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Rodrygo makes Champions League history with Real Madrid hat-trick

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Gareth Bale

The last time we saw Real Madrid in the Champions League, it put together a pretty complete performance against the same opponents itll face on Wednesday, and to do it in Turkey against a insane, hostile atmosphere.

Interestingly enough, Real Madrid have gone three Champions League home matches without a victory, stretching back to Santiago Solari's 3-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow in 2018/19.

However, Zidane has rubbished reports of an imminent exit as "nonsense" ahead of the club's Champions League game against Galatasaray on Wednesday.

Had Rodrygo been given the chance to score from the spot and beaten Muslera once again, he would have broken the record for the fastest hat-trick in the competition's history, beating Marco Simeone's 24-minute treble for AC Milan against Rosenborg in 1996.

According to another Brazilian legend, Rivaldo, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has been right in choosing Rodrygo over Vinicus, for the 18-year-old's killer instinct. Meanwhile, his second goal, which was a well-taken header, came after he perfectly navigated a crowded penalty area to get into a wide open position.

Champions League fantasy: Sign up now! There is likely to be one change in defence, however, with Marcelo expected to replace Ferland Mendy on the left side of the Real Madrid defence.

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"Rodrygo has the same individual qualities as Vinicius but the thing that marks the difference between them is when it comes to finishing; in that aspect Rodrygo is much stronger", he said recently. Rodrygo, who recorded four interceptions in the first win over Galatasaray, picked off a poor back-pass and sent in an instinctive low cross to Benzema, who tapped home Real's fourth.

That was his only goal of that European campaign, and he netted just once in Europe the following term too and just once in 2009-10, after his £25m move to Real in 2009.

Los Blancos had a third on 14 minutes after a cheeky penalty conversion from Sergio Ramos after the Video Assistant Referee flagged Steven Nzonzi for fouling Toni Kroos.

Along the way to earning a hat trick, Rodrygo set up Karim Benzema for the 4-0 goal late in the first half with a delightful piece of defending.

Benzema, 31, became only the second player - after Barcelona's Lionel Messi - to achieve the feat when he turned in from Rodrygo on the verge of half-time.

Bale has been a target of rumors away from Madrid during the winter window. Eden Hazard should start on the left in the Real Madrid lineup.

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