There have been some glittering examples of long-awaited goals recently – last night, for instance, Cristiano Ronaldo scored for the first time in a month in Real Madrid’s Champions League win at Schalke.
And let’s not forget Wayne Rooney, whose dive against Preston North End the other night won him a penalty which he duly dispatched to end a personal goal drought of nine games.
Rooney also scored a penalty against West Ham in August 2010 to end a run of five months without a goal.
To honour these momentous occasions, here are ten more great long-awaited goals from recent memory…(we’d include Aston Villa but let’s try to focus on individual players)…
The Uruguayan hot shot famously took 27 games to score his first goal for Manchester United. Here he is bagging his first Premier League goal, against Aston Villa in October 2002 (having signed for the club in January)…
In 2001, Leicester’s misfiring £5m striker had gone 14 games without a goal, missing hilariously waywardly on several occasions on the way.
Suffice it to say, his duck-breaker in a 1-0 win against Sunderland live on Sky was greeted with outpourings of relief, not least from the player himself.
Here’s a selection of those comical misses followed by the eventual conversion and subsequent shirt removal…
Prior to his five-goal haul at Euro ’96, Shearer hadn’t scored in twelve international appearances for England. Here’s the strike that ended that sequence, in the tournament opener against Switzerland…
Incidentally, the Swiss qualified for Euro ’96 under the guidance of current English manager Roy Hodgson, who didn’t stick around for the tournament itself as he was offered the Inter Milan hot seat.
Presumably the commentator was lost for words.
Everton fans did good by their promise to riot when their veteran right-back ended a decade-long wait for a goal when he finally drilled home this free-kick in his own testimonial against AEK Athens…
To this day, though, he still hasn’t scored a goal in a competitive match.
The veteran Watford right-back – their Tony Hibbert, basically – broke a goal duck spanning sixteen years when he netted euphorically against QPR in 2009.
Here’s the former Liverpool captain ending a Premier League goal drought of almost eight years – pipe down at the back, own goals don’t count – against Fulham in December 2006…
Earlier that year, Crouch scored – with the aid of a heavy deflection, it has to be said – his first goal for Liverpool in his nineteenth appearance, against Wigan…
A couple of years after the Crouch drought, £19m man Keane failed to score in his first twelve Premier League matches for Liverpool before this smasheroony against Arsenal…