One evening in Madrid, almost exactly 29 years ago, Gary Lineker inspired England to a stunning 4-2 win over Spain at the Bernabeu.
Lineker finished his evening’s work with less than an hour on the clock. In fact, all four goals came in a frenzied 33-minute burst, two before half-time and two after the restart.
The remarkable feat meant that Lineker – a Barcelona player at the time – became the man to have scored the most goals against Spain in a single match, a record that stands to this very day.
One month beforehand, Lineker had scored a hat-trick for Barca against Real Madrid at Camp Nou.
As such, his international goal-glut was met with fawning headlines from the Spanish press, with one Catalan paper proudly crowing “Catalan player scores four goals against Spain” in defiant, anti-imperialist fashion.
Madrid-based AS instead went with “Relentless Lineker” at the top of their match report…
Playing for England that night were Peter Shilton, Viv Anderson, Terry Butcher, Bryan Robson, Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle and Glenn Hoddle. It truly was a glorious period in England’s selection history, as old battle-hardened veterans mixed with exciting and exuberant youngsters.
Speaking of which, also making his international debut was a 20-year-old central defender by the name of Tony Adams.
See how positively chuffed he was…