How ketchup advice from Cristiano Ronaldo helped Liverpool star Diogo Jota end 12-month goal drought
- Portuguese forward back on target
- Hoping injury struggles are over
- Ready to play an important role for Reds
WHAT HAPPENED? The Portugal international was finally back on target in the English top-flight as Liverpool swept aside Leeds 6-1 at Elland Road. Jota bagged a brace in that contest, with his first Premier League goals recorded for the Reds since April 2022. The 26-year-old has endured form and fitness issues in that time, but words of encouragement from fellow countryman Ronaldo – who has previously told him of goals being like opening a ketchup bottle, “when the first drop comes out, everything comes out” – helping him to remain positive.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Jota has told Sky Sports: “That's one of the sentences Ronaldo said and it really stuck in my mind all these years. I think football is unpredictable, and these are the things we like in this football game. Things can change very quick.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Jota has endured hamstring and calf problems in 2022-23, with his most recent ailment preventing him from figuring at the World Cup finals in Qatar, and he is relieved to be through another testing period in his career. The Portuguese has told Liverpool’s official website: “I think it was a bit of last season as well, I didn’t score in the last few games. This season is really, really hard, struggling with injuries. Now I’m trying to get that momentum and games like today will certainly help for that. It’s part of football, you try to always believe in yourself but obviously when you do get the goal everything becomes easier in a player’s mind. So, we just need to take advantage of the moment because it’s really hard to achieve that.”
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WHAT NEXT? Jota has been a reliable source of goals throughout his time at Anfield, with 36 efforts recorded across 105 appearances, and he will be hoping that the floodgates have opened for him again as he competes with the likes of Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, Fabio Carvalho and Cody Gakpo for regular game time.