Only three footballers in the history of the Champions League have managed to score five times in the main stage. They were Lionel Messi, Luiz Adriano and, more recently, Erling Haaland joined the club of exceptional goalscorers. In this list, we will not take into account the goalscorers who have scored five goals in the prelims of the millionaire competition.
The first one to do it is Argentine footballer Lionel Messi. It happened on 7 March 2012, when he set a new Champions League record. This was in the return leg of the semi-final, in which Barcelona crushed German side Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 on home soil.
Messi completed his hat-trick in the 50th minute. He added a fourth goal eight minutes later and scored a record-breaking goal in the 85th minute. The Argentine striker has been very successful this season.
He has already scored 12 goals in the Champions League after the eighth round, almost half of which have gone into Leverkusen’s net. He scored one goal in the opening eight-final match and after that match he had already scored 48 goals in 42 competitive matches.
Just two years later, Brazilian Luiz Adriano followed up the Argentine footballer’s feat. It happened in the 5th round of the Champions League group stage on 21 October 2014, when he also helped Shakhtar Donetsk demolish the Belarusian champion 7:0 with 5 goals at Bate Borisov.
By scoring four goals in the first half, he set a new Champions League record. Moreover, with his fifth goal in the match, he became Shakhtar’s all-time top scorer with 117 goals scored. With 29 goals, he also became his team’s all-time top scorer in European Cups.
The third to join the party was Norwegian goal scorer Erling Haaland nine years later. On 14 March 2023, he shot again into the German net at Manchester City’s home stadium, this time it was RB Leipzig. The top striker orchestrated his team’s demolition, which ended 7-0.
All five goals were scored between the 22nd and 57th minute. However, coach Pep Guardiola pulled his Norwegian marksman off the field in the 63rd minute. Haaland missed the chance to score his sixth goal. He had already scored 39 competitive goals for the Citizens this season, breaking Tommy Johnson’s record of 38 competitive goals in a single season set in 1928/29.
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