Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Aguero and other five-goal heroes
Two of the most complete forwards, Robert Lewandowski and Sergio Aguero, scored five goals in a space of 11 days for Bayern Munich and Manchester City respectively to enthrall football fans all over the world. Let's look at some of his contemporaries and legends who have also gone beyond the boring hat-trick claims.
Cristiano Ronaldo: The Portuguese super-star is probably the greatest ever goal-scorer, if not the greatest player. Ronaldo's first five-goal haul came last season, when he bagged a ten-minute treble in the first half against Granada in La Liga game on April 5, 2015, before adding two more after the break. Madrid won the match 9-1. The former Manchester United frontman then repeated the feat in Madrid's 6-0 thrashing of Espanyol on September 12.
Lionel Messi: Like his great rival Ronaldo, the nimble footed Argentine has scored plenty of goals, and in some matches, netted more than the treble. In 2012, the Barcelona talisman became the first player to score a five in a UEFA Champions League match. He achieved that feat against German outfit Bayer Leverkusen in Barca's 7-1 win on March 7, 2012 at the Camp Nou. He also scored four against English team Arsenal in the same competition, two years earlier, in a 4-1 win. In La Liga, he scored four goals each against Valencia (February 19, 2012), Espanyol (May 5, 2012), and Osasuna (January 27, 2013).
Radamel Falcao: Atletico Madrid has a history of producing prolific players. And Falcao was certainly one of the hottest players when he left La Liga club in 2013. The Colombian scored five goals in Atleti's 6-0 win over Deportivo de La Coruna on 9 December 2012. Before his move to Monaco in 2013, he had scored 52 times in 68 games for the La Liga side, in an enviable per-game scoring rate. He also scored four in Atleti's 4-1 win over league rivals Villareal in a Europa League match on April 28, 2011.
Luiz Adriano: The Brazilian scored five goals in Shaktar Donetsk's 7-0 humiliation of BATE Borisov in their Champions League match on October 21, 2014. The match at the Borisov-Arena witnessed his two other compatriots Alex Teixeira and Douglas Costa also scoring for the Ukrainian club. Known as one of the most powerful footballers, the Internacional youth product is the all-time leading goalscorer for Shakhtar. After playing more 150 matches for Donetsk in three seasons, Adriano moved to Italian giants AC Milan in July 2015.
Jermain Defoe: The ever green England striker scored his five goals in Tottenham's Premier League 9-1 drubbing of Wigan Athletic on November 22, 2009. Defoe, at the age of 32, is still going strong in his second spell at the English Premier League, turning up for Sunderland. Black Cats are his sixth club in EPL, having already plied his trade at West Ham United, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur. He spent a season in the Major League Soccer with Toronto FC.
Dimitar Berbatov: Gifted with a cool sense of finishing, the Bulgarian scored five goals in Manchester United's 7-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in a Premier League match on November 27, 2010. In 2007, he scored four goals for Tottenham in their 6-4 win over Reading on December 29 in another league match. Currently with Greece outfit PAOK FC, Barbatov has played for CSKA Sofia, Bayer Leverkusen, Fulham and AS Monaco too.
Kris Boyd: Rangers legend Kris Boyd scored five goals in their 7-1 win over Dundee United in a Scottish Premiership match on December 30, 2009. He once again scored a five against Dundee on September 25, 2004, this time turning up for Kilmarnock. A habitual goal-scorer, Boyd a four-time top scorer in the Scottish Premiership.
Ferenc Puskas: Another legend who managed to score big in single matches was Ferenc Puskas, who played for both the Hungarian and Spanish national teams. On January 22, 1961, he scored five goals in Real Madrid's 8-0 win over Elche in a La Liga match.
Paul Van Himst: Former Anderlecht striker, and one of the most revered Belgian footballers, Vam Himst scored five goals in their Champions League match against Haka Valkeakoski on September 14, 1966. Van Himst famously featured in the classic 1981 film Escape to Victory, as Michel Fieu.
Gerd Muller: There is no one like the German goal-machine. The former Bayern Munich player scored as many as seven fifers for the Bavarian giants, besides a host of four-goal haul for the club and country in a prolific career, setting numerous goal scoring records. Nicknamed “Der Bomber”, he scored a total of 453 goals in 398 matches for Bayern and 62 in 68 for the then West Germany.
Ian Rush: The Liverpool legend scored five goals against Luton Town in a 6-0 win in their 1st Division match at the historic Anfield on September 29, 1983. Within the first five minutes, he had scored twice to provide the Reds a perfect start. That season, the Reds won the European Cup, League title and the League Cup treble.
Andy Cole: The former Manchester United striker became the first player to score five goals in a single match in the Premier League. Cole, then the league's most expensive player, got his hat-trick after 53 minutes in their 9-0 drubbing of Ipswich Town on March 4, 1995. It was a sweet revenge for the Red Devils, after losing 3-2 at Portman Road earlier in the season.
Alan Shearer: The Newcastle United legend scored five goals out of eight in their Premier League blanking of Sheffield Wednesday on September 19, 1999. It was Bobby Robson' first home game as the new manager of the club, which failed to win a single match since the start of the league in April that year. Shearer took just 12 minutes to complete his hat-trick, with the first goal coming at the half-hour mark.
Oleg Solanko: The former Russian striker Solanko made history during the 1994 USA World Cup by scoring five times against Cameroon in their Group B match in Palo Alto. He is still the only player to have scored five goals in a single World Cup match. They won the match 6-1 but failed to qualify for the next round, in a group which had Brazil and Sweden.
Fernando Morientes: The former Real Madrid player scored five goals in their 7-0 win over Las Palmas in a La Liga match on February 10, 2002. Morientes should have scored a sixth to complete a double hat-trick, but he failed to a penalty in the dying minutes of the game. His achievement was all the more special because, he was playing alongside the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo. And the Spanish sharpshooter was the last Real Madrid player to score five goals in a single league game, before Ronaldo's first on April 5, 2015.
Tony Woodcock: The former Arsenal player scored five goals in their 6-2 win over Aston Villa on December 01, 2007 in a Premier League match. But, a knee injury he suffered in 1985 effectively ended his brilliance. Before arriving at Arsenal, he won the European Cup in 1979 with his boyhood club Nottingham Forest.
Claudio Sulser, Soren Lerby, Alan Brazil, Ray Crawford, Nikola Kotkov, Bent Lofqvist and Florian Albert are other notable players who had scored five goals in a single match.