There are plenty of new milestones to be reached across the 2017-18 campaign – Codedwap takes a look at some of those up for grabs
After a chaotic summer full of big-money moves, European football is nearing its return.
Neymar’s €222 million switch to Paris Saint-Germain recently set a new transfer record that may take a few years to top, but there are plenty more milestones that could be set by the modern greats.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and a host of other stars can further secure their place in history by breaking new ground this season. Here, Codedwap takes a look at some of the records up for grabs…
MOST PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES MANAGED
At several points last season, it seemed Arsene Wenger’s tenure as Arsenal coach was coming to an end due to an early elimination from the Champions League and their Premier League struggles.
The pressure is, thus, on the Frenchman to deliver success to the Emirates Stadium after extending his stay for a further two years but he is now set to break at least one record.
Wenger is by far the longest-serving coach in the division at present and will overtake Sir Alex Ferguson as the recordholder for most games managed in Premier League history.
Ferguson oversaw 810 matches with Manchester United, with Wenger on 790 before the season begins this weekend.
MOST PREMIER LEAGUE APPEARANCES
With one Premier League title to the Welshman’s 13, Gareth Barry is not often associated with an all-time great like Ryan Giggs.
However, through his spells at Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton, the midfielder has enjoyed a 19-year career in the English top flight and will overtake the Manchester United legend in games played.
Giggs turned out 632 times for United in the Premier League, but Barry, 36, stands on 628 before the start of the 2017-18 campaign.
MOST GOALS IN A PL SEASON
Harry Kane could argue he would have broken the record last season had he not missed eight matches through injury. With 29 goals in 30 games, the Tottenham striker was on course to surpass the 34 reached by Andy Cole (1993-94) and Alan Shearer (1994-95), back when the season lasted 42 games.
Kane was just two off of the record for a 38-match campaign (31), which Shearer set in the first Premier League season before Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) and Luis Suarez (2013-14) matched him.
This season, Kane is expected to maintain his excellent form in the English top-flight and could surpass Shearer on at least one count this season. However, the England international is not the only one capable of achieving that tally this term.
Romelu Lukaku has some big promise to live up to, too, having scored 25 goals for Everton last term before making a £75 million move to Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Alvaro Morata will be out to make an impact for Chelsea after joining from Real Madrid, while French striker Alexandre Lacazette is tasked with leading Arsenal back into title contention.
MOST PL ASSISTS IN A SEASON
In recent seasons, Kevin De Bruyne, Mesut Ozil and Cesc Fabregas have each come close to matching Thierry Henry’s 20 Premier League assists in 2002-03, but the Frenchman’s record still stands.
De Bruyne notched 18 in 36 games last term as Manchester City finished third. Even more is expected of the Pep Guardiola’s side this term after huge investment over the summer transfer window, and the Belgian has been challenged to be at his best and keep carving out chances.
De Bruyne may have finished top of the assist chart, but Christian Eriksen set up more chances and will likely be one of the most prolific in that sense again this term, as will Arsenal playmaker Ozil, who was again one of the most creative in the league last season and came close to matching Henry in 2015-16 with 19 assists.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TITLES – COACH
Carlo Ancelotti’s debut season at Bayern Munich ended in disappointment with just a Bundesliga title.
The Italian’s chances of becoming the coach with the most European Cup/Champions League trophies ended at the quarter-final stage last term at the hands of eventual winners Real Madrid.
Ancelotti is currently the joint-record holder alongside Bob Paisley, but will be hoping to finally become the most successful coach in the competition’s history.
MOST CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP-STAGE GOALS
Cristiano Ronaldo obliterated Raul’s record as the top scorer in the history of Europe’s premier club competition long ago, but the Spain international still haunts him in one very specific area.
The Portuguese icon has proved much more effective in the latter stages, with 55 of his 106 coming in the knockout rounds. Raul, meanwhile, found much more joy in the opening phase, where he netted 53 of his 71.
Ronaldo will wipe him out as the most prolific player in the group stage, though, if he scores four in Madrid’s first six games.
MOST SERIE A APPEARANCES
Gianluigi Buffon has already declared this season to be his last, so it is only fitting that he will go out as the player with the most appearances in Serie A history.
AC Milan icon Paolo Maldini sits top of the list with 647, but the Juventus No.1 will overtake him after 29 games this term, with the Italy captain currently sitting on 619.
MOST LA LIGA GOALS
It was Jose Mourinho’s title-winning side that set new heights in La Liga with 121 goals in 2011-12.
Scoring over a century in a single year has been normal for both Clasico teams since then and last term, Zinedine Zidane’s side fell 15 short with 106, while second-place Barcelona netted 116.
The great rivals continue to push each other to extremes and with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the forefront of their battles, that record will not stand for long.
MOST MAJOR TROPHIES
He may not be an internationally revered star, but the 37 major trophies he accrued over his time at Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Inter, Ajax and Cruzeiro make Maxwell the most decorated player in club football.
He could be overtaken this year by new PSG star Dani Alves, who won his 36th piece of silverware when he started his spell in the French capital with a Trophees des Champions victory.
With Ligue 1, the Coupe de France, the Coupe de la Ligue and the Champions League all on offer, the right-back can add plenty more titles to those he has won with Barcelona, Juventus, Sevilla and Brazil.
MOST LA LIGA GOALS IN A SEASON
Lionel Messi finished La Liga’s top goalscorer last season with 37 goals, but he fell short of the record of 50 he set in the 2011-12 season.
Now, with Neymar gone, the Argentine will be expected to take on an even bigger chunk of the workload.
Incidentally, the Brazilian scored 13 in La Liga last season, so if Messi can replace his goals alone, he might be able to outdo himself after all.
MOST CARDS IN LA LIGA HISTORY
Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos clearly has a gift for scoring important goals, but the Spain international is even more prolific in picking up cards.
The three-time Champions League winner is closing in on two domestic records that will cement his place as one of the most controversial players La Liga has seen.
With 145 bookings and 17 dismissals, he is just seven behind the record for most cards combined, currently held by ex-Espanyol, Getafe and Deportivo defender Alberto Lopo Garcia
Xavier Aguado and Pablo Alfaro are the players with the most red cards collected in the Spanish top-flight, but Ramos is just one off.
LIGUE 1 GOALS
It has been 57 years since RC Paris scored 118 goals in a single Ligue 1 season and no one has topped the tally of the now fifth-tier side.
Monaco got close last season with 107 in their title-winning campaign, and it seems just a matter of time until someone sets a new record.
The €222 million signing of Neymar means puts a lot of pressure on Paris Saint-Germain to take Ligue 1 by storm this term, while a lot is expected of Kylian Mbappe-led Monaco once again.
LIGUE 1 WINNING STREAK