Robert Lewandowski smashes UEFA Champions League record

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Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski once again etched his name into football’s history books during his side's emphatic 7-1 win over Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.  

The Polish striker scored a hat trick as he hit the 40-goal mark in all competitions for the seventh successive season. 

Scroll through the gallery above to see the top goalscorers in the 2021/22 UCL campaign

The 33-year-old needed just 12 minutes to get on the scoresheet as he converted a penalty to give his side the lead. He found the net again nine minutes later before completing the trio of strikes just moments after.  

Lewandowski needed just 23 minutes to reach a hat trick, making Champions League history. 

According to Opta, this was the earliest treble ever scored by a player in UCL history from the start of a match, overtaking Marco Simone’s 24-minute record for AC Milan vs Rosenborg in 1996. 

The forward is also now the prestigious tournament’s top goalscorer as he edged past Ajax Amsterdam’s Sebastien Haller, who has 11 goals.  

Read: Arsenal star's huge UCL bonus revealed?

In an interview prior to Tuesday’s tie, Lewandowski opened up about his ambition to win the European competition.  

“We’re still among the favourites for the [UEFA Champions League] title," he said, per Bundesliga's official website.   

"If we stay in form, we’ll have a big chance of winning. 

“I want to play for many more years, at least five years! If I start to decline in two years, I may think about retirement, but not yet.” 

  Here are the only four players who scored in each of their first five UCL  appearances, per ESPN