Luciano Becchio: Fans memories of a top ten all-time Leeds United goalscorer

He was the Leeds United striker who cost less than Berbatov and scored more goals.

Sunday, 14th November 2021, 4:30 pm
Luciano Becchio celebrates scoring against Southampton from the penalty spot during the Capital One Cup fourth round clash at Elland Road in October 2012. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Luciano Becchio bagged scored 86 goals in 221 appearances for the Whites during his four and a half years with the Whites. This compares with the 48 goals the Bulgarian international scored for the Red Devils.

It was a strike rate which earned Becchio a spot in the top 10 of the club’s all-time goal scorers.

Few would have predicted the Argentinian's rise when he first arrived at the club.

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Luciano Becchio in action against Middlesbrough at the Riverside in March 2012. PIC: Gerard Binks

He impressed on trial having turned up at pre-season camp in Ireland with only his boots.

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Photo memories of a Leeds United striker who cost less than Berbatov and scored ...

His career before then had been a circuitous one, beginning in the academy at Boca Juniors alongside Carlos Tevez but failing to appear for their first team before moving to Europe.

Becchio ended up in Spain, where ten appearances for Barcelona B were followed by a move to Merida UD where he scored 28 goals in 50 games.

It was at Leeds that he made his name, though, with Becchio referring to his years at Elland Road as the “most marvellous” of his career.

He scored his first Leeds United goal after just 25 seconds of his first league start as he put Leeds United ahead against Yeovil Town at Huish Park in August 2008.

This was followed scored his second goal for the club in his first start at Elland Road in a 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the League Cup.

And following week, he came off the bench to head home his third Leeds goal in the 2-1 win over local rivals Bradford City in the Football League Trophy

During the 2008/09 season, Becchio only missed one match in all competitions, which was due to suspension. In a sequence of appearances which saw him start 24 consecutive matches he scored nine goals.

He would go on to score 19 goals in his first campaign with Leeds United, the last of which was a strike against Millwall in the play off semi final second leg at Elland Road.

His 17 goals during the 2009/10 season helped Leeds United win automatic promotion back to the Championship. His tally included doubles against Oldham Athletic at Elland Road as well as on the road at Hartlepool United and Carlisle United.

His first season in the Championship yielded 19 league goals including a hat-trick against Bristol City in front of the Elland Road faithful and a stunning winner against Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

He was plagued by injury throughout the 2011/12 season scoring 11 times including another goal against Middlesbrough at the Riverside. The 2-0 win earned Neil Warnock his first victory as Leeds United manager.

New Year's Day 2013 proved a milestone for his goal scoring exploits as his winning penalty against Bolton Wanderers was his 76th Leeds United league goal, which made him the club's 10th all-time goalscorer in the league, overtaking Arthur Hydes.

Becchio scored 19 goals for Leeds in the 2012/13 season before departing the club to Norwich City (for whom he would never score a goal) as part of a swap deal with Steve Morison.

Your YEP has asked the Elland Road faithful to share memories of a striker to remember.

Responses included:

Frainy_180 (@frainy_180) - "The Millwall goal. Simply for the noise it generated!"

Nigel Halton (@nigelhalton) - "His first goal against Middlesbrough in Dec 2012. Superb strike."

LUFC Supporter (@LUFCSupporter) - "A few great ones but that volley at Boro has to be up there. Somebody authorised a 5.30pm kick off and the atmosphere was electric, it was a scene of utter chaos in the away end when that flew in!"

Paul Gray - "Middlesbrough away. His volley! What a goal. Was there for that."

Max Shellabear - "2010 home to Bristol city 0-0 the man comes on around the hour mark and grabs an hatrick in a 3-1 win."

Graeme Lupton - "Loved him still do."

Colin Sykes - "Need him now."


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