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Mario Gomez in action for Bayern Munich against FC Basel. Gomez notched his third career Champions League hat trick in 2012

Scoring Stories: Notable UEFA Champions League hat tricks since 1992.



Mario Gomez in action for Bayern Munich against FC Basel. Gomez notched his third career Champions League hat trick in 2012
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"Scoring Stories: Notable UEFA Champions League hat tricks since 1992."
Caption: Mario Gomez in action for Bayern Munich against FC Basel. Gomez notched his third career Champions League hat trick in 2012
Location: Munich, Germany
Image by: unknown

The first player to achieve such a feat at the UEFA Champions League did so on Sept. 16, 1992. Since Juul Ellerman's feat for PSV Eindhoven on that date, hat tricks have often been a staple at each tournament. Hat tricks can often come in bunches or it can come in droughts. Hat tricks can come from the best players of the world, but also from players that rarely made a name either in club or country level. Most hat tricks come from the best players of the world, but other players have also had the luxury of scoring hat trick at the UEFA Champions League era.

It is not often a surprise that with games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the possibility of numerous hat tricks is there. The first date where two players scored hat tricks on the same day came on Nov. 5, 1997 - both did so on the road in eventually helping their clubs win their respective groups in that campaign. Both players would also go on to record another hat trick as they would join several players to have recorded multiple hat tricks at the UEFA Champions League.

Andrew Cole began to emerged as a key player in Manchester United's European adventures during the 1997-1998 Champions League. It was in Feyenoord Stadion in Rotterdam, Netherlands that Cole became the first Manchester United player to score a hat trick in a UEFA Champions League game as he scored all the goals to help the English club defeat Feyenoord 3-1.

Meanwhile, Andriy Shevchenko completed his hat trick before halftime at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain. as Dynamo Kiev thumped FC Barcelona 4-0. Just seven weeks earlier, FC Barcelona allowed Newcastle United Faustino Asprilla to notch a hat trick in a 3-2 loss at St. James Park.

These two hat tricks remain the only hat tricks FC Barcelona allowed in the UEFA Champions League. That is also the same number of hat tricks Norwegian club Rosenborg allowed, but theirs are more notorious - they have allowed two of the fastest hat tricks in UEFA Champions League history. 

One of those came on Dec. 6, 1995: Rosenborg had a chance to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League as it travelled to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers. Rosenborg tied the game on a goal from Steffen Iversen, but had a nightmarish nine minutes afterwards - that span saw Mike Newell score his hat trick as a 1-1 draw became a 4-1 victory for Blackburn. Newell's hat trick remained the fastest at the Champions League for 16 years. 

Whereas Rosenborg allowed two of the fastest hat tricks in the tournament's history, a newcomer to the tournament allowed two hat tricks in consecutive games within a two-week span. HJK Helsinki was Finland's first representative at the UEFA Champions League group stage. After four games and a respectable five points, HJK was in contention for a quarter-final berth. However, on Nov. 25, 1998, PSV Eindhoven scored a 3-1 victory in which Ruud van Nistelrooy scored all the goals for the visitors, including a penalty kick to cap his hat trick.

Two weeks later, HJK travelled to Germany and despite a brave effort against Kaiserslautern, the club suffered a 5-2 defeat. It was a game in which Uwe Rösler scored a hat trick - the hat trick was significant because these were the only goals Rösler scored in all European competitions. 

Since 2000, many seasons have seen multiple hat tricks come in quick succession including a stretch from Sept. 13 to Oct. 25, 2000 - six players (including Cole) recorded hat tricks in that span. One of those players had his second hat trick for Juventus in the Champions League in three season, and he helped bring a historic result at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, Germany. 

He helped get Italy to the final at Euro 2000, but on Sept 13, 2000 (the same day Cole recorded his hat trick), Filippo Inzaghi helped Juventus secure a vital point at Hamburg. It was a gave in which Inzaghi scored twice in 16 minutes to give Juventus a 3-1 lead. It was a match that would be tied at 3-3 when Hans-Jörg Butt became the first goalkeeper to score a goal in a Champions League match. It was a match in which Juventus trailed 4-3, but Inzaghi scored on a penalty and it would be the first ever 4-4 match at a UEFA Champions League.

Two years later on Sept. 24, 2002, Inzaghi made history as a member of AC Milan by becoming the player to score a hat trick three times in the Champions League. It would take Inzaghi 29 minutes to complete his hat trick at Estadio Riazor as AC Milan won 4-0 at Deportivo La Coruña. Estadio Riazor had witnessed another hat trick just nearly 18 months prior and it was part of the tournament's most dramatic comebacks. For only the second time ever, a team overturned a 3-0 deficit in a game.

Before being the top scorer for Espanyol in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup, Walter Pandiani Walter Pandiani played for Deportivo La Coruña as the club made their first appearances at the Champions League. Pandiani was often a substitute and he was that in Deportivo's game against Paris Saint-Germain - the French club led 3-0 after 55 minutes. Pandiani scored two minutes later and his second goal tied the game at 3-3. With six minutes remaining, Pandiani completed the hat trick as Deportivo would eventually reach the quarter-finals in that tournament. 

Inzaghi's hat trick against Deportivo came six days after Deportivo won a game in which a player scored a hat trick. Roy Makaay scored the hat trick as Deportivo blew a 2-0 lead at halftime and recovered to win at Munich's Olympiastadion. Makaay scored the winning goal in the 77th minute as Deportivo won 3-2 - this remains the only time Bayern Munich allowed a player to scored a hat trick in a Champions League match. 

The same applies to Greece's Olympiacos in 2002. He made a name for Olympiacos for so many campaigns, but Predrag Djordjevic shined against Bayer Leverkusen. That Sept. 18, 2002 meeting began with two own goals, but Djordjevic was the key player as his hat trick helped Olympiacos win 6-2 against last season's runners-up. A week later, Olympiacos faced Maccabi Haifa in a game played in Nicosia, Cyprus - Yakubu Aiyegbeni scored all the goals in what was the first ever victory for the Israeli club at the Champions League. 

A hat trick has helped one club continue playing in Europe after Christmas and in doing so helped the club win a European title. It was on Dec. 7, 2004 that as only a win at PSG would ensure CSKA Moscow European football after Christmas. Sergei Semak helped take care of business for CSKA Moscow as he opened the scoring in the 24th minute. With CSKA tied at 1-1 and its hopes in jeopardy, Semark scored twice in six minutes. CSKA Moscow thought its 3-1 victory would be enough - that was until Porto won late to pip the Russian club from the Champions League. Still, the victory was enough for CSKA Moscow to reach the UEFA Cup - it was a tournament the Russian club would win in May 2005 as the club won with Semak; he left to join PSG. 

Many hat tricks do come when games become lopsided and sometimes these losses become the worst losses for clubs in European competition. March 8, 2005 saw German club Werder Bremen trying to overturn a 3-0 against Olympique Lyonnais in a Round of 16 second leg match. He played a big role in getting France to win Euro 2000; Sylvain Wiltord opened the scoring eight minutes into the second leg as Lyon led 3-0 after 30 minutes. When Wiltord scored his third goal of the came, Lyon led 6-2 and one more goal meant disaster for Werder Bremen - the 7-2 loss remains the German club's worst defeat at European competition. 

Nearly seven years later, another club suffered its worst defeat in European competition But just three weeks prior, Switzerland's FC Basel recorded a surprising 1-0 upset of FC Bayern München in a Round of 16 first Leg. The Swiss club had dumped Manchester United out of the Champions League, but would find no such luck against the German giants. Instead, one player did not just singlehandedly halt FC Basel's progress - he instead match a feat that was impressive.

Four months earlier, Mario Gomez recorded a hat trick against Napoli - a feat coming nearly one year after he recorded a hat trick against Romania's CFR Cluj. But Bayern München had already overturned the deficit and scored right before halftime to give his team a 3-1. Gomez only needed 18 minutes to complete his hat trick, but his fourth game came five minutes later - a recorded that tied Monaco's Dado Prso for the fastest four-goal span in Champions League history. In the end, the 7-0 loss for FC Basel remains the club's worst loss in European competition.

Hat tricks have helped player's confidence for club and country. One such player recorded his hat trick on the road on Oct. 2, 2013, but Konstantinos Mitroglou had made history just a month earlier in Greece's Superleague - he became the first player to score hat tricks in consecutive games in the league. It was at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium where Mitroglou scored all three goals at Anderlecht. For Mitroglou, the next six weeks became very memorable as he netted another hat trick four days after his effort in Brussels. Then to that off, Mitroglou scored twice in November to help Greece defeat Romania and eventually qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Whereas Mitroglou had a memorable six weeks, Anderlecht endured another nightmarish home game in the Champions League. Later that month on Oct. 23, 2013, it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic that handed the Belgian club another devastating loss - it only took 19 minutes for Ibrahimovic to complete his hat trick and he would add another goal in the 62nd minute to give PSG a 5-0 victory.

Dec. 7, 2011 saw a 16-year old record shattered and in the process one club overcoming immense odds to reach the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Despite playing a man up, Olympique Lyonnais trailed Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 in its group stage finale on Dec. 7, 2011, when Bafetimbi Gomis scored right before halftime. The goal gave the French club momentum; Gomis only needed eight minutes for his hat trick and scored his fourth 18 minutes after his hat trick. Lyon's 7-1 victory, coupled with Ajax's 3-0 home loss against Real Madrid, allowed the French club to reach the Round of 16 at Ajax's expense on goal difference.

But no player establish the hat trick more than Barcelona's Lionel Messi. In 2010, Messi helped decided a quarter-final against Arsenal in which he scored four goal in the second leg. A 2011 match in Prague, Czech Republic against Viktoria Plzen saw Messi scored three times - the first being his 200th goal for the club. Then in a Round of 16 second leg against Bayer Leverkusen, Messi made history by scoring five goals in a game. Then, on Sept. 18, 2013, Messi became the first player to score four hat tricks in the Champions League - his three goals helped Barcelona defeat Ajax 4-0.

Messi's hat trick came one day after Cristiano Ronaldo became the fourth player to score a hat trick in consecutive Champions League seasons. Over 20 years of Champions League games have seen the stories of so many players that have netted hat tricks. What comes about each hat trick is that there is always a story behind each hat trick and what it can do for a player. 

More about this author: Antonio Martinez

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