record after scoring against Spezia in Serie A. The achievement had started taking shape in Spain. After that, Cristiano Ronaldo plied his trade in Italy as well. It remains to be seen whether he can continue this in the Premier League.
2. First Argentine to feature in six Copa Americas- Lionel Messi
The Argentinian magician, Lionel Messi, became the first from his country to play in six Copa Americas. His journey of representing his country in the major tournament began 14 years ago, in 2007. He then went on to represent Argentina in the 2011, 2015, 2016, 2019 and most recently in 2021.
The cherry on the top for Messi this year was certainly winning the elusive Copa America that was missing from his trophy cabinet.
1. First player to reach 800 career goals- Cristiano Ronaldo
The current Manchester United striker finds himself amongst the records once again. He achieved the impossible after becoming the first player to reach 800 top-level goals. Ronaldo’s strike against Arsenal increased his tally to the record-making number.
Broken down, his numbers across club and country read- five goals for Sporting Lisbon, 450 goals for Real Madrid, 101 for Juventus, 115 for Portugal and 131 goals for Manchester United, spread across two spells.