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Real’s ‘new Neymar’ announces himself with hat-trick

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Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward Rodrygo (C) scores during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Real Madrid and Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on November 6, 2019. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

Brazilian forward Rodrygo announced himself on club football’s biggest stage with a ‘perfect’ hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 6-0 defeat of Galatasaray in the Champions League.

The 18-year-old became the second-youngest player to score a Champions League treble, behind the only Real legend, Raul.

He has already been labelled the “new Neymar”, having followed in the Paris St-Germain star’s footsteps by moving from Brazilian club Santos to Spain.

Outside of South America, little was known about the 5ft 9in youngster – who is the same height as Neymar – before his summer switch to Real.

Since then, Rodrygo has scored five times in his first six appearances for the club in all competitions.

“Hearing the Bernabeu singing my name is a dream come true,” Rodrygo said. “I’m so happy, it has been a joyous night but I must try and stay calm.”

The Bernabeu was saluting the teenager as early as the fourth minute when he clinically opened the scoring, left-footed, from his fellow countryman Marcelo’s pass.

He got his second three minutes later as he headed in superbly from another Marcelo cross, becoming the first player to score twice in the first seven minutes of a Champions League game.


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