Manchester City winger Ferran Torres enjoyed a fine international break with a scintillating first senior hat-trick, scoring three times as Spain inflicted Germany’s heaviest ever defeat in a competitive fixture.
Torres was the star of the show as the Spanish thrashed the visitors 6-0 to top their Nations League group in stunning style, whilst he also made his own history by becoming just the fifth player to score a treble past goalkeeping great Manuel Neuer.
Neuer is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper of his generation and amongst the finest to have adorned the gloves, and following Torres’ treble we’ve decided to look back at the exclusive group of players to have achieved the feat.
Here are the five players to score a hat-trick past Manuel Neuer:
Robert Lewandowski has broken all forms of goalscoring records throughout an illustrious career and became the first player to score a hat-trick beyond Manuel Neuer, starring during Borussia Dortmund’s 5-2 thrashing of Bayern Munich in the 2012 German Cup final.
An entertaining showpiece saw Lewandowski score Dortmund’s third of the contest following a threaded pass from Shinji Kagawa, before extending their advantage further in emphatic fashion after finding space inside the penalty area.
An uncharacteristic Neuer error then allowed Lewandowski to head home his hat-trick and put the gloss on an outstanding performance from Dortmund, who extended their recent dominance over Bayern and secured the first domestic double in the club’s history.
Neuer will have been glad to see the Poland international become a teammate at Bayern two years later, Lewandowski having scored 259 goals in 300 appearances since moving to Munich, winning six league titles and the Champions League amongst his honours.
Sergio Aguero scored a sensational hat-trick – including two goals in the final five minutes – as Manchester City came from behind to stun Bayern Munich and keep their hopes of Champions League progress alive in 2014.
Aguero had opened the scoring from the penalty spot on a topsy-turvy night at the Etihad, an incident which saw Medhi Benatia sent off for Bayern after just 20 minutes.
Despite their man disadvantage, Bayern hit back to lead through goals from Xabi Alonso and Lewandowski, only for Aguero to have the final say in a dramatic conclusion that saw City snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Aguero first raced clear to equalise following a misplaced pass from Alonso, before another error – this time from Jerome Boateng – provided the Argentine with a chance to seal a memorable comeback victory in stoppage-time.
Cristiano Ronaldo reached a century of Champions League goals during a thrilling quarter-final tie between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in 2017, with the former progressing to the last four after extra-time at the Bernabeu.
Ronaldo had starred during the first leg to score both goals in a 2-1 first leg win in Munich, though Bayern took the tie into extra-time after sealing a 2-1 victory of their own in the return fixture.
Ronaldo had scored Real’s goal in normal time with a headed effort before proving their match-winner once again in the added period, turning home from close-range despite appearing to be in an offside position to put the hosts ahead in the tie.
The Portuguese superstar tapped in a third to complete a perfect hat-trick and ensure Real’s progress, the Spanish giants securing the second of three consecutive Champions League crowns later that season.
The rather less heralded name of Dodi Lukebakio joined a list of some of world football’s finest finishers to become the fourth player to score a hat-trick beyond Neuer, scoring three times for Fortuna Dusseldorf in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Bayern in November 2018.
The 21-year-old became the first player in Bundesliga history to net a treble past the Germany international, helping Dusseldorf come from 2-0 and 3-1 down to secure a point and increase the pressure on under-fire Bayern boss Niko Kovac.
Lukebakio’s hat-trick came during a promising season for the youngster on loan from Watford, turning home from close range before twice exploiting space behind the Bayern defence to become the first player in 17 years to score a league treble against the Bavarians.
Manchester City’s summer signing of Ferran Torres is quickly looking more and more like a bargain buy, the initial £20m fee paid to Valencia looking like a shrewd investment following his performances of late.
After making a solid start to life at the Etihad the youngster has burst onto the international stage in stunning style, scoring four times in just seven appearances including his three-goal destruction of Germany.
Torres’ pace, intelligent movement and finishing ability proved too much for the visitors to handle as he helped himself to a historic hat-trick, volleying home his first in emphatic fashion as Spain ran riot, registering 23 shots at goal and 70% of the possession.
The 20-year-old turned home a simple second before a wonderful first-time finish completed his treble, a breakout performance from a player brimming with youthful potential.