Grabbing any goal in a major competition is a career highlight for many players, especially in one of Europe’s biggest competitions such as the Premier League. Some made it a habit scoring regularly but there are others who end their stay in a division with just a single goal. It is more common feat than you may expect with some of the game’s most recognisable names only netting once in English football. For some, the stat was natural for their position whilst others it was completely unexpected. So just who are some of the Premier League players who only scored onc goal?
Famous Premier League players who scored one goal
Very few players were as unfortunate as Luc Nilis was within the Premier League. The Belgian striker arrived to Aston Villa in 2000 as one of the top scorers in Europe thanks to some great form with PSV. His predatory instincts were on show almost immediately scoring on his debut against Chelsea. It would all come to a screeching halt just two games later though against Ipswich Town.
A horrific collision with their goalkeeper Richard Wright saw Nilis fracture his right leg in two places. This would later become infected in hospital causing enough damage to end his career permanently. It was a brutal end for a striker that had been described by Ronaldo and Ruud Van Nistelrooy as one of the greatest they ever worked with.
There was very little that Peter Schmeichel failed to achieve in the Premier League and that included scoring a goal. The “Great Dane” was known for his height and athleticism which had made him one of the top keepers of the opening decade of the Premier League era.
It wasn’t until the twilight of his career when he scored his first goal. It came for Aston Villa in a 2001 clash against Everton where he rose highest to nod in a corner. It was the first time a goalkeeper ever scored in the Premier League and a feat that very few have managed to achieve since then.
Most people know Edgar Davids for his trademark orange glasses that he sported whenever he was on the pitch but fewer know that the Dutchman was one of the Premier League players who only scored one goal. He was also one of the best box-to-box midfielders of his generation too.
The Dutchman only made a short stint in the Premier League spending 2 seasons with Tottenham from 2005-2007. His passing and determination were still as crisp as ever and proved to be a popular figure at White Hart Lane only if he scored once for them. This goal came against Wigan as helped Spurs to a 2-1 win in the 2005/06 season where he was a regular starter. He was only there for half a season before moving to Ajax. Davids would later resurface in English football as player/manager of Barnet in League Two in 2012 proving that he had truly been bitten by the British football bug.
Hyped up as the next big Brazilian sensation in the mid-2000s, it’s fair to say that Alexandre Pato struggled to live up to the lofty expectations set for him. After struggling in Italy, Pato rejuvenated himself in his homeland with both Sao Paulo and Corinthians which sealed him a loan move to Chelsea in January 2016. His fortunes at Stamford Bridge were severely underwhelming though.
Injury and fitness issues prevented Pato from debuting until April that season where he would score on his debut converting a penalty against a hapless Aston Villa side. Pato only made one more appearance for The Blues before Chelsea ended his loan spell and sent him back to Brazil. A disappointing cameo on all levels for one of the Premier League players who definitely should have scored more than one goal.
You may know Marco Materazzi best for being head-butted by a certain Frenchman in a World Cup final but he was a fine defender in his own right. The Italian centre-back featured briefly in the Premier League for Everton during the 1998/99 season. His time at Goodison Park was turbulent at the best of times dubiously earning three red cards in just 27 games for The Toffees. However, it wasn’t all bad news as Materazzi also helped them to a win against Middlesbrough that season with a vital header that aided them in their fight against relegation.
It would be the highlight of his time at Merseyside as Materazzi left Everton for former side Perugia at the end of the season. It would be a wise move as he would go on to score 11 goals in Serie A that season- setting a new record for goals scored by a defender in a single season in the league and earning a big money move to Inter Milan.
There was nobody in Premier League history that was reliable as Brad Friedel. The American shot stopper proved that by playing 310 consecutive top flight games for Blackburn, Villa and Spurs over a 9-year period. It was during his time at Blackburn when Friedel would net the only goal of his career too.
His goal came in 2004 in a clash between Blackburn and Charlton where the American scored to equalize for Rovers in stoppage time. It would be in vain though as Charlton would nick a last gasp winner to seal the match 3-2. It didn’t rain on Friedel’s parade too much though as he continued to have a stellar career in English football and prove himself to be one of the all-time goalkeeping greats of the Premier League as well as one of the one goal Premier League players.
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