Upstaging Neymar and scorchers for São Paulo – all of Lucas Moura’s hat-tricks
Fri 08 May 2020, 13:37|Tottenham Hotspur
When Lucas Moura scores a hat-trick, he does it in style.
Our lightning-quick Brazilian attacker has netted four trebles in his career to date and while his latest elevated him into both Spurs and Champions League history in our sensational semi-final turnaround at Ajax – exactly a year ago today – the manner in which he bagged the others can’t be overlooked.
Back in 2011, an 18-year-old Lucas eclipsed Neymar and a team full of future stars with a hat-trick for Brazil’s Under-20 side, including an amazing solo strike where he ran from the half-way line, subsequently capping a trio for hometown club São Paulo with an astonishing effort from some 35 yards out in 2012!
His first Spurs hat-trick, just a few weeks prior to his antics in Amsterdam, is possibly remembered more fondly for the post-match celebrations, while the significance of his Champions League trifecta that broke Dutch hearts 12 months ago speaks for itself.
“It’s so difficult to do and for me it’s not normal, so of course I remember these moments really well,” smiled the former Paris Saint-Germain star, who joined us from the French side in January, 2018. “These four games, each goal… these are things that I will never forget.”
On the anniversary of his Champions League hat-trick, here’s a look at all of Lucas’ career trebles...
1. Uruguay 0-6 Brazil, South American Under-20 Championship, 12 February, 2011
Neymar, Oscar, Danilo and Willian were among the future stars in the side as Brazil Under-20s took on their Uruguayan counterparts in the final game of the 2011 South American Under-20 Championship, knowing that the winners would top the table and secure qualification for both the 2011 FIFA Under-20 World Cup and the 2012 Olympic Games.
But while Neymar scored twice, it was 18-year-old Lucas who stole the show with a sparkling hat-trick.
With the tournament held in Peru, Lucas, wearing the number 10 shirt, opened the scoring on the 40-minute mark at Estadio de la UNSA in Arequipa with a slick right-footed finish through the legs of his closest marker before adding a second just two minutes later in incredible fashion, picking up a loose ball on the half-way line, darting between two central midfielders, running around the outside of the left-back and lashing high into the net from the right angle inside the box – an amazing solo goal! A Danilo goal and a Neymar brace extended Brazil’s lead in the second half before Lucas rounded off the night with 10 minutes remaining, cutting in from the right flank, turning back onto his right foot and firing clinically inside the far post, past the diving goalkeeper, from just inside the box.
“I scored my first hat-trick in the youth national team, in the final of the South American Championship – it was so good!” he reminisced. “I was 18 years old, we won 6-0 against Uruguay and it was an unbelievable day for me – I will never forget it. Good memories!”
Lucas and Brazil went on to win silver at the 2012 Olympics in London.
2. Sport Recife 2-4 São Paulo, Brazilian Serie A, 27 October, 2012
Lucas’ first hat-trick in senior football came for hometown side São Paulo in the Brazilian top flight in October, 2012.
Having seen hosts Sport Recife take the lead in front of almost 30,000 fans at Estádio Ilha do Retiro, the flying forward, aged 20 by then, collected possession some 45 yards out, right of centre, and advanced a couple of paces before lashing an unstoppable shot on his right foot past the despairing dive of goalkeeper Saulo and into the back of the net on 18 minutes to restore parity.
On the half-hour mark, he made it 2-1 after Saulo came off his line to collect a lofted cross from the right wing, only to drop it right in front of Lucas and allow the attacker to simply stick out a leg and prod home. A subsequent own goal made it 3-1 before Lucas again turned on the style to bring up his treble just before the hour, playing a deft give-and-go with Luis Fabiano at the edge of the box that took four players out of the game before sweeping the ball past the goalkeeper on his right foot at the first time of asking as he glided onto the return pass. A late penalty for the hosts was only a consolation as São Paulo won 4-2.
“I remember, it was against Sport (Recife), the first goal was very, very nice!” Lucas grinned. “For the second one, the keeper made a mistake and gave the ball to me and I scored, and the third one I just received a good pass from my team-mate and I made a good finish. It was my first hat-trick in São Paulo, another proud moment for me!”
3. Spurs 4-0 Huddersfield Town, Premier League, 13 April, 2019
We had been dominant throughout our victory over basement side Huddersfield Town in what was only the second Premier League contest ever to take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, yet there was no sign of the stadium’s first hat-trick being on the cards until the latter stages.
With Victor Wanyama having given us a 24th-minute lead, Lucas made it two just three minutes later as the brilliant Moussa Sissoko led the charge forward before sliding the ball to the Brazilian attacker in the inside right channel and he smashed home from 10 yards out.
Huddersfield managed just one shot on target throughout the game, but a late spark from Lucas saw him bring up his first-ever treble outside of South America. Away down the right in the 87th minute, Christian Eriksen found Lucas with a fine cross to the edge of the area and he took one touch on his left foot before driving low into the corner of the net with his right from a central position. He then made it three for himself and four for the team in the third minute of added time, running onto Heung-Min Son’s forward pass into the box and firing past goalkeeper Ben Hamer from an acute angle on the right.
Arguably, though, this particular hat-trick is better remembered for a wonderful post-match moment rather than the goals themselves, as Lucas grabbed his toddler son Miguel from the arms of his family in the South Stand after the game and proceeded to enjoy an impromptu kick-about with him on the pitch, with fans cheering their adoration at every kick from the increasingly confident youngster!
“This was the most special moment, after the game – I had my son with me on the pitch, he was shooting the ball as well and all the fans celebrated. It was very good!” Lucas beamed. “When he grows up I will show the video to him and I think he will be proud of me. It’s what I want, to give a good example to my son, and with this moment with him, I have done that.”
4. Ajax 2-3 Spurs, Champions League semi-final, second leg, 8 May, 2019
This one doesn’t need recounting – although the interesting anomaly here is that all nine goals across all three of Lucas’ previous hat-tricks had been scored with his right foot, whereas his trio against Ajax all came courtesy of his left. You really couldn’t have scripted that night one year ago in Amsterdam!
With the team 2-0 down at half-time, 3-0 behind on aggregate and facing a heartbreaking elimination from the Champions League in the second leg of the semi-final, Lucas stepped up to provide a moment we’ll all remember forever. Pushing through the middle to pull a goal back on 55 minutes, it was game on four minutes later when he collected a loose ball in the box, twisted and turned into a shooting position before somehow finding the net on his left foot from amidst a sea of bodies. With time running out, we looked to be heading out of the competition, only for Lucas to instinctively read Dele’s forward pass from Fernando Llorente’s knock-down and sweep home a sensational winner as the clock ticked into the 96th minute, sending us through on away goals.
“I believed until the last second,” said Lucas. “When I scored the second goal – I think it was in the 59th minute – I said, ‘we have time, now we need to score only one more. We have time, we have 30 minutes, it will be okay.’ But after 10 minutes, 20 minutes, we don’t score and we start to be nervous, after extra time, five minutes... in the last ball I knew it was the last 10 seconds and I said I will be near the box because if the ball comes to me, I will shoot, I will try to do something. When I saw the ball, I just said I will shoot, I don’t care about the defender or about anything, I will shoot.
“When I shot and I saw that it was a goal, it was an amazing feeling, I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to celebrate, everyone came over to me and I saw the players that were on the bench… it was so crazy, for sure, for sure, the most emotional game in my life. I just ran and jumped and I said, ‘now it’s finished, it’s not possible.’ The referee wanted to give more minutes, when he started the game, I tried to get the ball again, their defender shot towards our box, after that, another counter-attack and after that... finished. It’s like a movie, it’s like a dream. It is a dream for me, but it was reality. Amazing – I don’t have the words to explain.”
Don't miss our Spurs TV special with Lucas Moura as he looks back on that magical night one year ago - check it out below...