Cristiano Ronaldo continued his dominance in the Champions League by netting an impressive hat-trick in Juventus’ dramatic 3-0 victory over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, marking the eighth game in which Ronaldo has scored three times in European competition.
The Champions League has been graced by some elite forwards in the past, many of whom have racked up more than their fair share of hat-tricks.
Here are the five players with the most hat-tricks in Champions League history.
Filippo Inzaghi (3)
Italian legend Filippo Inzaghi established himself as one of Europe’s most prolific forwards during his time with both ?Juventus and ?AC Milan. ‘Super Pippo’ racked up 46 goals in 81 Champions League appearances, netting a hat-trick on three occasions.
His first came ?in a 4-1 victory for Juventus over Dynamo Kyiv in 1998, and he notched up his second two years later in a 4-4 draw with Hamburger SV. Inzaghi moved to Milan in 2001, and netted his third hat-trick a year later in a 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna.
With two Champions League titles to his name, Inzaghi deserves his place as one of the best in the history of the competition.
Mario Gomez (3)
In German football, few strikers boast a similar reputation to former ?Bayern Munich hit-man Mario Gomez. The towering striker has racked up 26 goals from 43 Champions League appearances, including three hat-tricks.
His first came in a 4-0 victory over CFR Cluj in 2010, and the other two both came in the 2011/12 season. Gomez grabbed all three of Bayern’s goals in a 3-2 victory over ?Napoli, before hitting four against Basel in a 7-0 thrashing just months later.
At 33 years old, Gomez still has the chance to add to his tally, but he may struggle to do so with current side Stuttgart.
Luiz Adriano (3)
When it comes to legendary forwards, few would put Luiz Adriano in the same bracket as Gomez and Inzaghi. However, the Brazilian’s record of 21 goals in 47 Champions League matches speaks for itself, and his three hat-tricks in the competition make him one of the most prolific forwards in recent memory.
Whilst playing for Shakhtar Donestk, Adriano struck his first hat-trick in a 5-2 victory over Nordsjaelland in 2012, but it was his exploits in the 2014/15 season which earned him mass attention.
Adriano netted five goals in a 7-0 victory over BATE Borisov, with his first three goals taking just 11 minutes, before netting another hat-trick in the reverse fixture just weeks later. ?
Lionel Messi (8)
Ludicrously ahead of the chasing pack sits ?Lionel Messi, who has managed no fewer than eight hat-tricks in the Champions League, on his way to racking up 106 goals in 130 outings.
His first hat-trick came in a 4-1 victory over ?Arsenal in 2010, and he has since managed three goals against the likes of Bayer Leverkusen, Ajax and ?Manchester City. His latest three-goal haul came in September 2018 in a 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Adding yet another hat-trick to his impressive resume will not be easy, but the ?Barcelona star is no stranger to defying all logic and sense.
Cristiano Ronaldo (8)
Messi’s hat-trick earlier in this season’s competition took him ahead of ?Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Portuguese forward netted his own to tie the record books once again.
After grabbing his first hat-trick for ?Real Madrid in a 4-1 win over Ajax ?in 2012, Ronaldo has gone on to hit Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg for three, and has now managed hat-tricks against ?Atletico in both 2017 and 2019.
Like Messi, Ronaldo certainly has the ability to add to his tally, and the pair’s battle for European supremacy looks set to continue for many years to come.