It was a crazy evening for hat-tricks in the Champions League on Tuesday.
First, Kylian Mbappe made the decision to bench him against Club Brugge look farcical when he bagged a 22-minute hat-trick, the fastest ever from a substitute in the competition.
However, the Frenchman was arguably upstaged by yet another inspired Raheem Sterling performance, this time during the 5-1 demolition of Atalanta at the Etihad Stadium.
Despite going 1-0 down to a Ruslan Malinovskiy penalty, Sergio Aguero’s first-half brace set the stage for his English teammate to bag his second hat-trick of the season.
The significance? It was the third fastest in Champions League history and for that reason alone, we think it would be rude not to look back on some of European football’s quickest ever trebles.
- Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick vs Club Brugges
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7. Claudio Pizarro vs Lille – 15 minutes
Not bad for a 34-year-old, huh? Pizzaro might have been well past his best when Lille arrived at the Allianz Arena in November 2012, yet that couldn’t prevent an astonishing striking achievement.
A blistering low drive and flicked header both featured in a mid-week rout that would never have happened if Mario Mandzukic wasn’t excluded through illness.
6. Neymar vs Celtic – 14 minutes
Trust Neymar to still produce a historic moment like this in by far his most mediocre season for Barcelona.
The Brazilian might just have been settling in at Camp Nou but – with a few deflections helping along the way – he was still able to shine brightest in a 6-1 annihilation of the Scottish champions.
5. Luiz Adriano vs BATE Borisov – 12 minutes
Maybe the craziest thing about this performance is, well, the fact it isn’t really remembered for being one of the quickest hat-tricks. Rather, it’s the joint record for the most goals in a single Champions League game.
However, before Adriano romped his way to fourth and fifth goals in Belarus, the Brazilian remarkably scored in the 28th, 36th and 40th minutes.
4. Raheem Sterling vs Atalanta – 12 minutes
Ah, the reason we’re even talking about quick-fire Champions League hat-tricks.
Sterling has been in wonderful form for City over the last three seasons and a trio of right-footed finishes against Atalanta was enough to write his name in the history books.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Malmo – 11 minutes
Of course this man is on the list. Arguably the greatest player in the competition’s history and with eight hat-tricks to his name, it’s no surprise Ronaldo has managed a rapid treble over the years.
A fizzing free-kick, poacher-like finish and right-footed strike were enough for Ronaldo to tear apart the Swedish side in 2015. Oh, and he even scored a fourth later on for good measure.
2. Mike Newell vs Rosenborg – 9 minutes
Perhaps the most random instalment on this list, Newell’s quick-fire treble came during Blackburn Rovers’ foray into European football after winning the Premier League in 1995.
Despite having not scored at all during the previous season, Newell became the first Englishman to hit a treble under the new Champions League branding and is still the quickest to bag a ‘perfect’ hat-trick.
1. Bafetimbi Gomis vs Dinamo Zagreb – 8 minutes
Granted, it’s not quite Sadio Mane vs Aston Villa kind of fast, but this Champions League record is still pretty breath-taking.
Gomis collected his treble in a minuscule eight minutes – even adding another to his tally later on – as part of a 7-1 demolition job in Croatia. That being said, Gomis’ goals were basically all tap-ins.