Hat-tricks in 2023: Gift Orban outranks Haaland; Gent star doing better at his age than 21yo Messi, RonaldoPublished: November 10, 2023
According to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Gift Orban has scored more hat-tricks than Manchester City's goal machine Erling Haaland in 2023.
For the fifth time this calendar year, the Nigerian striker took the match ball home after netting three goals in Gent's 3-2 win over Breidablik Kópavogur in a Europa Conference League clash at the Laugardalsvöllur (Reykjavík) on Thursday.
Prior to the trip to Iceland, Orban had managed to score three goals or more in four games, against Basaksehir FK and Pogon Szczecin in European competition plus Zulte Waregem and Cercle Brugge in the Jupiler Pro League.
Norway international Haaland has scored three goals or more in the same match four times at Manchester City this calendar year - three hat-tricks in games against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham and Burnley, and five goals against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Aged 21 years and 115 days on Thursday, Orban is doing better at his age than 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, specifically speaking in terms of hat-tricks scored as U21 players.
While former Manchester United forward Ronaldo was 23 years old when he scored his first career hat-trick, the Barcelona and Argentina legend netted two hat-tricks before his 22nd birthday.
Orban wrote his name in the record books by scoring the quickest hat-trick (three minutes and 25 second) in the history of UEFA club competition during Gent's Europa Conference League round of 16 second leg against İstanbul Başakşehir on March 15, 2023.
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