The perfect start?

Sergio Aguero rightly had Man City fans and neutrals alike cooing as his late addition to the game saw two goals and assist added to his personal tally. But was Aguero’s debut the best debut ever? Here are 10 strong challengers

1 Fabrizio Ravanelli – Middlesborough – Liverpool – 1996

Ravenelli was a phenomenon from his first seconds on a premiership pitch. A hatrick against Liverpool is no mean feat and his shirt over the face celebration was mimicked by 90s schoolboys the nation over, myself included.

2 Zinedine Zidane- France – Czech Republic  – 1994

For non-football fans the indelible mark that zizou left on them, and probably that Marco Materazzi, will be his world cup final exit. For the rest of us Zizou will be remembered for his inspirational genius including this brace on debut. He arrived as a late sub, with hair, and nonchalantly secured a draw for France.

3 Wayne Rooney – Manchester United – Fenerbache 2004 

It’s your first taste of Champions League football, you’ve just made a £25 million pound move to a city that holds a bitter rivalry with your home town, to top it off, you’re only 18 years old, how do you respond. Well if you’re Wayne Rooney you bag yourself a hattrick!

4 Alvaro Recoba     Inter Milan – Brescia    1997

All eyes centred on Ronaldo after his world record breaking £18 million pound move to Inter before Recoba, the diminutive striker from Uruguay came off the bench and thundered in a pair of pearlers on debut

5 Romario – Barcelona – Real Sociedad – 1993

Romario scored 30 goals in his first and only full season at Camp Nou including this hattrick on debut. He won the World Cup in 1994 before manager Johann Cruyff decided that the striker had an attitude problem and sold him.

6 Michael Owen – Liverpool – Wimbledon – 1997

Debut goals are all about building reputations, Michael Owen’s goal showcased all that he was capable of, pace, determination and clean finishing as he scored a goal in the second last game of the 1996/7 season, the next year he netted 18 times on his way to the golden boot.

7 Mario Stanic – Chelsea – West Ham – 2000

Not all bright debuts lead to bright careers as Mario Stanic can prove. His opening juggled volley was his career high watermark leaving Stanford Bridge in raptures before the midfielder nabbed a second on the way to a 4-2 opening day defeat of West Ham

8 Ronaldo – Real Madrid – Alaves – 2002

Recoba stole the spotlight on his Inter debut, but there was no stopping the big man on his first start in a Real shirt. He came off the bench, scored twice, picked up the man of the match prize and a standing ovation. This was Ronaldo MK1 at his best.

9 Gianluigi Buffon – Parma – AC Milan – 1995

In 1995 there were seven teams considered strong enough to scoop the scudetto in Italy, these were two of them. Parma gave a debut to an unknown Italian 17 year old by the name of Gianluigi Buffon who saved a penalty and an avalanche of shots on his way to a clean sheet and a point.

NB apparently Buffon was camera shy on debut… there is no video available and no photos!

10 Christian Vieiri – Inter – Verona – 1999

Vieri doesn’t strike me as a player phased by the big occasion, he scored in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup final in his last game for Lazio before making a world record breaking £32 million move to Inter Milan where, in order to highlight the fee didn’t bother him, he took the number 32 shirt… His self confidence showed itself on debut as he picked up a hatrick against Verona.


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