Italian striker Stefano Okaka has revealed how his loan move to Fulham in 2010 almost fell through after he scored a sensational backheel against Siena.

Okaka, who had scored for Roma against Roy Hodgson’s side in a controversial defeat in the Europa League group stages, was all set to move to Craven Cottage as cover for Bobby Zamora when he found the net with a fabulous piece of improvisation in Serie A. The forward told Cronache di Spogliatoio all how a certain Claudio Ranieri almost changed his mind:

“That day I was supposed to go to Fulham to get some Premier League experience even though I was seventeen. But coach Ranieri wasn’t convinced to leave me out because if we won, we could go first or second in the table, I can’t remember, so I went on the bench and then I would leave in the evening.

We were 1-1 and he told me to come in. Then I scored that beautiful goal. I remember that long run with Daniele De Rossi yelling at me, ‘Mammamia che hai fatto, sei pazzo’ [‘My mother … what have you done? You are crazy?’. The coach told me ‘You don’t have to leave’, but then I made my choice.”

Okaka, now playing for Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey, scored three goals in thirteen appearances during his five-month stay in SW6.