TWITTER QUIZ: Thursday, 31 January

imageFOOTBALL – Today’s question: QUIZ – Which is the only club that won the Champions League and did not return to the main competition to defend it in the following season?

Today’s answer: Olympique Marseille

Want to guess the association? Click this Link.

Points earned in today’s quiz:

5 – @marcobinnekamp_

4 – @PeterTang80

3 – @JoostNederpelt

2 – @SimonGleave

1 – @kairo2581

Weekly standings:

10 – @marcobinnekamp_

8 – @G_o_s_h_a

8 – @sportzeloot

8 – @JoostNederpelt

4 – @poirot986

4 – @rebiger

4 – @PeterTang80

3 – @MohHesham95

2 – @pablomartinsalg

2 – @Walid_4

2 – @SimonGleave

1 – @Gurpal_1

1 – @SivanJohn

1 – @Javier_Cacerest

1 – @kairo2581

TWITTER QUIZ: Wednesday, 30 January

imageFOOTBALL – Today’s question: QUIZ – The player with the Serie A goalscoring record FOR ONE SINGLE CLUB has scored those goals for which club?

Today’s answer: AS Roma (Francesco Totti)

Want to guess the association? Click this Link.

Points earned in today’s quiz:

5 – @G_o_s_h_a

4 – @marcobinnekamp_

3 – @JoostNederpelt

2 – @Walid_4

1 – @Javier_Cacerest

Weekly standings:

8 – @G_o_s_h_a

8 – @sportzeloot

6 – @marcobinnekamp_

5 – @JoostNederpelt

4 – @poirot986

4 – @rebiger

3 – @MohHesham95

2 – @pablomartinsalg

2 – @Walid_4

1 – @Gurpal_1

1 – @SivanJohn

1 – @Javier_Cacerest

PREVIEW: Real Madrid v FC Barcelona

FOOTBALL – The 223rd edition of the Clásico of Spanish football is scheduled for tonight as Real Madrid host FC Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal encounter. Our liaison in Madrid, @2010MisterChip has dug deep into his archives and has found the following stats on this match.

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have met in 222 official matches, resulting in 88 victories for Real Madrid, 87 for FC Barcelona and 47 draws. In fixtures in which Real Madrid have acted as hosts, the balance is decidedly in favour of Real: 61 victories and 25 defeats, and 24 draws.

 

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have negotiated 30 Copa del Rey matches of which Real have won 10, FC Barcelona 14 and a further six have been drawn. Goal differential is 60-58 in favour of Barça, the leading goalscorer being Santiago Bernabéu on seven goals. Before last season, these sides had not met in the cup in successive seasons. This is already the third consecutive season in which they meet.

 

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona will eliminate each other from the cup for the third straight season. The last club other than FC Barcelona to eliminate Real Madrid was Alcorcón, the last club other than Real Madrid to knock out Barça was Sevilla FC (both in the 2009/2010 season).

 

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have met in 24 two-legged elimination rounds, 11 in the Copa del Rey, four times in Europe, six times in the Supercopa and three in the now defunct Copa de la Liga. Madrid hold a slight edge in these, knocking their adversaries out in 13 of them. In the cup, however, Barça hold a 6-5 edge.

 

In the 24 two-legged elimination rounds between these sides the team playing the return leg at home has progressed on 16 of 24 occasions (67%).

 

Since the 2008/2009 season, FC Barcelona have contested 34 two-legged elimination fixtures (13 in the Champions League, 17 in the Copa del Rey and four in the Supercopa), successfully negotiating all but four: against Sevilla FC in the 2009/2010 Copa del Rey, against Internazionale in the 2009/2010 Champions League, against Chelsea in the 2011/2012 Champions League and against Real Madrid in the 2012 Supercopa. Thus, Real can become the only team to knock out FC Barcelona twice since the advent of the glory days that started with the arrival of Pep Guardiola.

 

If Antonio Adánor Diego López starts in goal for Real Madrid, it will be the first Clásico in more than 26 years to feature two reserve goalkeepers as starters. This last occurred in a 18 May 1986 Copa de la Liga, when Agustín and Amador deputized for the incumbents Ochotorena and Urruticoechea.

 

The last Clásico without Iker Casillas took place on 1 May 2002, in the Champions League semifinals, when César kept goal for Madrid. Since then, Casillas has featured in 30 successive Clásicos, which is five shy of the record of 35 straight appearances by Paco Gento from 1954 to 1966.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo will play his 600th official senior match today, a total he has racked up for the following sides: 31 for Sporting CP (5 goals), 292 for Manchester United (118 goals), 100 for Portugal (37 goals) and 176 for Real Madrid (179 goals). FC Barcelona are the opponents he has faced most often (20 times including tonight).

 

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored at least once in his last six Clásicos, a streak achieved by no other of the 830 players that have featured in this clash of Spanish superpowers. With the absence of Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Pepe, Cristiano Ronaldo could captain Real Madrid for the second time in his career, after doing so in the league match against Real Sociedad on 6 January 2013.

 

Lionel Messi has scored at least once in his last 16 official starts for FC Barcelona (for a total of 27 goals). He has not been kept at bay since 3 November 2012, when FC Barcelona beat Celta de Vigo. One more goal will give him 18 for his Clásico career, which would equal the record for this match by Alfredo di Stéfano.

Lionel Messi has already scored 44 official goals this season. Apart from himself and Cristiano Ronaldo, only three players in the history of Spanish top flight football have scored more in an entire season – Telmo Zarra (48 goals in 1950/1951), Ferenc Puskás (47 goals in 1959/1960) and Ronaldo (de Lima) (47 goals in 1996/1997).

Statistics courtesy of @2010MisterChip

PREVIEW: Skeleton World Championships

SKELETON – As part of the ongoing 2013 FIBT World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the men’s and women’s skeleton events take place later this week. Our facts and figures preview for both events is below.

WOMEN’S EVENT
Begins Thursday, 31 January

Uhlaender can become second woman to win consecutive world titles
> Reigning champion Katie Uhlaender (USA) can become the second woman to defend her world championships title after Marion Thees (GER), who won in both 2009 and 2011.
> Uhlaender has won three world championships medals and can become the first female slider to win four. Canada’s Mellisa Hollingsworth can also achieve this feat in St. Moritz.
> Uhlaender has one career World Cup victory in St. Moritz in January 2008, and she won bronze the only previous time the world championships were held here in January 2007.

Thees can become the first woman to win three world championship titles
> Marion Thees can become the first slider to win three world championship titles in women’s skeleton.
> Thees currently shares the record of two titles with Maya Pederson (SUI).
> Thees has never made the podium in an international level race on the St. Moritz track. She came second in the European championships there in 2009, but that was part of a wider World Cup race in which she finished fourth.
> Germany leads all countries with nine world championships medals in the women’s event and can be the first country to reach 10 medals if Thees or one of her compatriots is on the podium. The United States has eight medals and could also reach 10 by putting two sliders on the podium.

Pikus-Pace trying to remain undefeated in world championship races in St. Moritz
> Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) won the only previous women’s world championship race held in St. Moritz, in 2007.
> Pikus-Pace can join Pederson as the only women to have won two world championships titles on the same track. Pederson won both her world titles in Calgary.
> Pikus-Pace also won silver at the 2005 world championships. If she wins bronze in St. Moritz, she will join her compatriot Uhlaender as the only female sliders with the complete set of world championships medals. Germany’s Anja Huber can also do this by winning bronze.

Rudman and Yarnold seek Great Britain’s first women’s world championships title
> Great Britain has won three medals in the women’s event at the world championships, equal fourth-most overall and the most by any nation that has never won gold.
> British sliders have won the last four World Cup races at St. Moritz – Shelley Rudman from 2009-11 and Elizabeth Yarnold in 2012.
> Rudman’s three World Cup victories in St. Moritz are more than any female slider at the track. However, she has never won a world championships medal, finishing fourth at each of the last two editions.
> Yarnold, who won bronze at her first senior world championships in 2012, could become the third youngest women’s skeleton world champion at 24 years 93 days on Friday. The youngest is Steffi Jacob (GER), who won the first world championships title in 2000 at 24 years 45 days.

MEN’S EVENT
Begins Friday, 1 February

Dukurs can be first man to win three straight world titles
> Martins Dukurs (LAT) has won the last two world championships gold medals and can become the first slider to win three consecutive world championships titles.
> Dukurs can become only the second man to win three world championships titles overall after Gregor Stähli (SUI), who won in 1994, 2007 and 2009. Dukurs and Canadians Jeff Pain and Ryan Davenport are the only other men to have won it twice.
> Since the start of the 2011 calendar year, Dukurs has won 20 of the 22 races at World Cup and world championships level. Both races he did not win were claimed by Germany’s Frank Rommel.
> Dukurs has won the last two World Cup races on the St. Moritz track and has been on the podium in the last three World Cup races there.
> If Dukurs and his brother Tomass Dukurs are both on the podium, it will be the first time one country has had two medallists in the same year in this event since 2007, when the USA took silver and bronze.
> Other than Dukurs, the only man in the 2013 field who has previously won the world championships title is Kristan Bromley (GBR), who won in 2008.

Austria, Switzerland and Canada chase a record 6th title
> Austria, Switzerland and Canada have all won the men’s world championships gold medal five times and are vying to become the first to win it six times.
> However, no sliders from Austria, Switzerland or Canada have made a World Cup podium so far this season. The last man from any of those three countries to win an international standard race was Olympic champion Jon Montgomery (CAN), who last won a World Cup race in November 2010.
> Canada has nine medals in men’s world championships history and if Montgomery or one of his compatriots is on the podium in St. Moritz, Canada will become the third country to reach 10 medals after Austria (currently 18) and Switzerland (14).

St. Moritz hosts men’s skeleton worlds for record 5th time
> St. Moritz becomes the first track to host the men’s skeleton world championships five times. It previously shared the record of four with Calgary.
> The six-year gap between St. Moritz’s last world championships in 2007 and the 2013 edition is the shortest time between St. Moritz world championships. The others were held in 1982, 1989 and 1998.
> In the four previous men’s skeleton world championships held at St. Moritz, the 12 medals were won by just four countries: Switzerland (6), Austria (3), the United States (2) and Germany (1).
> Switzerland has never failed to win a medal at a world championships held in St. Moritz. Swiss sliders won two medals in both 1982 and 1998 and one each in 1989 and 2007.

For more winter sports statistics, follow @Infostrada2014 on twitter.

INFOGRAPHIC: Messi approaches El Clásico record

FOOTBALL – Lionel Messi needs one more goal to equal Alfredo Di Stéfano’s all-time goalscoring record in official El Clásico matches and the Argentine ace will be looking to score that goal when FC Barcelona travel to Real Madrid for their Copa del Rey quarterfinal encounter on Wednesday, 30 January.

TWITTER QUIZ: Tuesday, 29 January

imageFOOTBALL – Today’s question: QUIZ – Which club squandered a maiden Bundesliga championship on the last matchday of 1999/2000, losing at lowly SpVgg Unterhaching?

Today’s answer: Bayer Leverkusen

Want to guess the association? Click this Link. 

Points earned in today’s quiz:

5 – @sportzeloot

4 – @rebiger

3 – @MohHesham95

2 – @pablomartinsalg

1 – @SivanJohn

Weekly standings:

5 – @JoostNederpelt

5 – @sportzeloot

4 – @poirot986

4 – @rebiger

3 – @G_o_s_h_a

3 – @MohHesham95

2 – @marcobinnekamp_

2 – @pablomartinsalg

1 – @Gurpal_1

1 – @SivanJohn

TWITTER QUIZ: Monday, 28 January

FOOTBALL – Today’s question: QUIZ – Of the founding members of the Bundesliga, which club was the geographically southernmost of those clubs in the 1963/1964 season?

Today’s answer: 1860 München

Want to guess the association? Click this Link.

Points earned in today’s quiz:

5 – @JoostNederpelt

4 – @poirot986

3 – @G_o_s_h_a

2 – @marcobinnekamp_

1 – @Gurpal_1

Weekly standings:

5 – @JoostNederpelt

4 – @poirot986

3 – @G_o_s_h_a

2 – @marcobinnekamp_

1 – @Gurpal_1