Premier League Winners with the Lowest Points Totals Ever

The Premier League, established in 1992, has seen various teams claim the title, some with fewer points than others.

Here, we go through the top five Premier League winners with the lowest points totals ever, from fifth to first.

5. Manchester United (2010-11) – 80 Points

Transitional Phase for the Red Devils

In the 2010-11 season, Manchester United clinched the Premier League title with 80 points.

This period marked a transitional phase for the club as veterans like Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, and Paul Scholes saw reduced action.

Key Players

The strike duo of Dimitar Berbatov, who scored 20 league goals, and Javier Hernandez, played pivotal roles in securing the title.

Despite drawing numerous games and winning only 23 of their 38 matches, United finished nine points clear of Chelsea, their closest rivals.

This triumph was particularly significant as it saw United surpass Liverpool with 19 league titles.

4. Manchester United (2000-01) – 80 Points

Dominance with a Misleading Points Total

Manchester United once again appears on this list, this time for their 80-point tally in the 2000-01 season.

Although the points total was relatively low, it belies the dominance the team exhibited throughout the season.

Title Decided Early

The title was effectively secured well before the end of the season, allowing United to ease off in their final matches.

Veteran striker Teddy Sheringham was instrumental, scoring 15 goals and earning both the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards that year.

United’s dominance was such that their final three games, all losses, had no impact on their title win.

3. Manchester United (1998-99) – 79 Points

Historic Treble-Winning Season

The 1998-99 season is etched in football history as Manchester United not only won the Premier League but also secured an unprecedented treble by adding the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League to their trophy cabinet.

They won the Premier League that year with a mere 79 points.

Fierce Competition

In a closely contested race, United edged out Arsenal by just one point.

Despite the low points total, the significance of their treble win overshadows the modest league performance.

Key players like David Beckham and Dwight Yorke were crucial in this historic season.

2. Arsenal (1997-98) – 78 Points

Wenger’s First Full Season

Arsene Wenger’s first full season in charge of Arsenal culminated in a Premier League title with 78 points.

The team, featuring stars like Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, and Marc Overmars, showcased resilience and skill.

Narrow Margin

The title race was intensely competitive, with Arsenal finishing just one point ahead of Manchester United.

This win marked the beginning of a successful era under Wenger’s leadership, setting the stage for future successes.

1. Manchester United (1996-97) – 75 Points

Lowest Points Total for Champions

The 1996-97 season saw Manchester United claim the Premier League title with the lowest points total ever recorded by a champion team, at just 75 points.

Squad Highlights

Despite the low tally, the squad boasted talents like David Beckham and Eric Cantona, the latter in his final season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in his debut season, emerged as the top scorer with 19 league goals, playing a crucial role in their campaign.

United’s lead was comfortable, finishing seven points ahead of Newcastle United.

FAQ

What is the lowest points total ever recorded by a Premier League champion? The lowest points total ever recorded by a Premier League champion is 75 points, achieved by Manchester United in the 1996-97 season.

Which team appears most frequently on the list of lowest points totals for Premier League champions? Manchester United appears most frequently on this list, with four seasons (1996-97, 1998-99, 2000-01, and 2010-11) where they won the league with relatively low points totals.

How many points did Arsenal have when they won the Premier League in the 1997-98 season? Arsenal won the Premier League in the 1997-98 season with 78 points.

Which season did Manchester United win the Premier League with 80 points and also saw significant veteran players transitioning? Manchester United won the Premier League with 80 points in the 2010-11 season, a period marked by a transition as veteran players like Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, and Paul Scholes saw reduced action.

What was significant about Manchester United’s 1998-99 season besides their points total? The 1998-99 season is significant because Manchester United won the treble, claiming the Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League. They secured the league title with 79 points.

Who were the key players for Manchester United during their 1996-97 Premier League title win? Key players for Manchester United during their 1996-97 title win included David Beckham and Eric Cantona, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emerging as the top scorer in his debut season with 19 league goals.

What points total did Manchester United and Arsenal each finish with during the 1997-98 season? In the 1997-98 season, Arsenal finished with 78 points, narrowly edging out Manchester United, who finished with 77 points.

Who was Manchester United’s top scorer in the 2000-01 season, and what awards did he win? Teddy Sheringham was Manchester United’s top scorer in the 2000-01 season, with 15 goals. He won both the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards.

How did Leicester City’s 2015-16 Premier League title win compare in terms of points total? Leicester City won the Premier League in the 2015-16 season with 81 points. Although this total is slightly higher than those on this list, it was still considered low for a champion team, highlighting their incredible and unexpected triumph.

What was unique about Arsenal‘s squad during their 1997-98 Premier League title-winning season? Arsenal‘s 1997-98 squad was notable for being led by Arsene Wenger in his first full season and featuring key players such as Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, and Marc Overmars. They won the title by showcasing resilience and skill, finishing just one point ahead of Manchester United.



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Premier League Table: Gameweek 26 Results and Update

Gameweek 26: In an exhilarating start to Gameweek 26 of the Premier League, Liverpool surged four points clear at the top of the table, showcasing resilience and tactical brilliance in a comeback victory over Luton.

Wednesday 21st February

Liverpool‘s Remarkable Comeback

The Reds, under Jürgen Klopp, have once again demonstrated why they are one of the most feared teams in the Premier League. Despite trailing in the first half to a well-organised Luton side, Liverpool mounted a remarkable comeback to secure a 4-1 victory.

This win was a testament to their depth and quality, even in the absence of key players such as Mohamed Salah and Alisson.

Liverpool‘s ability to recover from losing positions has been a hallmark of their season. With 22 points gained from such situations, they lead the league in resilience and determination.

The victory over Luton was significant, coming right after Manchester City had closed the gap to just one point. Liverpool‘s response was emphatic, showcasing their championship mettle.

Saturday 24th February

Crystal Palace vs Burnley Result

In a pivotal match on Saturday, 24th February, Crystal Palace delivered a commanding performance to secure a 3-0 victory over Burnley, marking a triumphant start for their new manager, Oliver Glasner. This match, held at Selhurst Park, was not just a test for Glasner’s tactical prowess but also a crucial step for Palace in distancing themselves from the relegation zone.

The game was a tale of two halves, with Burnley showing initial resilience until a critical moment tilted the balance in Palace’s favour. Josh Brownhill’s red card for a foul on Jefferson Lerma 10 minutes before the break was the turning point, leaving Burnley with 10 men and a mountain to climb.

Despite the absence of key creative forces Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, Palace demonstrated their superiority and depth. Chris Richards broke the deadlock with a header, followed by Jordan Ayew’s fourth goal of the season, showcasing the team’s ability to capitalize on their numerical advantage. Jean-Philippe Mateta added the final touch with a penalty, sealing a 3-0 win that was both necessary and indicative of the potential under Glasner’s guidance.

Aston Villa vs Nottingham Forest Result

In a thrilling encounter at Villa Park on Saturday, 24th February, Aston Villa emerged victorious in a six-goal spectacle against Nottingham Forest, with a final score of 4-2.

Douglas Luiz was the standout performer, netting twice to help secure the win for Villa. The match was a showcase of tactical acumen from Villa’s manager, Unai Emery, who exploited Forest’s defensive vulnerabilities to full effect.

Despite Forest’s attempts to rally back into the game, with notable contributions from Niakhaté and Morgan Gibbs-White, Villa maintained control. Leon Bailey also played a pivotal role, contributing with his pace and skill to unsettle the Forest defence and adding a goal to Villa’s tally.

This victory was a significant boost for Aston Villa, demonstrating their attacking prowess and resilience, while Nottingham Forest was left to rue their defensive errors and missed opportunities in a match that kept fans on the edge of their seats.

Manchester United vs Fulham Result

In a dramatic turn of events at Old Trafford, Fulham clinched a memorable victory against Manchester United with a late goal by Alex Iwobi in the 97th minute, marking their first win at this venue since 2003.

The match, filled with suspense and unexpected moments, ended with a 2-1 scoreline in favour of the visitors. Fulham‘s triumph was set in motion by Calvin Bassey’s opener, which was later equalised by Harry Maguire, seemingly steering the game towards a draw.

However, Iwobi’s last-minute strike, following a swift break and an assist from substitute Adama Traoré, sealed a significant win for Fulham. This result left Manchester United eight points adrift of the fourth Champions League spot, intensifying the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag.

Despite United’s efforts to salvage the game, Fulham‘s resilience and strategic counterattacks underscored their deserving victory, as they capitalised on United’s vulnerabilities to secure a historic win at Old Trafford.

Brighton vs Everton Result

In a dramatic Premier League clash at the Amex Stadium, Brighton and Everton shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw, with the match culminating in a thrilling finale.

Despite being reduced to 10 men following Billy Gilmour’s dismissal for a studs-up challenge on Amadou Onana, Brighton managed to salvage a point thanks to a last-gasp header from Lewis Dunk in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

This goal marked the first header Everton conceded all season, highlighting the intense pressure Brighton applied even with a numerical disadvantage. Earlier, Everton had taken the lead through a fine strike from Jarrad Branthwaite, capitalising on a set-piece situation in what seemed a classic example of Sean Dyche’s tactical approach.

The match was a testament to both teams’ resilience, with Everton aiming to secure a rare away win and Brighton fighting back to maintain their impressive home record. The draw left both sides contemplating what might have been in a tightly contested affair.

Bournemouth vs Man City Result

Manchester City edged closer to the Premier League summit with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Bournemouth, cutting Liverpool‘s lead to just a point.

In a match that saw Pep Guardiola’s side pushed to their limits, Phil Foden’s goal proved decisive, securing three crucial points for the visitors. Despite dominating possession, City faced a resilient Bournemouth side that created several opportunities to level the score, notably through Marcus Tavernier, who missed two significant chances.

The game was a testament to City’s ability to grind out results, even when their usual fluid attacking play was stifled by a determined opposition. Bournemouth, fighting for survival, showcased their potential to challenge the league’s elite, but ultimately couldn’t find the back of the net.

The victory keeps City firmly in the title race, while Bournemouth‘s spirited performance, despite the loss, should offer some encouragement in their battle against relegation.

Arsenal vs Newcastle Result

Arsenal delivered an emphatic performance to secure a victory against Newcastle, with Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka playing pivotal roles in the win.

The match, characterised by Arsenal‘s dominance, showcased the team’s intent to remain a formidable contender in the title race. Havertz’s goal, following a precise team play, and Saka’s finish, exploiting a defensive error, underscored Arsenal‘s attacking prowess.

The Gunners’ relentless pressure and quick tempo overwhelmed Newcastle, who struggled to match Arsenal‘s intensity throughout the game. Despite Newcastle‘s attempts to gain a foothold in the second half, Arsenal‘s clinical edge and defensive solidity ensured they maintained control, further highlighted by Jakub Kiwior’s deflected header adding to the tally.

This victory, marking Arsenal‘s sixth consecutive league win, reflects their efficient goal-scoring form and defensive coherence, propelling them closer to their title aspirations while leaving Newcastle to reflect on their vulnerabilities.

Sunday 25th February

Wolves vs Sheffield United Result

Wolverhampton Wanderers secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Sheffield United, marking their 11th win of the season, a feat that historically ensures Premier League survival.

The match at Molineux was highlighted by Pablo Sarabia’s goal, which proved to be the difference between the two sides. Sheffield United’s struggles continued, as they faced their 19th defeat of the season, further cementing their relegation fears.

The game also witnessed a moment of internal conflict among Sheffield United players, with Jack Robinson and Vinícius Souza involved in a heated exchange that led to a VAR review for potential red cards.

Despite the altercation, no action was taken. Wolves dominated the first half, creating several opportunities, while Sheffield United failed to capitalize on their counterattacks.

The victory propelled Wolves to eighth in the league, just a point shy of European competition, while Sheffield United’s lack of finishing touch and internal discord highlighted their ongoing challenges in the Premier League.

Here is the Premier League table as it stands today:



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What is the Premier League table this season?

Gameweek 25: The biggest headlines from this week’s Premier League results saw Arsenal smash five past Burnley to keep up their title charge whilst Man City were held by Chelsea in the Saturday evening kickoff. Liverpool also managed to stay at the top of the table with an impressive 4-1 win over Brentford.

The Monday night game between Everton and Crystal Palace was certainly not a spectacle for the neutral, but the 1-1 draw certainly suited the Eagles more than it did the Toffees.

Here is information on the Premier League table as it stands today, including relegation battlers, title hopefuls and teams looking to secure European football next season.

Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Newcastle, West Ham, Brighton and Chelsea all make up the top 10 spots in the Premier League as of writing.

Which Premier League places get European football?

Champions League

Traditionally, the top four Premier League teams secured their places in the Champions League group stages.

However, the evolving format introduces a potential twist: the fifth-place team might also join the elite contingent.

This opportunity hinges on the Premier League‘s performance on the European stage in the preceding season.

If England ranks as one of the top two performing countries, an additional slot is awarded, potentially elevating the fifth-placed team to Champions League status.

Europa League

Two slots are available for the Europa League: one for the highest-placed team not already qualified for the Champions League and another for the FA Cup winners.

Both entries are direct to the group stage, ensuring a significant presence in the competition.

Europa Conference League

The Carabao Cup champions are rewarded with a place in the play-off stages of the Europa Conference League, adding another layer of competition and opportunity for Premier League clubs.

This tournament offers a platform for teams to make their mark and potentially secure a route to the Europa League through success in the competition.

Can a fifth Premier League team qualify for the Champions League? Yes, if the Premier League is one of the top two performing countries in Europe, the fifth-placed team may qualify for the Champions League.

How do Premier League teams qualify for the Europa League? The highest-placed team not in the Champions League and the FA Cup winners qualify for the Europa League group stage.

What is the Europa Conference League, and how can teams qualify? The Europa Conference League is a European competition for clubs. The Carabao Cup winners qualify for the play-off stages of this tournament.

What happens if a Premier League team wins a European competition? If a Premier League team wins the Champions League or Europa League and is outside the top four (or five), they qualify for the next season’s Champions League, potentially increasing the number of English teams in the competition.

How many teams get relegated from the Premier League?

At the conclusion of each Premier League season, the bottom three teams face relegation to the EFL Championship.

This process is a fundamental aspect of the English football league system, promoting a dynamic and competitive environment across all levels of the sport.

Relegation and promotion are the twin mechanisms that ensure a fluid exchange between the tiers of English football, offering a pathway for success while also imposing a penalty for underperformance.

How many teams are relegated from the Premier League each season?Three teams are relegated from the Premier League at the end of each season.

To which league are the relegated teams demoted?Relegated teams move down to the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football.

What determines which teams are relegated? The teams that finish the season in the bottom three positions of the Premier League table are relegated.

Can relegated teams return to the Premier League? Yes, teams can earn promotion back to the Premier League by finishing in the top two of the EFL Championship or by winning the Championship play-offs.

How does relegation affect a club financially? Relegation often results in reduced revenue from TV rights, sponsorships, and ticket sales, which can impact a club’s budget and player recruitment.

What Are Tiebreakers in the Premier League?

The drama of the Premier League often sees clubs finishing with identical points tallies. In such cases, the Premier League employs a series of tiebreakers to determine the final standings. The primary decider is goal difference, rewarding teams that not only win but do so by significant margins. Should teams remain level on goal difference, the next criterion is the number of goals scored, favouring the more attacking, goal-hungry sides.

In the rare event that teams are inseparable on both goal difference and goals scored, the results of the head-to-head matches between the tied teams come into play, specifically which team has collected the most points in these specific matches. If still indistinguishable, the number of away goals scored in the head-to-head matches is the final arbiter to decide who finishes above whom.

This meticulous system ensures that every goal in every game can have significant implications, not just for victory on the day but for ultimate Premier League glory or survival. It’s a testament to the league’s competitive balance and the fine margins that often separate success from failure in the world’s most-watched football league. For more insights into the Premier League‘s format and history, visit the official Premier League website.

FAQ: Understanding Tiebreakers in the Premier League

What happens if Premier League teams finish with the same number of points? If teams finish with the same number of points, their positions are determined by several tiebreakers. The first criterion is goal difference, followed by the number of goals scored. If still tied, the points collected in head-to-head matches between the tied teams are considered, and then the number of away goals scored in these matches.

Why is goal difference used as the first tiebreaker? Goal difference is used as the primary tiebreaker because it rewards teams that win by larger margins. It’s a measure of a team’s offensive strength and defensive solidity across the season, providing a fair way to separate teams that have accumulated the same points.

What if teams are tied on both goal difference and goals scored? If teams are tied on both goal difference and goals scored, the Premier League looks at the head-to-head record between the tied teams, specifically which team has gained more points in those matches. If still tied, the number of away goals scored in the head-to-head matches between the teams is used.

Has there ever been a case where the Premier League title was decided by tiebreakers? While the Premier League title has often been won by clear margins, tiebreakers such as goal difference have played crucial roles in determining final standings, particularly for Champions League qualification, relegation battles, and other significant league positions. The title race itself, however, has yet to be decided strictly on tiebreakers, with the closest finishes being determined by dramatic final-day victories.

How do tiebreakers affect teams’ strategies throughout the season? Knowing that goal difference and goals scored can be decisive, teams might adopt more attacking strategies in certain matches, especially against lower-ranked opponents, to improve their standing in these metrics. This strategic consideration adds an extra layer of excitement and tactical nuance to the league.

What happens if teams are still tied after all these tiebreakers? The Premier League‘s current tiebreaker rules are designed to conclusively separate teams. The scenario where teams remain tied after all these criteria is extremely unlikely. However, should such a situation ever occur, the Premier League would likely have to consider additional measures, potentially even a playoff match, although this is not formally outlined in the current rules.



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Cruciate ligament injuries: The recovery process

Football players are under more strain than ever, and the injuries continue to accumulate.

Some are simple strains due to the intensity of the football calendar, but in others there have been season-ending problems, with Barcelona‘s Ansu Fati and Liverpool‘s Virgil Van Dijk among those to suffer ACL injuries in recent years.

Despite improvements in technology aiding the process cruciate ligament injuries are, unfortunately, still too common an injury in football.

Going back a few decades, such an injury could potentially be career-ending, but advances in medicine and surgery means that many players can make a full recovery and, in the main, return to their former range of movement and ability.

But what exactly is a cruciate ligament injury, how does it happen, and what kind of rehabilitation do players face?

How do Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries happen?

You’ll have seen the footage yourself many times. A player’s foot is planted and he or she tries to change direction. The foot remains in the ground and the knee doesn’t travel with the rest of the body.

It’s the ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament, that takes the strain and if the strain is too much, it gives in, in various levels of severity.

Can you walk on a torn ACL?

You’ll often hear commentators also say that ‘it can’t be too bad because he walked off the pitch’. ACL injuries can be walked on by the sufferer – it’s not like a broken bone. The player would be in pain but it is possible to limp off, with the initial swelling subsiding.

It doesn’t in any way provide an indicator of how serious the injury is, however. Players who walk off the pitch usually have ice applied immediately before they can be taken for surgery.

ACL injury surgery options

There are significant differences in the severity of ACL injuries and also different options that are available in order to resolve the issue.

The fantastic Twitter account Injury Mechanisms outlines this and explains the various options available.

1. Autograft v Allograft

The ‘autograft’ method utilises the players’ existing tendon in order to make repairs. It has a low risk rate but generally the surgery time increases the length of the recovery.

The ‘allograft’ users what is known as ‘donor or cadaver’ tissue to fix the problem. Historically it is a less painful procedure for the player but the risk of failure is higher than the autograft method. The cost of the surgery is also higher, though this isn’t not necessarily a concern for top professional clubs.

2. Patella Tendon Graft

This method uses 1/3 of the patella tendon using bone blocks. It has the lowest failure rate of all the procedures and involves bone-to-bone healing. As Injury Mechanisms points out, this is considered the optimum approach for athletes wishing to return to their very best.

3. Hamstring Autograft

The hamstring autograft uses the same method as the original autograft in terms of taking an existing part of the body to assist with the repair. Taking a piece of the hamstring is an easier ‘harvest’ process and requires a smaller incision, but the graft failure rate is historically higher using this method in younger athletes.

It requires longer integration in order to work and takes longer biological healing, and there are also other issues at play such as the graft stretching or the hamstring suffering weakness afterwards.

4. Quadriceps Tendon Autograft

This is the least common method of repairing ACL injuries. It has a predictable graft size and also requires a small incision, but recent studies have shown the failure rate to be higher, hence the reason that it is less commonly used.

Does an ACL injury require surgery?

Not necessarily. Players are increasingly exploring methods by which surgery isn’t required, but it requires an intense consultation and dedication to the methods of repair to work (rest + likely workload post surgery).

For example, athletes who are not pre-disposed to changing direction regularly of pivoting can see more success in this respect. But for footballers, basketball players or specific NFL positions (like wide receivers), surgery is still recommended.

Different severity of ACL injuries

Not all ACL injuries are equally serious and there are various grades to describe the severity of the injury.

Grade 1 means that the ligament has sustained mild damage and and has been overextended but is still mild and the knee joint has remained stable.

Grade 2 means that the ACL has been stretched and has become loose. In this scenario, the ligament has likely suffered a partial tear but it’s rare for this mid-level injury to happen.

Grade 3 is referred to as a complete ligament tear. It means that the ACL has split into two pieces and the knee itself needs to be stabilised. This is the most common serious injury suffered among football players.

What is the expected recovery time?

This is dependent on many factors. Players are usually walking again after two weeks and this leads them into a false sense of security that everything is ok. They need to be very carefully managed through the rehabilitation procedure to ensure that they are not overextending themselves while the ligament continues to heal.

The optimal period of recovery is sixth months but much of the process is in the hands of the player. If they are compliant with the exercises and regimes provided to them then the process can be expedited, but the utmost care has to be taken to ensure that there is no relapse.

There are countless examples of players trying to rush back to finish too soon, and in the most severe cases, it can take a player up to a year to be ready for first-team football once again.



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Cruciate ligament injuries: The recovery process

Football players are under more strain than ever, and the injuries continue to accumulate.

Some are simple strains due to the intensity of the football calendar, but in others there have been season-ending problems, with Barcelona‘s Ansu Fati and Liverpool‘s Virgil Van Dijk among those to suffer ACL injuries in recent years.

Despite improvements in technology aiding the process cruciate ligament injuries are, unfortunately, still too common an injury in football.

Going back a few decades, such an injury could potentially be career-ending, but advances in medicine and surgery means that many players can make a full recovery and, in the main, return to their former range of movement and ability.

But what exactly is a cruciate ligament injury, how does it happen, and what kind of rehabilitation do players face?

How do Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries happen?

You’ll have seen the footage yourself many times. A player’s foot is planted and he or she tries to change direction. The foot remains in the ground and the knee doesn’t travel with the rest of the body.

It’s the ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament, that takes the strain and if the strain is too much, it gives in, in various levels of severity.

Can you walk on a torn ACL?

You’ll often hear commentators also say that ‘it can’t be too bad because he walked off the pitch’. ACL injuries can be walked on by the sufferer – it’s not like a broken bone. The player would be in pain but it is possible to limp off, with the initial swelling subsiding.

It doesn’t in any way provide an indicator of how serious the injury is, however. Players who walk off the pitch usually have ice applied immediately before they can be taken for surgery.

ACL injury surgery options

There are significant differences in the severity of ACL injuries and also different options that are available in order to resolve the issue.

The fantastic Twitter account Injury Mechanisms outlines this and explains the various options available.

1. Autograft v Allograft

The ‘autograft’ method utilises the players’ existing tendon in order to make repairs. It has a low risk rate but generally the surgery time increases the length of the recovery.

The ‘allograft’ users what is known as ‘donor or cadaver’ tissue to fix the problem. Historically it is a less painful procedure for the player but the risk of failure is higher than the autograft method. The cost of the surgery is also higher, though this isn’t not necessarily a concern for top professional clubs.

2. Patella Tendon Graft

This method uses 1/3 of the patella tendon using bone blocks. It has the lowest failure rate of all the procedures and involves bone-to-bone healing. As Injury Mechanisms points out, this is considered the optimum approach for athletes wishing to return to their very best.

3. Hamstring Autograft

The hamstring autograft uses the same method as the original autograft in terms of taking an existing part of the body to assist with the repair. Taking a piece of the hamstring is an easier ‘harvest’ process and requires a smaller incision, but the graft failure rate is historically higher using this method in younger athletes.

It requires longer integration in order to work and takes longer biological healing, and there are also other issues at play such as the graft stretching or the hamstring suffering weakness afterwards.

4. Quadriceps Tendon Autograft

This is the least common method of repairing ACL injuries. It has a predictable graft size and also requires a small incision, but recent studies have shown the failure rate to be higher, hence the reason that it is less commonly used.

Does an ACL injury require surgery?

Not necessarily. Players are increasingly exploring methods by which surgery isn’t required, but it requires an intense consultation and dedication to the methods of repair to work (rest + likely workload post surgery).

For example, athletes who are not pre-disposed to changing direction regularly of pivoting can see more success in this respect. But for footballers, basketball players or specific NFL positions (like wide receivers), surgery is still recommended.

Different severity of ACL injuries

Not all ACL injuries are equally serious and there are various grades to describe the severity of the injury.

Grade 1 means that the ligament has sustained mild damage and and has been overextended but is still mild and the knee joint has remained stable.

Grade 2 means that the ACL has been stretched and has become loose. In this scenario, the ligament has likely suffered a partial tear but it’s rare for this mid-level injury to happen.

Grade 3 is referred to as a complete ligament tear. It means that the ACL has split into two pieces and the knee itself needs to be stabilised. This is the most common serious injury suffered among football players.

What is the expected recovery time?

This is dependent on many factors. Players are usually walking again after two weeks and this leads them into a false sense of security that everything is ok. They need to be very carefully managed through the rehabilitation procedure to ensure that they are not overextending themselves while the ligament continues to heal.

The optimal period of recovery is sixth months but much of the process is in the hands of the player. If they are compliant with the exercises and regimes provided to them then the process can be expedited, but the utmost care has to be taken to ensure that there is no relapse.

There are countless examples of players trying to rush back to finish too soon, and in the most severe cases, it can take a player up to a year to be ready for first-team football once again.



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European Golden Shoe 2021/22 standings



The 2021/22 European Golden Shoe race is over after a season in which the continent’s most prolific goalscorers were all vying to win one of football’s most prestigious individual awards.

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski saw off the challenge of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to finish at the top of the European Golden Shoe rankings last season.

READ MORE: European Golden Shoe 2022/23: Current standings and past winners

Lewandowski scored an astonishing 41 league goals from 29 appearances, giving him 82 Golden Shoe points and the highest winning score since Ronaldo in 2014/15.

Manchester United star Ronaldo and Messi – who has moved from Barcelona to PSG – both entered the new campaign expecting to challenge again in the standings for the most goals in Europe.

READ MORE: Who will be the European Assists King for 2021/22?

Messi’s PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe and a fellow young star in Erling Haaland were also expected to be in the mix to top the Golden Shoe rankings and take the crown from Lewandowski.

Along with Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah started the season as the top Premier League candidates, though surprise winners have also emerged in the past.

This page was updated throughout the 2021/22 season with regular updates on the European Golden Shoe standings, and the final result can now be viewed below.

2021/22 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE STANDINGS

Robert Lewandowski has clinched back-to-back European Golden Shoe titles after another spectacular season.

The Bayern striker scored in his side’s last game of the Bundesliga campaign against Wolfsburg on May 14, with his future at the club looking uncertain amid transfer speculation.

Lewandowski therefore finished the league season with 35 goals to his name from 34 appearances, a total which saw him score the most goals in Europe for 2021/22.

Given the Bundesliga season is shorter than the other major divisions in Europe, Lewandowski finished before many of his rivals had completed their top-flight campaigns, but a huge lead meant his victory never looked in doubt.

Lewandowski secured European golden boot glory once more even though he fell slightly short of his historic 41-goal total last season.

He led the Golden Shoe race for most of the season, but while he was stable at the top, the chasing pack behind him was rotating regularly, right up until our final standings.

PSG sensation Kylian Mbappe, the Ligue 1 top scorer, ultimately claimed second place with 28 goals and 56 Golden Shoe points.

It was a remarkable year for the World Cup winner, who also had 18 assists in the top flight to tie Thomas Muller for the best creative total in Europe’s top-five leagues.

A hat-trick as PSG thrashed Metz 5-0 on the last day of the Ligue 1 season saw Mbappe leapfrog Karim Benzema and Ciro Immobile to finish as best of the rest behind Lewandowski.

It was the second-best goal total of his career, behind only the 33 he scored in 2018/19, and the attacker looks a likely winner of the Golden Shoe in the future.

Benzema (27 goals) recorded the best league goalscoring campaign that he has had in 13 seasons with Real Madrid, impressively beating the 24 goals he netted in 2015/16.

The France forward posted highest Primera Division total and was one of the most prominent challengers to Lewandowski in these standings for much of what was a sublime campaign.

Benzema may have taken second over Mbappe had he not had his schedule carefully managed by Carlo Ancelotti in the final weeks of the season after the domestic title was secured, with a Champions League final against Liverpool in mind.

Lazio forward Immobile, a former winner of this award, superbly scored 27 times in the league this season to top the charts in Serie A.

He has topped 20 goals in Serie A in five of his six seasons for Lazio and remains a prolific striker who consistently features in the Golden Shoe race.

Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder challenged Mbappe in Ligue 1 for much of the season and he finished with 25 goals to claim an impressive fifth-place finish in the Golden Shoe, boosted by a hat-trick against Brest in the penultimate game of the season.

Ohi Omoijuanfo, who played for Molde and Red Star Belgrade over the course of the campaign, came sixth and was the highest-placed finisher outside Europe’s fop-five leagues.

Leverkusen forward Patrik Schick and Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic finished level on 24 goals. Both of those players were fast starters this season which made them a permanent fixture on the leaderboard.

Completing the top 10 were the two payers who ultimately finished level in the Premier League golden boot race with 23 goals. They were Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who was the leader for most of the campaign in England, and his Tottenham rival Son Heung-min.

Strikes on the last day of the EPL season for that duo meant outgoing Dortmund star Erling Haaland, who will be joining them in England with Man City next season, finished 11th after racking up 22 strikes despite an injury-hit season.

So Lewandowski once again finished top of the prestigious Golden Shoe standings and the major league seasons across Europe have now come to a close.

Lewandowski becomes the 10th player to win the Golden Shoe twice – a total only bettered by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who were unable to challenge this season.

After not producing a winner since 1972, the Bundesliga has now come out on top for two straight campaigns, and the stage is set for another intriguing battle in 2022/23.

2021/22 European Golden Shoe

Who are the previous European Golden Shoe winners?

Lionel Messi has won the most European Golden Shoe titles.

The PSG forward has triumphed on six occasions, most recently in 2018/19 for Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo is his closest challenger with four career wins, though the Man Utd attacker has not come out on top since 2014/15 when he was at Real Madrid.

Nine players have two awards apiece, including Luis Suarez and Thierry Henry.

Messi holds the record for most goals and points in a season as well. He remarkably scored 50 goals in 2011/12, earning himself 100 points.

Ronaldo has come closest to breaking that, scoring 48 goals for 96 points when he last won the crown more than six years ago.

Argentina forward Messi is the only player in European Golden Shoe history to win the title three years in a row, doing so from 2016/17 until 2018/19.

Ronaldo, though, is one of only four players to have won the title with different clubs. The others are Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Mario Jardel.

Robert Lewandowski became the first Bundesliga winner since 1972 last season, with his 41 goals being the best tally for six seasons.

That came after Ciro Immobile won the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, scoring 36 goals for Lazio in a tremendous Serie A season.

It was his first title, with the striker becoming the first Serie A player to have the most goals in Europe since Francesco Totti triumphed for Lazio‘s rivals Roma in 2006/07.

Ligue 1 has not produced a winner since Josip Skoblar in 1971, a statistic the likes of Messi and Mbappe are hoping to change soon.

What are the European Golden Shoe rules and weightings?

Only league goals are eligible for the European Golden Shoe, with each strike earning points in a weighted system depending on the quality of league.

The five elite leagues – Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 – all carry a weighting of 2, meaning that a player will be awarded two points for every goal they score in these competitions.

For the leagues ranked sixth to 21 in Uefa’s coefficients rankings – which includes the top-flights in Portugal, Netherlands and Russia – goals scored are given a weighting of 1.5, and goals scored in a league outwith the top 21 are given a weighting of 1.

That was not always the case in the European Golden Shoe. From 1968 until 1991, the award simply went to the highest goalscorer on the continent, regardless of the strength of league.

Awards were not initially handed out between 1991 until 1996, when the new system came into force. Since then, only two players playing outside what were the five highest-ranked leagues at the time have ever won the Golden Shoe – Henrik Larsson (2000/01) and Mario Jardel (2001/02).

The Golden Shoe has been tied in the past, most recently when Suarez and Ronaldo shared the honour in 2013/14. Going forward, though, the award will be given to the player who has played the fewest minutes if two of them end up on the same number of points.

This page covers the 2021/22 European Golden Shoe race.

Last season’s standings can be found here and if you want to see the final results for the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, follow this link.





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