Diogo Jota went 32 games and 372 days without scoring for Liverpool, revealing a phrase from Cristiano Ronaldo “stuck with him” through it.
Jota finally ended a frustrating goal drought on Monday night as he struck twice in the Reds’ 6-1 thrashing of Leeds, also laying on Mohamed Salah‘s first.
It was clearly a relief for the No. 20, who scored 34 times in his 72 games before that dry spell, and the hope will be that he can now kick on.
That is his belief, at least, with Jota telling Sky Sports after the game that Ronaldo’s analogy upon ending a 16-month run without a goal for Portugal is his motivation.
“Goals, as a football legend once told me, are like ketchup,” Ronaldo told reporters in 2010.
“Sometimes, as much as you try, they don’t come out, and when they come, many come all at the same time.”
On Monday, Jota reflected: “That’s one of the sentences Ronaldo said and it really stuck in my mind all these years.
“I think football is unpredictable, and these are the things we like in this football game.
“Things can change very quick.”
Jota’s two goals at Elland Road took him above Bruno Fernandes as the second-highest Portuguese goalscorer in the history of the Premier League.
His 42 goals for Wolves and Liverpool leave him behind only Ronaldo (103), whose success with Man United has set a difficult record to break.
Still only 26 and showing a knack for finding the back of the net before his drought, there is certainly a chance that, if he finds form again now, Jota can at least run his compatriot close.
Back in October, Darwin Nunez used the same analogy as he worked his way through a tough start to life at Liverpool, having gone five games without a goal.
“The goal will come,” Nunez said at the time.
“It’s like ketchup, when it comes out a little, it all comes out.”
Nunez went on to score five in his next seven games, with the Uruguayan’s record in his first season at Liverpool now a healthy 15 goals and four assists in 37 outings.
Jurgen Klopp now faces the envious task of fitting Jota, Nunez, Salah, Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz all into his side on a regular basis – along with Roberto Firmino.