Santos’ latest wonderkid Rodrygo outdoes Neymar with nine-minute hat-trick

Santos’ latest wonderkid Rodrygo outdoes Neymar with nine-minute hat-trick

Brazil may be pinning their hopes on Neymar to spearhead Selecao’s bid for World Cup glory, but it appears there is no shortage of goalscoring talent waiting in the wings.

Santos wonderkid Rodrygo has made history, becoming the first player born in the 2000s to score a hat-trick in the Brasileirao in their 5-2 win against Vitoria.

At just 17 years and 145 days, Rodrygo has scored a first senior treble at an earlier age than Neymar, who first managed the feat aged 18 years and 69 days.

The first goal was a classic poacher’s finish, with Rodrygo pouncing as Vitoria keeper Elias Martello Curzel palmed a header straight into his path three yards out.

His second was a far more skilful finish. After trapping the ball on the left wing, he advanced into the box and gave two visiting defenders the run around before slotting the ball in calmly with his right foot.

Rodrygo’s final goal saw him demonstrate his searing pace, latching onto Gabriel Barbosa Almeida’s through-ball and practically walking it over the line.

What made the hat-trick even more remarkable was it came in a nine-minute spell midway through the first half.

Renato’s header then put the game beyond all doubt on the stroke of half-time. Neilton Meira Mestzk pulled one back on 63 minutes, before Almeida slotted in number five. Ramon Menezes Roma bagged a consolation six minutes from the end of normal time.

Santos have struggled this season, but the win takes them out of the relegation zone up to 15th, with Vitoria dropping into it.