Peter Crouch is adored by all. In stints at QPR, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth (again), Tottenham, Stoke and Burnley, he became the archetypal target man for an entire generation – and he had excellent touch for a big man, right?
Here, he tells FourFourTwo about the matches that changed his life...
This article first appeared Issue 298 of FourFourTwo. Subscribe now! (opens in new tab)
1. QPR 2 Gillingham 2 (September 2000, First Division)
PATRICK KLUIVERT "I was only 18 and had already achieved one of the biggest dreams any footballer can have"
PAUL INCE "If we’d lost against Barca in '91, I don’t think we’d have gone on to win the Premier League two years later"
MICHAEL BALLACK "One of the most important matches of my career was Germany 1 England 5…"
“I came off the bench for one of my first games as a professional, and scored my first goal, too. I needed to hit the ground running – I wanted to change people’s perception of me, because of the way
I looked. I can remember hearing a few groans, like: ‘Why are we bringing him on?’ We were 2-0 down, but I scored and then set up the equaliser. That was the game that made me think, ‘OK, I can do this: I can be a professional footballer’.”
2. Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 1 (April 2002, Premier League)
“Scoring my first Premier League goal, on my home debut for Villa, was a great feeling, and I owe Graham Taylor a lot.
“I saw him later when I was playing for Liverpool and he told me, ‘I always knew you’d play for England.’ He had belief in me, even before I had the belief myself.”
3. Liverpool 4 Arsenal 1 (March 2007, Premier League)
“I scored a hat-trick for England against Jamaica, but this one is my only perfect hat-trick: right foot, header, left foot. The header was one of the best I scored in the Premier League, and the third was one of my favourite goals: take it on the chest, a little Cruyff turn, left-foot finish. Completing the hat-trick at the Kop end was amazing. I was scoring for England at that time, too. I felt like I was on fire.”
4. Milan 0 Tottenham 1 (February 2011, Champions League)
“Scoring at Manchester City to get us into the Champions League was great – I’ve never seen an away end like that in my life – but getting the winner at the San Siro in the Champions League was even better. I used to love watching Italian football – Gazzetta with James Richardson on a Saturday morning – so the San Siro is my favourite stadium.”
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