Stats & Info: Cristiano Ronaldo

Scary sports stats on Halloween

October, 31, 2012
Aaron Rodgers
Sports can be scary. In honor of Halloween, let’s take a look at the scariest statistics in sports.

Don't let Aaron Rodgers get into the red zone in the fourth quarter. Since becoming a starter in 2008, Rodgers has 25 passing touchdowns and no interceptions in the red zone in the fourth quarter, the most fourth-quarter passing touchdowns without an interception in the red zone in the NFL over that span.

Aroldis Chapman
Facing Aroldis Chapman can be chilling. Chapman threw 242 pitches of 100 MPH or faster in 2012, 33 percent more than the next-best 100 MPH master.

Expect to strike out when you face Craig Kimbrel. The Braves pitcher set the major league record for most strikeouts per nine innings with 16.7, accentuating a scary fastball that averaged 97 MPH.

Who throws the scariest heater? Royals pitcher Kelvin Herrera threw the fastest fastball of any MLB pitcher in 2012 at a scary 102.8 MPH.

Pitches that go bump in the night. Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy and White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd each hit an MLB-leading 14 batters during the 2012 regular season.

High anxiety is when Cristiano Ronaldo is about to take a penalty against you. Ronaldo has successfully converted 27 of 28 penalties in the last three seasons with league and European play. His 96 percent rate is the highest among players with more than 10 penalties in the last three seasons.

Which haunted house makes visiting college football teams tremble? LSU’s 22-game home winning streak is the longest in college football. The last time LSU lost at home was in 2009, when the No. 1-ranked Florida Gators held the Tigers to a field goal, winning 13- 3.

Is Michael Phelps in the lane next to you? Is it the Olympics? Be scared. Phelps has medaled in 22 of 24 Olympic event. At age 27, Phelps won six medals at the 2012 London Olympics, raising his total to 22 Olympics medals.

Shaun White is scary good. White has won five consecutive gold medals in the Winter X Games SuperPipe event. The last time White did not place first in the Winter X Games SuperPipe event was in 2007, when he took the silver medal. White has 22 X Games medals.

Which men’s basketball team is scary good at home recently? Kentucky has won 52 straight home games, the longest current home win streak in men’s basketball, including nine victories over top-25 teams. No other team has an active streak of more than 27.

Which men’s basketball team strikes fear in the hearts of non-conference competition? Syracuse has beat the last 42 non-conference division I men’s basketball opponents during the regular season, the longest current such winning streak and double the next closest school.

Big scores in Euro World Cup qualifying

October, 12, 2012
World Cup qualifying resumed in Europe on Friday with 24 matches that featured a combined 65 goals and six matches decided by three goals or more. Here are a look at the highlights from today's matches.

Russia 1, Portugal 0
Russia moves to the top of Group A despite being outshot 12-7 and with Portugal more than doubling the amount of completed passes with 466 to Russia’s 187. Cristiano Ronaldo was limited to 59 touches, seventh-most on Portugal and was fouled a game-high four times.

Aleksandr Kerzhakov provided the goal for Russia, his 22nd career international goal and third of this qualifying campaign.

England 5, San Marino 0
Wayne Rooney scored twice to move into fifth place all-time on the England scoring list with 31 goals, while Danny Welbeck recorded his first national team brace in England’s 5-0 drubbing of San Marino.

England’s dominant performance was led by their four Manchester United players (Wayne Rooney, Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck). This combination finished with 441 touches, far more than San Marino’s entire team (350).

San Marino has lost its last six matches by a combined score of 34-2 and has been held scoreless in five of those matches.

Spain 4, Belarus 0
Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas extended his personal shutout streak to 698 minutes in Spain’s 4-0 win over Belarus.

Spain was keyed by Pedro, who recorded his first career hat trick for either club or country and recorded Spain’s first hat trick in a competitive match since Fernando Torres in the 2009 Confederations Cup against New Zealand.

Spain brought its usual dominant passing attack, completing 796 passes to Belarus’ 253. Three different Spanish players completed at least 100 passes: Xabi Alonso (106), Jordi Alba (101) and Xavi (100).

Germany 6, Ireland 1
Germany’s win today was its biggest since defeating Azerbaijan 6-1 in Euro qualifying on September 7, 2010 and it was keyed by its passing attack. The Germans completed nearly three times as many passes (705) as Ireland attempted (242) with a completion rate of 92.4.

Marco Reus and Toni Kroos each scored twice for Germany while Miroslav Klose scored his 65th international goal, three shy of Gerd Müller’s German national team record of 68.

Italy 3, Armenia 1
Goals from Andrea Pirlo, Daniele De Rossi and Pablo Osvaldo powered Italy to a 3-1 win and to the top of Group B.

Osvaldo’s goal was his third of this qualifying campaign which leads the team. No one else has scored more than one.

De Rossi scored for the second time in three matches after going 18 matches since his last goal on Sept. 7, 2010 vs Faroe Islands in Euro qualifying.

Pirlo’s goal came on a penalty in the 11th minute, Italy’s first goal from a penalty kick since June 20, 2010 vs New Zealand in the World Cup.

Elsewhere in Europe
Netherlands defeated Andorra 3-0 to stay atop Group D. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored his 34th goal for Netherlands, moving fifth all-time on the team’s scoring list. Andorra completed only 44 passes in this match, seven Dutch players completed more than that alone.

Wales’ Gareth Bale scored twice in the last 10 minutes to defeat Scotland 2-1 and give Wales its first win of this qualifying campaign.

Israel defeated Luxembourg 6-0, its first time scoring six goals in a match since defeating Luxembourg 7-0 on September 9, 2009 in World Cup qualifying.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. PENGUINS HANGING IN THERE: For the second straight game, the Pittsburgh Penguins won when facing elimination, beating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. The two teams have combined for 50 goals in the series, tied for the fourth-most in a NHL playoff series. FROM ELIAS: In each of the first five games of the series the team that scored the first goal lost. It’s only the third series in NHL playoff history to follow that unusual pattern; the others were Pittsburgh vs. St. Louis in 1981 and Dallas vs. San Jose in 2008.

2. YANKEES SPOIL FENWAY PARTY: The Boston Red Sox had a 100-year celebration of Fenway Park but the New York Yankees spoiled the party. Clay Buchholz allowed five HR in a 6-2 loss. FROM ELIAS: Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz have each allowed five HR in a game this season. It's the third time that a pair of pitchers on the same team gave up five plus HR in a game in one season. The other pairs: 2005 Phillies-- Vicente Padilla and Cory Lidle, and the 2009 Red Sox-- Beckett and Buchholz.

3. SPURS BLOW OUT LAKERS AGAIN: Kobe Bryant made his return after missing seven games with a shin injury, but it didn’t matter as the Los Angeles Lakers were blown out again by the San Antonio Spurs. FROM ELIAS: The Spurs are the first team to win two consecutive meetings against the Lakers by 20+ points since the Detroit Pistons in February 2005. That Pistons team reached the NBA Finals and lost to the Spurs.

4. PREDATORS BACK IN SEMIS: The Nashville Predators are the first team to advance to the conference semifinals, beating the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in Game 5 to win the series 4-1. It’s the second straight season that the Predators have advanced to the conference semis. They didn’t win a playoff series in their previous 11 seasons. As for the Red Wings, it’s the first time they were eliminated in the conference quarterfinals since 2006.

5. SOCCER SHOWDOWN: Barcelona hosts Real Madrid in El Clásico on Saturday, their second and final La Liga meeting of the season. With five games remaining, first-place Real Madrid leads second-place Barcelona by four points. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo are tied for the league lead with 41 goals each this season. Both have broken the previous record of 40, set by Ronaldo last season. Barcelona is unbeaten in seven straight games against Real Madrid in all competitions, matching the longest unbeaten streak ever in the series, previously done by Real Madrid from 1932-35. Madrid hasn’t beaten Barcelona since last year’s Copa del Rey final. The match can be seen on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3 at 2 ET.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. FLYERS COME BACK: The Philadelphia Flyers overcame a three-goal deficit in the first period to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime. FROM ELIAS: Philadelphia became the first NHL team since 1996 to start the playoffs with a win in which it overcame a three-goal deficit; 16 years ago, the Capitals won 6-4, also at Pittsburgh, after they had trailed 4-1 late in the second period.

2. HELP ME RONDO: FROM ELIAS: Rajon Rondo posted 20 assists, 10 points and 10 rebounds in the Boston Celtics’ overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks. It was the fourth game in his NBA career (two this season, two last season) in which Rondo had a triple-double that featured at least 20 assists. That ties Magic Johnson for the most such games in the history of the NBA.

3. BYNUM CRASHES THE BOARDS: Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 30 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Spurs in San Antonio without Kobe Bryant. He is just the second player in the last 15 seasons to have a 30-rebound game. FROM ELIAS: Bynum became the fifth Lakers player to collect 30 rebounds in a game, joining George Mikan, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain (who had 16 such games) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The last Lakers player with a 30-board game was Kareem, who had the second of his two 30-rebound games with the Lakers back in 1978.

Justin Verlander
4. VERLANDER FALLS APART LATE: After allowing just one hit and no runs through eight innings, Justin Verlander allowed four runs in the ninth inning in a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the Detroit Tigers first loss of the season. The reigning AL Cy Young and MVP Award winner has allowed just four runs in 16 1/3 innings but is 0-1 this season. FROM ELIAS: Verlander became only the second starting pitcher in major-league history to fail to earn a win in either of his first two starts of a season after having tossed shutout ball over the first eight innings of each game. The only other pitcher to endure such hard luck was Minnesota’s Pete Redfern in 1980.

5. RONALDO HITS 40: Cristiano Ronaldo scored three goals in a 4-1 Real Madrid win. He has 40 goals this season, tying his own record for the most goals in a single season in La Liga history. He is one goal ahead of Lionel Messi who has 39.
Less than three years after replacing future Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a fourth Super Bowl title. His performance earned him the No. 1 spot in this week's Cross-Sport Power Rankings.

Aaron Rodgers
Since taking over in 2008, Rodgers ranks among the league leaders in passing yards (fourth), touchdown passes (fourth) and passer rating (third). More importantly, he's matched Favre in the most crucial stat of all: championships.

Is Rodgers on his way to having the best career by a player or coach who faced the tough task of replacing a legend? The Stats & Information Group has compiled a list of 10 worthy contenders for that title. Do you disagree with anyone on our list? Feel free to comment below.

10. Kevin Harvick
He replaced Dale Earnhardt for Richard Childress Racing following Earnhardt’s death in the 2001 Daytona 500. Just weeks after the tragedy, Harvick won at Atlanta in only his third career Sprint Cup start. Harvick has won 13 other NSCS races in a career that's spanned 10 seasons. In 2010, Harvick's third-place finish in the points race was the best of his career.

9. Leroy Kelly
After Jim Brown completed arguably the greatest career by a running back in NFL history in 1965, Kelly faced the nearly impossible task of replacing the Browns legend. Kelly, who had just 43 rushes in the two seasons he played alongside Brown, rushed for more than 1,100 yards in 1966, leading the league with 5.5 yards per rush. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

8. George Seifert
Taking over for three-time Super Bowl champion Bill Walsh in 1989, Seifert and Joe Montana led the 49ers to a Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos, joining Don McCafferty as the only head coaches to win the Super Bowl in their first season. (Seifert added a second ring five years later with a different starting quaterback, Steve Young.) During his eight seasons in San Francisco (1989-96), the 49ers won 98 games, 13 more than any other franchise.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
The 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year took over the storied No. 7 jersey for Manchester United in 2003, following in the footsteps of George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham. Ronaldo scored more than 80 goals in the Barclays Premier League and led the Red Devils to three straight league championships (2007-2009).

6. Jimmy Johnson
Dallas went 1-15 in 1989, Johnson's first season after taking over for Tom Landry, the head coach of the Cowboys for the team’s first 29 seasons. Things improved quickly for Johnson after drafting Emmitt Smith in 1990. The team won back-to-back Super Bowls following the 1992-93 seasons.

5. Sidney Crosby
The 2007 Hart Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion benefited from playing with the man he replaced as the face of the Penguins franchise when Mario Lemieux came out of retirement in 2005. Since his one season with Lemieux, Crosby has led the league in points (2006-07) and goals (2009-10 along with Steven Stamkos). He also took the Penguins to consecutive Stanley Cup Finals, beating the Red Wings in 2009.

4. Carl Yastrzemski
Yastrzemski had more to worry about than playing left field in the shadow of the Green Monster during his 1961 rookie season with the Boston Red Sox. He was replacing Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter in the history of baseball. Yaz hit .266 as a rookie, but finished his 23-year career with a .285 batting average, 452 HR and more than 1,800 RBI. The Hall of Famer was a near-unanimous choice for the 1967 AL MVP Award after winning the Triple Crown, a feat no other major leaguer has accomplished since.

3. Tim Duncan
Duncan was lucky to land on a Spurs team just one season removed from seven straight playoff appearances. The Spurs also featured an established post presence in 1994-95 NBA MVP David Robinson.

Tim Ducan
They quickly formed one of the league’s best defensive duos, leading the Spurs to NBA titles in 1999 and 2003. Duncan won consecutive NBA MVP awards playing alongside Robinson in 2001-02 and 2002-03, and continued to dominate following Robinson's retirement. To date, the four-time NBA champion is one of just 13 players in league history with 21,000 points and 11,000 rebounds.

2. Mickey Mantle
Mantle replaced Joe DiMaggio in centerfield for the Yankees in 1952, the second season for the 20-year-old. That summer, Mantle earned the first of 14 straight All-Star selections. Overall, the three-time American League MVP finished his career with 536 HR, third-most in MLB history at the time of his retirement in 1968.

1. Steve Young
He finally took over as the 49ers starting quarterback in 1991, after serving as an understudy to Hall-of-Famer Joe Montana from 1987-90. In 1992, he was named the league MVP and started a stretch of seven straight Pro Bowl selections. Young added another MVP Award in 1994, guiding the 49ers to their fifth Super Bowl title.

Young was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, and entered the 2010 season as the top-rated passer in league history among qualifiers. However, Young no longer holds that distinction, having been dislodged atop the career passer rating list by none other than Aaron Rodgers.