Clocking in at just 6.2 seconds, AC Milan’s Rafael Leão has recorded the fastest goal in Serie A’s 122-year history.
Traveling to Sassuolo’s Mapei Stadium on Sunday, Milan went straight at the home side after kickoff with Hakan Çalhanoğlu carrying the ball forward. The Rossoneri No. 10 delivered a perfectly weighted pass for Leão, and the 21-year-old Portuguese forward put his name in the history books.
WILD!Rafael Leão scored SEVEN seconds into the match pic.twitter.com/fsgBP3g6CD
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 20, 2020
The previous record was eight seconds, set by Piacenza’s Paolo Poggi back in 2001. How does this compare across Europe's top leagues?
Fastest Goals In Soccer: Europe's Top Leagues
Serie A: Milan's Rafael Leão (6.2 seconds vs. Sassuolo)
LaLiga: Valladolid’s Joseba Llorente (7.22 seconds vs. Espanyol)
Premier League: Southampton’s Shane Long (7.69 seconds vs. Watford)
Ligue 1: Caen’s Michel Rio (8 seconds vs. Cannes)
Bundesliga: Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi (9 seconds vs. Dortmund)
It’s fitting that Serie A now boasts the fastest of them all, as Milan’s decision to immediately send six players into Sassuolo’s half was reminiscent of the tactic made famous by Zdeněk Zeman.
Zeman — who pioneered a spectacularly aggressive form of football during stints with Lazio, Roma and numerous other teams in Italy — would frequently send eight players rushing into the opponent’s half directly from kickoff.
If your team doesn't start with this formation, you're doing something wrong.