Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli breaks league duck to sink Tottenham

Liverpool's Mario Balotelli broke his league duck within nine minutes of coming on as a substitute against Tottenham.

What is a league duck? Does each player have one?


It means his first goal in the [Premier] league (for Liverpool). I guess every player "has one" but with some Players it is more important. The importance here being it took him quite a while as a striker.

  • I've also seen headlines where they say a team has broken a duck... is that their first goal in a league? first win in a league? first win in a season? Feb 10 '15 at 22:46
  • I would guess their first win in a season, but if it's a team that's got promoted their first win in a league is also possible. Please note that I'm not a native English speaking person, so I'm not really certain about the team one.
    – Don_Biglia
    Feb 11 '15 at 8:01

"Duck" means 0 in cricket, as noted in this question. Presumably, breaking one's "league duck" means getting one's first goal in the league, though I have not heard this usage.

See also Wikipedia on ducks.


'Breaking one's duck' is when someone makes their first score or achieve a particular feat for the first time.

It's actually answered really well in the Stack Exchange English Language & Usage Q&A https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/26809/broken-my-duck-is-this-a-common-idiom-phrase

  • Thanks! So in baseball, you'd break ducks when you get your first at-bat, first hit, first stolen base, first home run, first grand slam etc? Feb 12 '15 at 18:16
  • It is usually used as a reference to scoring but technically could be applicable to these, yes. Feb 16 '15 at 11:47

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