The 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.
The 18-year-old Rodrygo became the second-youngest player to score a Champions League treble, behind Real Legend Raul.
Rodrygo has been labeled the ‘new Neymar’. Reason being he has followed in Paris St-Germain star’s footsteps by moving from Brazilian club Santos to Spain.
Outside South America, little had been known about the 5ft 9in youngster. But coincidentally, has the same height ad Neymar before his summer switch to Real.
Since then, Rodrygo has scored five times in his first six appearances for the club in al competitions.
“Hearing the Bernabeu singing my name is a dream come true.” Said the 18-year-old.
“I am 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 goal three minutes later when he headed in superbly from another Marcelo cross. The goal pushed him into becoming the first player to score twice in the first seven minutes of a Champions League game.
Rodrygo did not take the chance of a quickfire hat-trick shortly afterward when captain Sergio Ramos stepped up to score a penalty after Steven Nzonzi had fouled Toni Kroos.
Despite that, he provided an assist for Benzema on the stroke of half-time. The Frenchman as well returned the favor in the second-half stoppage time.
The teenager completed his ‘perfect’ hat-trick as he poked in with his right foot to cap a crushing 6-0 win.
Zidane-Rodrygo learns very fast
“He doesn’t surprise me,” said Zidane, Real Madrid’s boss.
“He has a bit of everything-intelligent and learns very fast and wants to learn and improve.”
“physically, he has to get better but technically, he knows how to do everything with the ball.”
Benzema added, “Rodrygo is only 18 years old but he is fearless. I love to see a young footballer play this way.”
Wayne Rooney in his 18, was older than Rodrygo when he scored a Champions League hat-trick on his Manchester United debut against another Turkish side, Fenerbahce, in 2004.