There's nothing quite like letting the opposition know you're there by nabbing a goal to take an early lead and put the pressure on.
An 'early lead' is an understatement at times, though. Occasionally, a ball tees up nicely within the opening few seconds and a player can draw first blood before fans have even taken their seats.
The fact that stupidly early goals don't happen all that often make them feel even more special when one does trickle in. So, sit back and get practicing your best Alan Partridge World Cup '94 commentary one-liners; here are some of the fastest goals officially recorded in football.
20. Asmir Begovic (2013) - 13 Seconds
Not only is it officially the longest goal ever scored, but it also came after 13 seconds, and was scored by a goalkeeper.
How could we not include Asmir Begovic's punt against Southampton into the list? A foot like a traction engine. The Barclays in full flow.
19. Juanmi (2019) - 11 Seconds
Not quite the fastest goal in the history of top flight football, but a smart one nevertheless, Juanmi's strike against Eibar in 2019 was silky smooth.
Long ball, one-two into the area and finish. Training ground stuff.
18. Hakan Sukur (2002) - 10.8 Seconds
Hakan Sukur's sub-11 second strike against Korea Republic to hand Turkey third place at the 2002 World Cup remains the fastest goal scored at the tournament finals.
Now there's one to proudly stick on the fridge.
17. Karim Bellarabi & Kevin Volland (2014 & 2015) - 9 Seconds
Some credit Kevin Volland's 2015 strike against Bayern Munich as the fastest Bundesliga goal by 0.03 seconds, while others claim the record is still held by Karim Bellarabi for his hit against Borussia Dortmund in 2014.
The fun thing to do would be to make them settle the score in a 'fastest Bundesliga goal on a pole' wrestling match, but since they're credited together elsewhere, we'll give them a joint entry too.
16. Tim Cahill (2013) - 8 Seconds
Once the fastest goal in MLS history, the Premier League's favourite Australian came up with a strike from the heavens for the New York Red Bulls in October 2013.
The man only scores worldies.
15. Shane Long (2019) - 7.69 Seconds
Shane Long epitomised the phrase 'let them know you're there' with his strike against Watford in 2019, which makes him the Premier League's fastest goal scorer to date.
British Sunday league level pressing, combined with an obscene dink that's fit for the elegance of the Spanish top flight.
14. Mike Grella (2015) - 7 Seconds
Knocking Cahill off the perch in MLS was another Red Bulls player, at least.
Far less impressive, but they all count. Mike Grella's deflected shot against Philadelphia Union ended up in the back of the net and saw him become the record holder for the fastest goal in MLS history.
You know, that illustrious MLS history of mental kits and bizarre penalties.
13. Lukas Podolski (2013) - 7 Seconds
The current record for the fastest goal recorded at international level, Lukas Podolski broke the deadlock after just seven seconds against Ecuador during a friendly in May 2013.
Arsenal could probably do with his services right now...
12. Rafael Leao (2020) - 6.2 Seconds
In Milan's quest to climb back to the top of the Italian football mountain, they had to break a record along the way.
Rafael Leao finished off an absurd tactic from the Rossoneri that looked straight out of FIFA against Sassuolo in December 2020, to become the record holder for the fastest Serie A goal.
11. Felix Suarez (1976) - 6.1 Seconds
Edging past Leao by 0.1 seconds, Felix Suarez set the record for the fastest goal scored in the Copa Libertadores with his strike against Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe.
10. Albert Mundy (1958) - 6 Seconds
In a time well before records like this were considered cool and destined to end up in online lists, Albert Mundy became the fastest scorer in the world with his strike against Hartlepool United while playing for Aldershot.
9. Gustavo Ramirez (2014) - 4.1 Seconds
It took Gustavo Ramirez 4.1 seconds to wallop an absolute scorcher into the top corner and give Mineros the lead against Necaxa in 2014.
It remains the fastest goal scored in Mexican football, and probably the best.
8. Gareth Morris (2001) - 4 Seconds
The magic of the FA Cup was in full swing here, as was the unrelenting craziness of the early 2000s.
Non-league outfit Ashton United's Gareth Morris holds the record for the fastest goal scored in the FA Cup according to the Telegraph, for an effort during a qualifying round in 2001 against Skelmersdale United.
The lack of video footage leaves its inclusion up in the air, but it gets the benefit of the doubt, for the love of the cup.
7. Damian Mori (1995) - 3.69 Seconds
Damian Mori's strike from kick off in 1996 was properly effortless and made it look like we should all be scoring from kick off a little more often.
His 3.69 second goal earned him the Guinness world record for the fastest goal ever scored that year.
6. Colin Cowperthwaite (1979) - 3.55 Seconds
Mori's goal wasn't enough to better an effort from Colin Cowperthwaite in 1979 however, with split times that Formula 1 would be proud of.
Barrow's top scorer and appearance holder bagged a stupidly fast goal in 1979 which, at the time, was the fastest on the planet.
5. Fred (2003) - 3.17 Seconds
Frederico Chaves - more commonly recognised as 'Fred' - made history early on in his career when he scored the fastest goal in Brazilian football for America Miniero.
Unfortunately, the memory wasn't enough to stop him from being made the scapegoat of Brazil's horrific 2014 World Cup campaign.
4. Carlos Almeida (2011) - 3.1 Seconds
Down in everyone's favourite league, the Portuguese fourth tier, Carlos Almeida bagged a goal straight from kick off in 2011 for his side FC Oliveira do Hospital.
It's worryingly common, this scoring from kick off thing. Best get practicing.
3. Ricardo Oliveira (1998) - 2.8 Seconds
We're officially entering the silly seconds zone at this point.
Argentine Ricardo Oliveira's sub-three second strike in 1998 was an officially recognised Guinness world record for a number of years, earning him nose bleed territory in the list.
2. Marc Burrows (2004) - 2.5 Seconds
Controversy surrounds this one as Marc Burrows scored in an amateur bout, but the FA officially recognised the goal, so it can safely slot in.
Burrows smashed home a goal in 2.5 seconds for Isle of Wight outfit Cowes Sports Football Club which makes him one of the fastest scorers ever and, at one point, the fastest scorer on the planet.
He unfortunately passed away in 2009 after a battle with cancer.
1. Gavin Stokes (2017) - 2.1 Seconds
Yet another British non-league fixture shows up to clinch the top spot in the list, because of course it does. Anything can happen in non-league football.
Gavin Stokes became the fastest scorer ever in 2017 with a ridiculous effort from kick-off when playing for Scottish side Maryhill.
It's a punt that prime Randy Orton would be proud of. What a hit son, what a hit.
Source : 90min