While new records were being set, countless old ones were being broken. Many records were broken in the year 2021, and many significant occurrences took place in the world of football.
Football players developed as a resilient force despite the limits imposed by the COVD-19 epidemic. As normalcy returned, there was a lot of activity in the previous year. The year 2021 will soon be forgotten, but it is impossible to overlook the numerous records set in the previous 12 months.
Each year, new records are created and old ones are shattered, and 2021 was no exception. Exceptional football players have earned a name for themselves in club and international football, setting numerous records in the process. Many remarkable feats have been achieved in the world of football, from scoring the most goals to setting new unbroken records.
Keeping in mind the old records that were broken in the previous year, below is a list of the top ten football records that were broken in 2021:
- Lionel Messi broke Pele’s record for most goals for a single club
Lionel Messi broke many records in the year 2021 and one of them was scoring the most number of goals for a single football club.
He broke Pele’s long-standing record of 646 goals for Santos by registering 672 goals for FC Barcelona. He achieved this feat before leaving to sign for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
- Jack Grealish became the most expensive British transfer
Jack Grealish became the most expensive British player in history in 2021. Manchester City signed the midfielder from Aston Villa by paying £105.75m, the highest transfer fee for a British player. The transfer broke the previous record of £90.90m, paid by Real Madrid for Welshman Gareth Bale.
- Cristiano Ronaldo broke Pele’s record for most goals scored in history
Pele had another one of his records broken in 2021. Cristiano Ronaldo overtook the legendary Brazilian’s 766 goals in official football matches. The Portuguese international has 802 goals, the most for any footballer in the history of the sport.
- Most goals in a single league by Messi, breaking Pele’s record
In addition to breaking Pele’s record of most goals for a single football club, Messi also broke his record of most goals in a single league.
Pele scored 469 goals in the Brazilian league. The Argentine instead managed 474 goals in the Spanish La Liga before moving to Ligue 1.
- Jude Bellingham broke the record and became the youngest player at the Euros
Jude Bellingham is one of the most promising young talents in European football. The Englishman was part of the England national team at UEFA Euro 2020.
By taking the field at the age of 17 years and 349 days old, he became the youngest to feature at a Euros, thus breaking Jetro Willems’ record of 18 years and 71 days.
- Mohamed Salah became the highest-scoring African in the Premier League
Mohamed Salah is in a rich vein of form and he was exceptional for Liverpool throughout the year 2021. His goalscoring feats reached new heights in the Premier League when the Egyptian broke Didier Drogba’s record.
The former Chelsea forward had 104 goals in the competition and Salah broke it to reach 112 strikes, becoming the highest-scoring African in the history of the league.
- Cristiano Ronaldo broke Ali Daei’s record for most international goals
Cristiano Ronaldo had a memorable year where he broke several benchmarks to further his legendary status. One of the major records he broke was Ali Daei’s feat of scoring most international goals. The Iranian legend had 109 strikes and the Portuguese now has 115 goals to his name.
- Italy broke the record for the longest unbeaten run
The Italy national football team were very impressive in 2021, winning UEFA Euro 2020 in the process. Roberto Mancini’s men broke an incredibly tough record of the longest unbeaten run for a national team.
The previous best was 35 matches, held by Spain and Brazil. The Italians went two steps further and were unbeaten in 37 matches.
- Messi broke Pele’s record of most goals by a South American player
Another record held by Pele saw its end in 2021. Lionel Messi this time broke his record of most goals by a South American in the history of the sport.
Pele managed 77 strikes in international football, but Messi has 80 goals since surpassing that mark. He may not catch up with Ronaldo, but will certainly go down as the most prolific goalscorer from South America.
- Robert Lewandowski broke Gerd Muller’s Bundesliga scoring record
Robert Lewandowski was exceptional in 2021, much like the last two years. The Polish forward broke an iconic record held by legendary Gerd Muller of Germany.
Muller scored 40 goals in the Bundesliga in a calendar year. Lewandowski scored 41 goals to bring an end to a 49-year-old record. This is one of the reasons why the football world was shocked when Lewandowski missed out on winning the Ballon d’Or.