Welcome to week 3 of Euro 2012 and the beginning of the elimination round. With two more quarterfinal match-ups upon us [Ronaldo's Portugal beat the Czechs 1:0 Thursday & Jogi Loew's Germans dismantled the hapless Greeks 4:2 last night], it’s ‘brass tacks’ time and a good opportunity to review some interesting Euro 2012 numbers, stats and facts …
860 A record for most passes in a EURO match, achieved by Spain in their Euro 2012 Group C match with Ireland. Spain’s midfield maestro Xavi led the way with a new record of his own, completing 127 of 136 pass attempts vs. Ireland.
368 The total player count at Euro 2012 represented by 16, 23-man European national teams.
120 The total number of national team appearances for Miroslav Klose after yesterday’s start against Greece.
64 All goals scored by Miroslav Klose in a Germany shirt since his national team debut in 2001. His 64th goal yesterday puts him only four behind Gerd Mueller’s DFB scoring record.
64 Goals scored by Germany at the UEFA Euros after their latest 4-2 quarterfinal win over Greece, putting them seven in front of the Netherlands as the competition’s all-time leading scorers.
58 With it’s recent win over Croatia, Spain has now enjoyed more possession than its opponents in each of the last 58 matches.
38 The age of the oldest Euro competition player to score a goal [at Euro 2008, Ivica Vastic found the net for Austria]. 35 years and 256 days was the age at which Ukraine’s Andriy Shevchenko undid Sweden with a decisive double goal performance and established himself as the second-oldest goalscorer in the history of the UEFA European Championship.
27 The age at which Lukas Podolski won his 100th cap on Sunday, becoming the youngest European player to reach this landmark in the process.
19 Germany have now scored at least once in their last 19 matches dating back to November 2010.
12 The group of players who have scored at least twice in a match at both the Euros and the FIFA World Cup. Ukraine’s Andriy Shevchenko joined this elite club with his Euro 2012 goals.
7 Goal total for Greece during their 2004 Euro Championship campaign compared to Germany’s 9 tallies during 2012 Euro Group and quarterfinal play.
5 The number of major international tournaments that have been graced by a Cristiano Ronaldo goal. The Portugal star struck twice in a Group B win over the Netherlands and once in the quarterfinal victory over the Czechs.
4 The total of consecutive semi-final appearances made by the German National Team. This includes the semi-final loss to the Italians at the 2006 World Cup in Germany; the 2008 Euro match-up with Turkey (who Germany beat only to lose to Spain in the final); the 2010 World Cup semi-final loss to Spain, and the upcoming Euro 2012 semi-final match on Thursday, June 28th against either England or Italy.
0 The Netherland’s point total in Euro 2012 Group B competition after losing all three group matches at a major tournament for the first time in their history, and suffering three successive defeats for the first time in 22 years.
With five Euro 2012 matches remaining and European football powerhouses England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain still competing for Euro glory, there are bound to be more records broken and ‘firsts’ recorded. Stay tuned.