Luiz Adriano has a weird and wonderful relationship with the Champions League.
Let’s start with the wonderful.
During the 2014/15 season, while playing for Shakhtar Donestk Adriano was almost unstoppable. In a group stage match against Belarusian team BATE Borisov, he scored FIVE goals – following in Lionel Messi’s footsteps to achieve that feat.
In his side’s next match against the same opponents, he scored another hat-trick becoming the first-ever player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the competition. He finished the group stages with a record-equalling nine goals and was named the best player of the season’s Champions League group stage phase.
Now onto the weird.
A couple of seasons previously during the 2012/13 campaign, Adriano was banned for one match by UEFA for scoring a very controversial goal.
It came against Danish side Nordsjælland in a match in which Shakhtar ran out 5-2 winners with Adriano scoring a hat-trick and Willian scoring the other two.
But Adriano’s first goal to make it 1-1 was so controversial that we still can’t quite get over it.
Willian had attempted to sportingly return the ball back to Nordsjælland after a break in the game for an injury. However, Adriano didn’t get the memo and picked up the loose ball and rounded the very confused goalkeeper and rolled it into the back of the net.
VIDEO: Luiz Adriano’s controversial goal in Champions League
The home side were absolutely furious and demanded that the Ukrainian side let them score immediately.
Many Shakhtar players appeared willing to let that happen – but not all of them. Fortunately, after a few minutes, Nordsjælland managed to find a breakthrough to retake the lead and cancel out Adriano’s misdemeanour.
VIDEO: Shakhtar didn’t let Nordsjælland score
Adriano was banned by UEFA
Adriano and Shakhtar went on to score four goals without reply to take a 5-2 victory but that didn’t save the former AC Milan striker from punishment with UEFA suspending him for one match for “violation of the principles of conduct.”
According to Goal, the striker explained after the match: “I did not see the start of the move, because I was standing with my back to the ball and my face towards the opposition goal.
“I was in the attacking area and did not notice what had happened in our half. I was very focused on the game, and when the ball dropped near me the defenders did not show any initiative.
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“I picked up the ball, beat the goalkeeper and scored – I am a forward, that is what I do.
“Later, after analyzing the replay of that episode and after talking to my teammates, I realized what had happened and I completely changed my view on the episode. I am very sorry about what happened, I apologize to all the fans and to UEFA.”