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5 players who made an iconic away ground a second home

Christian Benteke returns to Anfield on Saturday hoping to extend his incredible record there against Liverpool

One of the most common footballing cliches is the ‘cauldron’ created by the atmosphere at imposing away grounds.

But some players simply laugh in the face of pressure.


Here are five players who stuck two fingers up to the norm and built impressive scoring records at supposedly daunting and iconic stadiums.

1 Christian Benteke – Anfield

Will we see this image again on Saturday?

Will we see this image again on Saturday?

The big Belgian striker returns to Merseyside on Saturday hoping to continue haunting Liverpool after his exit last summer.

Benteke spent a solitary season at Anfield after being brought in by Brendan Rodgers as the supposed solution to the Reds’ shortage of goals.

Rodgers lasted just two months into the season, Klopp benched Benteke and Liverpool become a free-scoring force as a result.

But the now Crystal Palace striker loves it as an opposing player at Anfield, scoring five times on his visits with Palace and Aston Villa – one more than the total he managed there in a Liverpool shirt.

2 Cristiano Ronaldo – Nou Camp

Ronaldo revels in the intensity at the Nou Camp

Getty - Contributor
Ronaldo revels in the intensity at the Nou Camp

Granted Cristiano Ronaldo has scored hat-fulls of goals pretty much everywhere he’s gone, but his record at the home of Real Madrid’s fiercest rivals is pretty ridiculous.

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored two La Liga winners and a match-saving brace at the Nou Camp in his career at Real while he’s also plundered plenty in the Copa del Rey.

Ronaldo extended his record to 11 goals in Barcelona’s backyard with a quite brilliant goal in last weekend’s Super Copa first leg before an acrimonious red card.

In fact, Ronaldo has scored more El Clasico goals at the Nou Camp than nemesis Lionel Messi has.

3 Danny Murphy – Old Trafford

Murphy curls a free kick past Fabian Barthez in 2000

Times Newspapers Ltd
Murphy curls a free kick past Fabian Barthez in 2000

The former Liverpool midfielder turned Match of the Day pundit holds a rare record for his goalscoring exploits at Old Trafford.

The Liverpool v Manchester United rivalry still runs deep in British football and some maintain it remains the biggest fixture in global football.

So for Murphy to score not just three goals but three winning goals at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ – more than any other player in Premier League history – is quite some feat.

The classy former Reds midfielder’s winners all came at the turn of the 20th century when the Merseysiders had a real stranglehold over their arch rivals.

4 Jesse Lingard – Wembley

Lingard has a phenomenal record at Wembley

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Lingard has a phenomenal record at Wembley

Every successful team needs a player for the big occasion, and in Manchester United that man is the rather unlikely figure of Jesse Lingard.

The nippy attacker isn’t everyone’s cup of tea at Old Trafford but his record at Wembley speaks for itself.

Lingard scored the winning goal in the 2016 FA Cup final success over Crystal Palace and was then on hand to score in the Community Shield win over Leicester months later.

He then scored again in United’s 3-2 win over Southampton last season in the League Cup final, taking his tally to three goals in as many appearances at the national stadium.

5 Lionel Messi – Santiago Bernabeu

Messi celebrates in front of the home faithful at the Bernabeu

Messi celebrates in front of the home faithful at the Bernabeu

Ok so we bigged up Ronaldo’s record at the Nou Camp but in reality it pales in comparison to Messi’s at the Bernabeu.

Messi regularly has a field day in Madrid, tormenting the likes of Sergio Ramos and Pepe to the point where getting sent off is the only way to end the nightmare the Argentine creates.

Messi’s match-winning double last April, crowned with a wonderful injury-time goal and iconic celebration, means he has a sensational 14 goals at the Bernabeu in his career.

And counting.

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