Happy Birthday Luciano Becchio - Cult hero or true legend?
28 Dec 2021 03:17 pm, by YorkshireSquare
Today marks Luciano Becchio's 38th birthday, a player who is regarded as somewhat of a cult hero by many, does he actually deserve to be regarded amongst the best who have ever played for Leeds United?
Born 28th December 1983 in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas Luciano Héctor Becchio started his footballing career as a youngster playing for Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires. After failing to break into the first team he moved to Spain where he had spells at Mallorca, Terrassa, Barcelona and Merida before joining Leeds United on trial. Becchio met up with the squad on pre-season in Galway and immediately impressed manager Gary McAllister who signed him on a permanent deal.
Becchio scored on his debut against Yeovil Town and went on to be an integral member of the Leeds United squad. In his first four full seasons at the club he played well over forty games every season and never failed to net in double figures for Leeds. Largely serving as understudy to Jermaine Beckford in his first couple of seasons at the club he came into his own in our first season in the Championship netting an impressive 19 times in the League from 34 appearances. After that Becchio became first choice and scored a further 11 and 16 goals in his final two seasons.
On Saturday 1st January 2013 against Bolton Wanderers, Becchio scored his 75th league goal for Leeds United taking putting him 10th in the Leeds United all time league goal scorers list overtaking Arthur Hydes in the process. He is the only player of the modern era to make that list joining names such as Peter Lorimer, John Charles and Allan Clarke, a place he rightfully deserves to be. He is undoubtedly one of the best signings of our ‘wilderness years’ and one of Gwyn Williams best finds.
Some lamented his poor first touch, his work rate, his finishing but to me he was a player who worked tirelessly for the team, was reliable, who rarely missed a match and could always produce a moment of magic. There were no tantrums with Becchio, no unreasonable contract demands, just a desire to play and score for Leeds United. Yes, he may have scored his goals at a lower level than the likes of Peter Lorimer but with 75 league goals and 86 in total for Leeds should he rightly be remembered as a Leeds United legend?
Luciano, Luciaaannnoooo, cost less than Berbatov and he scores more goals!