Four players have managed to achieve the exceptionally tough feat.
Scoring one hat-trick is tough, but scoring three goals in back-to-back games takes extraordinary skill. If the stage is as big as the Campions League, then the feat becomes even more difficult to accomplish. Karim Benzema recently scored successive hat-tricks in the ongoing Champions League 2021-22 campaign.
Only four players have achieved this unique and rare feat in the Champions League. Here’s a look at the footballers who have scored back to back hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League.
4. Luiz Adriano (2014-15)
Shakhtar Donetsk had several talented Brazilian players in their ranks, particularly in the last decade. Luiz Adriano was one of the exceptional players who remains a fond name in the history of the club. He was the first-ever footballers to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League.
During the 2014-15 group stage of the UCL, the Ukrainian side came up against Belarusian champions BATE Borisov. Their first meeting ended in a 7-0 demolition, with Adriano scoring five goals. The reverse fixture ended 5-0 in favour of Shakhtar Donetsk, that saw the forward score another hat-trick.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (2016-17)
Not many will be surprised to see Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the players in this exclusive list. The highest goalscorer in the history of the Champions League also scored back-to-back hat-tricks in the competition. The Portuguese achieved the feat while playing for Real Madrid during the 2016-17 campaign. He was in absolutely breathtaking form that year, scoring 42 goals in all competitions.
The first of his two hat-tricks came in the second leg against Bayern Munich in the quarter-final that ended 4-2 in Real’s favour. The next game was against city rivals Atletico Madrid in the semi-final, which saw Ronaldo score all three goals in a 3-0 victory.
2. Lionel Messi (2016-17)
Lionel Messi is never too far behind Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of goalscoring feats and it’s the same case in this aspect as well. The Argentine also scored back-to-back hat-tricks during the 2016-17 campaign of the UEFA Champions League. While playing for FC Barcelona, Messi scored a hat-trick in a 7-0 win against Celtic in the group stage.
He repeated the feat in the next appearance against Manchester City in a 4-0 win. Interestingly, Messi also had an assist in both fixtures, which took his goal contributions to eight in two matches. He ended up scoring 10 goals in the group stage itself.
1. Karim Benzema (2021-22)
As aforementioned, Karim Benzema is the latest entrant in this exclusive club. He is also only the second player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the UCL knockout stages. The Frenchman scored three in a sensational 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg in the Round of 16.
Guiding the team to the quarter-finals, the 34-year-old scored another hat-trick, this time against Chelsea in the first leg. With that, he also became the oldest player to score a Champions League hat-trick. To put Benzema’s form this season into further perspective, he has 49 goal contributions in 37 appearances in all competitions.