Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will go head-to-head once more in the race to be this season’s top scorer in the Champions League – although Luiz Adriano threatens to spoil the party.
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid booked their spots in the semi-finals this week with victories over Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid respectively.
The planet’s best footballers have scored eight times in Europe this season. But Shakhtar Donetsk’s Adriano, courted by Arsenal and Liverpool, has netted on nine occasions this term.
Adriano, who moved to Donetsk in 2007, scored five against BATE Borsiov in the group stages. His performance that night made history, with the 27-year-old becoming only the second player to score five times in a Champions League game. The other was Messi for Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012.
He also scored the third quickest hat-trick in the competition’s history (12 minutes) as the Ukrainian side, knocked out by Bayern Munich in the round of 16, racked up the biggest-ever half-time lead (6-0) in Europe’s premier tournament.
Ronaldo and Messi however, remain in pole-position to top the scoring charts with Barcelona and Real Madrid both in the hat for the two-legged semi-finals to be played next month.
Of the teams still in the pot, Neymar and Luis Suarez of Barcelona, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and former Manchester United and City striker Carlos Tevez, now plying his trade for Juventus, each have six goals.
The draw for the semi finals will take place on Friday, April 24th.