It was 60 years ago today that Alfredo Di Stéfano scored three goals in his first game for Spain, Real Madrid’s Argentinian-born Blond Arrow having taken Spanish citizenship. Some debut, but others may have had better ones, as UEFA.com discovers.
Chacho: Spain 13-0 Bulgaria, 21 May 1933
In pouring rain, Deportivo La Coruña forward Chacho hit six – the most by a Spaniard in an international fixture, with three of them in the opening 20 minutes – in what remains Spain’s record victory.
Angelos Charisteas: Greece 3-3 Russia, 28 February 2001
Three and a half years before his and Greece’s finest hour at UEFA EURO 2004, Charisteas announced himself on the international stage with two goals in his first 32 minutes in a Greece shirt.
Bobby Charlton: Scotland 0-4 England, 19 April 1958
Two months after being injured in the Munich air disaster, Sir Bobby netted a memorable volley at Hampden Park on his debut; he added two more when he earned his second cap against Portugal.
Eddy de Neve: Belgium 1-4 Netherlands, 30 April 1905
Undeterred by an own-goal equaliser after he’d scored the Netherlands’ first ever international goal, De Neve plundered three more in extra time. Faas Wilkes later matched him, registering four on his Oranje debut – a 6-2 defeat of Luxembourg on 10 March 1946.
Serge Gnabry: San Marino v Germany, 11 November 2016
The Bremen midfielder took nine minutes to claim the first of his three debut goals but saved his best until last, completing his treble with a fine volley from Thomas Müller’s cross.
Sergei Gridin: Kazakhstan 2-1 Azerbaijan, 3 June 2011
The big forward was the knight in shining armour on his senior bow, notching twice in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier for a side who had not found the net in over 500 minutes.
Jim McCalliog: England 2-3 Scotland, 11 April 1967
“I have a fabulous memory of it all as I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol until I was 23,” joked McCalliog who, aged 20, grabbed the winner on his debut as Scotland toppled the reigning world champions at Wembley.
Dieter Müller: Yugoslavia 2-4 West Germany (aet), 17 June 1976
His team were 2-1 down with 11 minutes left when Müller came on to make his debut in the EURO ’76 semi-finals. Within three minutes, he equalised, and then secured an extraordinary hat-trick in extra time.
Alberto Orlando: Italy 6-0 Turkey, 2 December 1962
Four goals in this EURO qualifier seemed to herald the start of a glittering international career, yet they were to be the only strikes that the 1964/65 Serie A joint-top scorer managed in five appearances.
Francisco Palmeiro: Portugal 3-1 Spain, 3 June 1956
Benfica’s first European Cup marksman in September 1957, Palmeiro bagged three on his debut against a side featuring Héctor Rial and Francisco Gento, who won the first European Cup final with Real Madrid ten days later.
Howard Vaughton: Ireland 0-13 England, 18 February 1882
The Aston Villa ace’s five in England’s biggest victory is still a national record. A top-level cricketer and hockey player, and ice-skating champion, after retiring from football Vaughton joined the family silversmithery – he actually made the FA Cup that was used from 1895 to 1910.
Josip Weber: Belgium 9-0 Zambia, 4 June 1994
Capped in three friendlies by Croatia, Weber switched to his grandfather’s home country – where he represented Cercle Brugge and later Anderlecht – and struck five times on his second international bow.
Zinédine Zidane: France 2-2 Czech Republic, 17 August 1994
Called up for this friendly in Bordeaux – where he played his club football – as a late replacement for the injured Youri Djorkaeff, 22-year-old Zidane came on after 63 minutes with France trailing 2-0 and levelled matters with two late efforts.