Sandro Ramirez had gone 52 games without a goal for Premier League Everton and La Liga trio Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid.
Cast your minds back to November 23rd, 2017.
On that fateful Thursday night, Everton suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in their European history. A Toffees side consisting of Cuco Martina, Beni Baningime and Wayne Rooney were thumped 5-1 at Goodison Park by Atalanta while David Unsworth watched on from the touchline, his usually infectious grin contorted into a grimace.
But there’s something else significant about that miserable evening. It was the one and only time Sandro Ramirez scored for Everton. And, until Sunday, it was the last goal he had scored in any competition, for any club.
A £5.1 million signing from Malaga in the summer of 2017 (Independent), Sandro went 52 games without finding the net after that consolation against Atalanta – a barren spell which lasted two years and included forgettable loan spells at Sevilla and Real Sociedad.
He even fired a penalty miles over the crossbar during a 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September, capping a miserable start to life at his latest temporary employers, Real Valladolid.
But at long, long last, the run is over. Sandro nearly burst the net with a thunderbolt of a shot during Valladolid’s 3-0 thrashing of Mallorca yesterday and the celebrations were understandable.
This was, after all, the strikers’ first goal in two years and 52 games. It was an effort Valladolid’s president, the Brazil legend Ronaldo, would have been proud of.
“Insist, resist, persist and never give up,” a jubilant Sandro wrote on Twitter after the game. Even the most critical Everton fan couldn’t begrudge him this.