The Brazilian has earned acclaim in recent weeks thanks to his phenomenal goal output and is in line to break Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champions League group stage record.It only took Luiz Adriano seven years to become an overnight success.
He has scored plenty in the Ukrainian top flight, as well as the Champions League, since joining the perennial title holders in 2007, without making sufficient impression to be regarded as one of the continent’s most feared forwards. It appears that perception is in the process of changing.
Nine goals in only five Champions League matches this season give him a much better scoring record than both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The part he played in Shakhtar’s 7-0 dismantling of Belarussian champions BATE Borisov on matchday three was historic.
He scored five goals and in the process shattered a whole host of records. “When I joined Shakhtar, I thought of leaving a trace in the history of the club,” he told Terrikon. “I managed it. When the dream comes true, I always feel great joy. The history of the club is not an empty sound for us Brazilians.”
He scored the quickest hat-trick in Champions League history. He was the first player to score four goals in the first half of a Champions League game. He scored five goals in a Champions League match, joining Lionel Messi on an illustrious list of only two. On matchday four, he scored another three against BATE. He became the first player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in Champions League history and joined Lionel Messi, Mario Gomez and Filippo Inzaghi as only the fourth player to score more than two hat-tricks in the Champions League.
In the blink of an eye he became Shakhtar Donetsk’s all-time leading scorer, a Champions League record-breaker extraordinaire and a fully-fledged Brazil international.