MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid’s teenage forward Rodrygo scored a blistering hat-trick as his side pummelled Galatasaray 6-0 at home on Wednesday to take a giant step towards qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages.
The 18-year-old Brazilian put the 13-times European champions ahead in the fourth minute by turning two defenders in the area and firing into the bottom corner to score for the first time in Europe’s elite competition.
Rodrygo struck again in the seventh by nodding home a cross from compatriot Marcelo, completing the fastest double in Champions League history.
Real did not ease off after their rampant start and extended their lead in the 13th minute with a typically cheeky ‘Panenka’ penalty from captain Sergio Ramos.
Karim Benzema netted their fourth on the stroke of halftime, knocking the ball into the net after another thrilling piece of play from Rodrygo.
Benzema struck again from close range in the second half to move on to 50 Champions League goals for his club, moving ahead of Real great Alfredo Di Stefano as the Spanish side’s third top scorer in Europe’s top competition.
But the night belonged to Rodrygo, who rounded off a dream home European debut at the Santiago Bernabeu by completing his treble in added time, racing towards goal and exchanging passes with Benzema before tapping into the net.
Real are second in Group A with seven points from four games. Their next opponents Paris St Germain are top with 12, with Club Bruges third on two and Galatasaray bottom with one.
(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)