With bwin offering double and treble odds on first goalscorer bets in selected games if your punt scores the opener and goes on to bag two or three strikes in the match we’re looking back at some fantastic hat-trick’s during 21 years of Champions League group stages.
Wayne Rooney – Man Utd v Fenerbahce 2004
Ryan Giggs had already put United ahead on the seven-minute mark of this match before Rooney took centre stage on his Red Devils debut, getting on the end of a sweet Ruud van Nistlerooy through-ball to fire home with his left from the edge of the D before rifling a shot into the net with his right from a few yards outside the box.
The piece de resistance was saved for the second half after Marcio Nobre had pulled one back for the visitors, with the England striker curling an exquisite free-kick into the top-left corner of keeper Rustu Recber’s goal.
Gareth Bale – Inter Milan v Tottenham 2011
The world record £86m Real Madrid signing announced himself on the European stage with all Spurs’ goals in the 4-3 away loss against Inter Milan just under three years ago.
The north Londoners were left with ten men when keeper Heurelho Gomes was sent off after eight minutes and found themselves 4-0 down within 35 minutes, but Bale’s treble seemed to galvanise the Lilywhites, who went on to beat Inter 3-1 at home and topped the group ahead of the Italians.
Rivaldo – AC Milan v Barcelona 2000
These teams renew their acquaintance this season in Champions League Group H, but they will struggle to put on a show like the thrilling 3-3 draw back at the turn of the century.
Barca’s majestic Brazilian Rivaldo put the Catalan side 1-0 in front with a free- kick, scored the equaliser at 2-2 by the same method and rescued his team again by powering home a diving header after Milan had gone 3-2 up.
Marco van Basten – AC Milan v IFK Goteborg 1992
Dutch football legend and current manager of Heerenveen Marco van Basten was clearly not content with claiming the honour of the first hat-trick in Champions League group stage history against IFK Goteborg in 1992 and went on to round off AC Milan’s victory with a fourth, prompting headlines proclaiming ‘Van Basten 4-0 IFK Goteborg’.
Faustino Asprilla – Newcastle v Barcelona 1997
Newcastle’s only foray into Champions League football so far eventually ended in failure to get through the group stages, but Geordie eyes were smiling in their first ever Champions League group stage match when a quick-fire hat-trick from Faustino Asprilla left Barca reeling at 3-0 down at St James’ Park.
The Colombian striker may not have played if Alan Shearer had been fit, but a penalty and two headers left the Catalans with too much to do as the jubilant Magpies saw off a late comeback to win the match 3-2.