A number of former Albania players might not want to be reminded of the December 1990 meeting with Spain at the Benito Villamarín in Seville but the night was an historic one for Spanish striker Emilio Butragueño. The game was Spain’s third outings in qualifying for the 1992 European Championships with the team looking to bounce back after a demoralizing 3-2 defeat to Czechoslovakia just a few weeks earlier.
Hierro opens account for Spain in his third game
Barcelona’s Guillermo Amor put the hosts in the driving seat with a wonderful, long-range drive on 21 minutes; then Carlos Muñoz nodded in number two three minutes later. Butragueño stabbed in the first of his four goals in a goalmouth scramble minutes later as Albania collapsed at the mercy of their hosts. A young Fernando Hierro, who would go on to hold the national team goal scoring record, hit his first goal at full international level in only his third game, to give La Roja a 4-0 lead at half-time.
Butragueño's second half hat trick takes him past Di Stéfano
Butragueño put the ball past Albania keeper Anesti Arapi a further three times after the break as it ended 9-0 on full-time. As the final whistle sounded, the Real Madrid player had no idea that he had set a new national team record, breaking a registry which had stood for almost 30 years. His four goals against Albania took him past Alfredo Di Stéfano to become Spain's top goal scorer of on 26 goals. Curiously, the No.7 seemed to hit a stumbling block after that as would never find the net against for his country and retired from international football in November 1992 on the same tally, 26 goals. Fernando Hierro meanwhile, who scored his debut goal for Spain that night against Albania, would later snatch the record from Butragueño, scoring his 27th international goal in the World Cup qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina in June 2001.