Gabriel Barbosa scored his highly anticipated first goal for Inter in the 1-0 victory against Bologna a few weeks back by tapping in Danilo D’Ambrosio’s low cross in the 81st minute to hand Inter three crucial points and help keep the Nerazzurri within striking distance of Roma and Napoli in the race for a Champions League spot.
While Gabigol’s first strike for the club won’t be in the running for the FIFA Puskas Award, it will hopefully open the floodgates and usher in a long and prosperous career at Appiano Gentile.
Inter have been blessed with some of the best Brazilian strikers in the game over the last 20 years and here’s hoping Gabigol can follow in the footsteps of these Nerazzurri legends.
With this in mind let’s take a look at the top five first Serie A goals for Inter by South American strikers.
5. Diego Milito – August 29, 2009
The Argentine hit the ground running in his first season for Inter as he scored a penalty and dished out two assists in the 4-0 win over Milan in the unforgettable Derby della Madonnina in the second matchday of the 2009-10 campaign.
Il Principe went on to score the decisive goals in the Scudetto-clinching win against Siena, Coppa Italia victory over Roma and Champions League Final triumph versus Bayern Munich in 2010. Truly, a dream first season for Milito.
The beloved striker left Inter in the summer of 2014 to finish his career where it all started – at Racing Club in Avellaneda.
4. Ivan Zamorano – October 26, 1996
The Chilean joined Inter in 1996 after a successful six-year stint in Spain with Sevilla and Real Madrid. Bam Bam, who is a member of the FIFA Top 100, scored his first two Inter goals in the 3-1 victory against Parma, with both coming in the air.
Zamorano ended up scoring 13 goals in his debut season, a paltry amount in retrospect after the Nerazzurri paid Real Madrid €1 million plus Roberto Carlos to acquire his services… yelp.
Still, Zamorano scored some big goals for the club, including the opener in the 1998 UEFA Cup Final victory against Lazio, before heading to Club America in 2001.
3. Mauro Icardi – September 14, 2013
The Argentine-born youngster had already scored three goals in two games against Juventus before joining Inter from Sampdoria in 2013.
But the legend of the Juve killer was officially born when he came on as a second-half substitute and fired past Gigi Buffon to score his first league goal for the Nerazzurri in the 1-1 draw.
Icardi continues the proud tradition passed on from compatriot Julio Cruz and has netted seven times against the Old Lady in his career. The 24-year-old is currently the Nerazzurri captain and hopes to lead Inter back to upper echelons of Serie A.
2. Ronaldo – September 14, 1997
Inter paid Barcelona a then world record fee to bring the Brazilian striker to San Siro and O Fenomeno didn’t waste any time showing that it was money well spent.
Ronaldo scored the third goal in the 3-1 victory against Bologna – 20 years prior to Gabigol opening his account in the same Stadio Renato Dell’Ara – and would go on to become a club and world football legend.
Ronaldo ended up scoring 49 goals in 68 Serie A appearances before the Nerazzurri sold him to Real Madrid for 46 million in 2002.
1. Alvaro Recoba – August 31, 1997
The Uruguayan left-footer scored two goals in five minutes after coming on as a late substitute to lift Inter past Brescia 2-1 on his Serie A debut. He stole the limelight from Ronaldo, who was also making his league debut.
Recoba’s two magnificent goals brought the San Siro faithful to their feet but it created sky-high expectations that the inconsistent forward unfortunately never lived up to.
El Chino would enjoy a 10-year career with plenty of ups and downs at Inter before joining Greek club Panionios in 2008.
Max De Luca is a journalist based in Toronto, Canada and has been published on Reuters, CBC, Yahoo, Goal, USA Today and many more. Every week Max pens a column exclusively for SempreInter.com discussing the most pressing topics of the past week.
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