With the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup finals about to get underway, in the first of our two-part series, we look back at five of the most astonishing stats of the tournament so far.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper created history at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on July 1, as he made 15 saves in the match – a World Cup record.
15 - @TimHowardGK made 15 saves tonight, a record in a World Cup game since Opta records began (1966). Legend.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) July 1, 2014
England and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart could end up with the record of making the least number of saves at the 2014 World Cup finals. The 27-year-old had to make just a single save in his two appearances for the Three Lions in Brazil.
2) Thibaut Courtois is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. For some, the Chelsea star is the best. However, when it comes to taking goal kicks, the Belgium international’s accuracy rate has actually not been as good as Eiji Kawashima of Japan so far at the World Cup.
|Team||Pos||Accurate Goal Kicks||Goal Kicks||Apps||Mins|
3) Cristiano Ronaldo may be the current FIFA Ballon d’Or holder and may have been the best player in the world in 2013-14, but in Brazil, the Real Madrid star is statistically one of the worst strikers.
The 29-year-old had 22 shots in three matches, but only one of them ended inside the opposition net. Ronaldo’s Madrid teammate Karim Benzema had 24 attempts in four matches, but scored only three goals.
Argentina international winger Angel di Maria, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, had 21 attempts, but only nine of those were on target.
|Team||Pos||Total Scoring Att||Ontarget Scoring Att||Goals||Apps||Mins|
|Ángel Di María||Argentina||MF||21||9||1||4||389|
The 24-year-old is joined on the leaderboard by Madrid duo Ronaldo and Benzema, while his compatriot Mesut Ozil has squandered three good opportunities.
|Team||Pos||Big Chance Missed||Apps||Mins|
5) Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos is a superb footballer and is reportedly being pursued by United and Madrid. However, the Germany international has not been as good at crossing the ball as 30-year-old Jose Holebas of Greece.
|Team||Pos||Total Cross||Accurate Cross||Apps||Mins|