Luis Suarez’s Atletico Madrid masterclass and 12 other dream debuts from football’s stars

  • Rob Swan

Luis Suarez enjoyed a remarkable debut for his new club Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

The revered Uruguayan striker, who joined Atletico for just €6 million last week after Barcelona’s recently-appointed head coach Ronald Koeman deemed him surplus to requirements, scored two goals and set up another in a 6-1 win over Granada.

That Suarez only played the final 20 minutes of the match makes this feat all the more impressive.

Suarez’s performance got us thinking about other stars of football who have enjoyed spectacular debuts down the years.

Here are 12 of the best…

1. Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland hit the headlines back in January after scoring a sensational hat-trick on his Borussia Dortmund debut.

The Norwegian striker, aged 19 at the time, scored three goals after coming off the bench inside 23 minutes.

2. Wayne Rooney

Another hat-trick hero debutant, who can forget Wayne Rooney’s stunning performance on his first Manchester United appearance against Fenerbahce back in 2004.

Rooney, who was only 18, netted three beautiful goals in a 6-2 victory.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

Man Utd legend Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show on his debut for the Red Devils in 2003.

The Portuguese forward did everything but score against Bolton Wanderers on a sunny August afternoon at Old Trafford. United fans soon realised they’d signed a special, special player.

4. Ronaldo

Another of the greatest forwards we’ve ever seen, Ronaldo scored for Real Madrid just 61 seconds after coming off the bench against Alaves in 2002.

The Brazilian then helped himself to another before leaving the pitch to a standing ovation.

5. Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho marked his Barcelona debut by scoring an absolute banger against Sevilla in September 2003.

Curiously, this La Liga fixture kicked off at 12:05am Spanish time, which meant Ronaldinho’s goal was scored at 1:30am in the morning!

6. Shinji Kagawa

Shinji Kagawa, best known for his spells with Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, scored with his very first touch for Besiktas in February 2019 after coming off the bench.

Just two minutes later, the Japanese midfielder netted his second goal with a long-range free-kick.

7. Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial cemented his status in Manchester United folklore on his debut by scoring against fierce rivals Liverpool in 2015.

Martin Tyler’s commentary helped to make Martial’s debut goal particularly memorable.

8. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted a hat-trick against Augsburg on his Bundesliga debut for Borussia Dortmund in August 2013.

The current Arsenal star became only the third player in Bundesliga history to score a hat-trick on his German top-flight debut.

9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

“[The fans] were shouting ‘We want Zlatan’. I gave them Zlatan.”

The words of the man himself after an extraordinary debut for LA Galaxy in March 2018.

The charismatic Swede scored a wonderful goal and then the winner to inspire Galaxy to a 4-3 victory against LAFC in the first-ever Los Angeles derby.

10. Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero has scored more Premier League goals (180 at the time of writing) than all but three players in history (Alan Shearer, Rooney and Andy Cole).

The Argentine netted a brace on his Manchester City debut back in August 2011.

11. Marcus Rashford

If Martial wasn’t injured in Man Utd’s warm-up against Midtjylland in 2015, who knows where Marcus Rashford would be right now.

He got that lucky break and took his opportunity with both hands, scoring twice on his maiden appearance before scoring another two goals days later against Arsenal.

12. Zinedine Zidane

Back in 1994, Zinedine Zidane announced himself on the international stage by scoring two goals in two minutes against the Czech Republic as a substitute.

Both goals were typically sublime from the French genius.

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