FIFA 16: Elated icons and fond farewells

In FIFA.com's latest round-up of the week's standout stats, the passing of Alcides Ghiggia and retirement of Celia Sasic feature alongside goals and glory for Messrs Dempsey, Gerrard, Keane, Madjer and Alan.

 

116 international appearances without a hat-trick was the run that came to an end for Clint Dempsey on Saturday. The 32-year-old finally scored his first international treble at the 117th time of asking to inspire USA's 6-0 drubbing of Cuba in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-finals. 

 

Dempsey now has six goals at the tournament, twice as many as his nearest challengers for the golden boot, having become just the fourth US player - after Brian McBride, Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski - to score a Gold Cup hat-trick. His goals helped the Stars and Stripes maintain their dominance in this particular fixture, racking up an eighth successive win over Cuba in a run that dates back to September 1949.

 

78 was the combined age at which beach soccer stalwarts Alan and Madjer finally got their hands on a world title on Sunday. Both Portugal stars were again among the end of tournament award winners at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, with Madjer taking his remarkable tally of individual honours to eight (two adidas Golden Balls, one Bronze Ball, three Golden Scorer and two Silver Scorer awards). 

 

His latest honours were earned by an impressive eight-goal haul over the course of the latest edition, boosting to 85 the veteran's already tournament-record tally. But the only prize that concerned both him and Alan was the one that had consistently eluded them, most heartbreakingly in a final defeat to France ten years earlier. The sight of both stalwarts clutching the Beach Soccer World Cup trophy proved that good things do indeed come to those who wait.

 

65 years to the day of the legendary Maracanazo, the game's match-winner and last surviving participant passed away on Thursday. Uruguay legend Alcides Ghiggia, 88, was famous across the globe for the goal that broke Brazilian hearts at the 1950 FIFA World Cup, silencing a 200,000 Maracana crowd and securing the Trophy for La Celeste.

 

But he was also the first player to score in every match in every round of a World Cup, and remains one of only three - the others being Just Fontaine and Jairzinho - to have achieved this feat. As it happened, those four strikes at Brazil 1950 were the only goals he ever scored for Uruguay, although he also found the net once for Italy's national team, having gone on to represent Gli Azzurri on five occasions.

 

27 was the age at which Celia Sasic made the shock announcement last week that she was retiring from football. The Germany striker bowed out at the peak of her powers, and fresh from finishing top scorer in the FIFA Women's World Cup (6 goals), Frauen-Bundesliga (21) and UEFA Women's Champions League (14). That Champions League haul equalled the tournament record as Sasic - a double European champion with her national team - propelled Frankfurt towards the continent's top club prize. 

 

These feats ensure that the striker is one of just 12 players shortlisted for the UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe award, and she retires with her place as a national legend assured. An impressive tally of 63 goals from 111 Germany appearances guarantees that, and has left Sasic at fourth - behind Birgit Prinz, Heidi Mohr and Inka Grings - in the team's list of all-time leading scorers.

 

1 defeat in 28 is the imposing home record that Los Angeles Galaxy bolstered on Sunday with a 5-2 comeback win over San Jose Earthquakes. The Galaxy heroes included debutant Steven Gerrard, who scored, claimed an assist and won a penalty, becoming one of just three players in MLS this year - after Kaka and Sebastian Giovinco - to achieve this particular 'treble'. Another ex-Liverpool player also starred, with Robbie Keane grabbing a hat-trick to move on to nine goals for the season, level with Kaka and just behind David Villa (10), Giovinco (12) and Kei Kamara (14). This also continued the Irishman's fine record in the fixture dubbed the 'Californian Clasico', with Keane having now scored six times in just five appearances against the Earthquakes at the StubHub Center.

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