Scoring goals in the Champions League is the pinnacle of any striker’s career.
From Raul to Ruud van Nistelrooy, via Thierry Henry and Andriy Shevchenko, any striker wanting to be considered ‘world-class’ needed to have serious European pedigree on their CV.
But what if we said there is a criminally underrated striker with more Champions League goals to his name than Romario still going today?
Yep, the same Romario who claimed to have scored more than 1,000 goals during his career.
We’re not just picking on Romario though.
The striker in question also has more Champions League goals than Nicolas Anelka and Fernando Torres.
He’s also one of only five players to have scored more than two Champions League hat-tricks, joining Filippo Inzaghi, Mario Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the elite group.
We’re not done there either.
Our man is one of two players, along with Messi, to have scored five goals in one Champions League game.
Time to spill the beans? Okay. We’re talking about Spartak Moscow striker Luiz Adriano.
With 21 Champions League goals to his name and counting, Adriano is tied with Steven Gerrard in the European rankings.
The 30-year-old’s last Champions League goal came on 17 October during Spartak’s 5-1 demolition of Sevilla.
It was with former club Shakhtar Donetsk that Adriano really stole the headlines.
The Brazilian scored five times against BATE Borisov, completing his hat-trick in just 11 minutes and becoming Shakhtar’s all-time leading goalscorer in the process.
In Shakhtar’s next Champions League game he scored another hat-trick, putting BATE to the sword again.
The four-time Brazil international had an unhappy spell with Milan before moving to Spartak but is now amongst the goals again.
Adriano’s next Champions League game will see him travel to Anfield to take on a shaky Liverpool defence with qualification to the knockout stages at stake.
We can hear him licking his lips from here.
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