The year 2021 will go down in history as one of the most eventful in the history of football. The year has seen it all, from leagues tackling the COVID-19 pandemic to wonderful acts of sportsmanship.
The records were also a big aspect of the sport this year. Even though they were broken, with one athlete continually outdoing the other, just a few were born this year. As the year draws to a close, Khel Now takes a look back at some of the best records set in international football this year:
Almoez Ali: Scored in Three Consecutive Continental Tournament Games
By being the first footballer to score in three different continental tournaments, the Qatari forward set a new record. He set the record in 2019 when he became the all-time leading goalscorer in any Asian Championship. Qatar won the AFC Asian Cup for the first time thanks to his nine goals, which set a new record.
In the same year, he scored in the Copa America, a South American football tournament. After scoring against Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2021, the striker eventually set the record.
Liverpool: Won all of their Group Stage Matches in the Champions League
Jurgen Klopp’s side became the first English team in European competition history to win all six group stage matches. 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 are among the clubs that have achieved this feat in the past (2019-20).
Ajax of the Netherlands and Bayern Munich of Germany were the only other teams to go undefeated this season. With goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi, the Merseyside club set a new record with their 2-1 win over AC Milan.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Scores 20+ Goals in 12 Consecutive Seasons
Without the man who is always talking about making new records, this list would be incomplete. The Portuguese striker found himself in the process of setting yet another record: he became the only player in history to score more than 20 goals in each of the previous 12 seasons. The accomplishment began in the 2009-10 season and culminated in the 2020-21 season.
After scoring against Spezia in Serie A, he set the record. In Spain, the achievement had begun to take shape. Following that, Cristiano Ronaldo worked in Italy as well. It remains to be seen if he can maintain this level of performance in the Premier League.
Lionel Messi: Featured in Six Copa Americas Tournaments
Lionel Messi, the Argentinian genius, became the first player from his country to play in six Copa Americas. In 2007, he embarked on a 14-year odyssey to represent his country in a big competition.
He then went on to represent Argentina at the Olympics in 2011, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2021. The icing on the cake for Messi this year was undoubtedly capturing the coveted Copa America, which he had yet to win.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Achieved 800 goals in His Career
The current Manchester United striker is back among the all-time greats. After becoming the first player to score 800 top-level goals, he accomplished the unthinkable. Ronaldo’s goal against Arsenal brought his total to an all-time high.
He scored five goals for Sporting Lisbon, 450 goals for Real Madrid, 101 goals for Juventus, 115 goals for Portugal, and 131 goals for Manchester United, spaced out over two spells.