12 ridiculous purple patches to rival Cristiano Ronaldo's mad streak
1. Dixie Dean, 1927/28 (17 goals in nine games)
The entire 1927/28 campaign was one long purple patch for Everton’s Dixie Dean, who netted an astonishing 60 goals in 39 league appearances for the Toffees. His best spell came when he netted 17 goals in Everton’s opening nine fixtures, a tally that made him responsible for 65% of his team’s strikes up to that point.
Everton ended the year as First Division champions and, almost 90 years on, no one in the English game has matched Dean’s extraordinary record in a single league season. Nor are they likely to come close.
2. Jamie Vardy, 2015/16 (13 straight games)
Leicester forced jaws agape for most of the 2015/16 season, so Vardy breaking the Premier League record for consecutive matches scored in felt merely likely par for a very bizarre course. As the years wear on, however, both the Foxes' title triumph and their leading striker's scoring spree will only swell in astonishment.
Vardy kicked off his 13-game streak with a late penalty at Bournemouth on August 29, then struck 12 goals across his next 10 matches – concluding with a trademark effort against Manchester United at the King Power Stadium on November 28.
3. Luis Suarez, 2013/14 (16 goals in nine games)
Liverpool’s Uruguayan star was clearly champing at the bit to get his season started, after missing the first few games of 2013/14 as punishment for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic the previous April.
He marked his return with two goals against Sunderland at the end of September. The floodgates opened: Suarez bagged against West Brom (three), Fulham (two), Everton (one), Norwich (four), West Ham (two), Tottenham (two) and Cardiff (two) within the space of nine games.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo, 2013/14 (15 in eight games)
Real Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer seems to locate the net every time he takes to a football pitch right now but, even for a man of CR7’s talent, his haul of 15 goals in eight games for club and country in 2013/14 was impressive.
The run started with a hat-trick against Sevilla in October 2013, before a brace against Rayo Vallecano, goal against Juventus in the Champions League and hat-trick in a 5-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad.
The international break offered no respite for the world’s defenders: the Portuguese thumped four goals in two games against Sweden to virtually single-handedly book his country’s place at the 2014 World Cup. Buoyed by his efforts, the former Manchester United man returned to Spain and scored less than two minutes into Madrid’s clash with Almeria. Sometimes, life’s just too easy for Cristiano.
5. Mario Jardel, 1999/00 (18 goals in nine games)
Jardel’s career went progressively downhill after he joined Bolton aged 30 in 2003, but the Brazilian’s incredible goalscoring record at former clubs Porto (166 in 169), Galatasaray (34 in 43) and Sporting (67 in 62) shouldn't be forgotten.
The high point came in 1999/2000, when the Brazilian put the ball past various goalkeepers 18 times in just nine matches for Porto. Unfortunately for Bolton fans, he couldn’t quite replicate that form in Lancashire and left without a league goal to his name after six months.
6. Gerd Muller, 1969/70 (16 straight games)
Anyone familiar with Muller’s international record – an extraordinary 68 goals in 62 caps for West Germany – won't be surprised by his inclusion on this list. Playing for his club side Bayern Munich in 1969/70, Muller scored in 16 consecutive matches between September and March, a run which included a four-goal haul against Werder Bremen.
Muller’s net-busting form still wasn’t enough to propel the Bavarians to the Bundesliga title, though, with Borussia Monchengladbach finishing four points above runners-up Bayern.
NEXT: Oh, Lionel...