Robert Lewandowski scored the earliest hat-trick in Champions League history as Bayern Munich destroyed Red Bull Salzburg 7-1 to reach the last eight of the competition.
The Poland star reached the 40-goal mark for the sixth successive season with a treble inside the opening 23 minutes.
The previous quickest hat-trick from the start of a Champions League match came in 24 minutes from AC Milan’s Marco Simone, against Rosenborg in 1996.
Bayern were thankful for a last-minute Kingsley Coman equaliser when the two sides met in Austria last month, but any thoughts of another close contest were quickly removed after Nicolas Capaldo had missed an early chance for Salzburg and Bayern turned on the style.
Lewandowski was brought down by Maximilian Wober after turning superbly on Coman’s pass to slot home a 12th-minute penalty.
Bayern’s second goal was identical as Wober again felled Lewandowski just inside the area and the forward’s second spot-kick found the same corner of the net.
The third arrived instantly as advancing Salzburg goalkeeper Philipp Kohn kicked the ball against Lewandowski and it looped onto a post before the striker claimed his 42nd goal of the season with a simple tap-in.
Coman robbed Mohamed Camara to set up Serge Gnabry after 31 minutes, his shot fired under the body of Kohn.
Thomas Muller smashed home the fifth nine minutes after the restart before Salzburg teenager Maurits Kjaergaard struck a superb left-footed consolation.
But Bayern had the final say as Muller swept home his 52nd Champions League goal and Leroy Sane completed the rout five minutes from time.
Opta stats – Muller secures Bayern record
Red Bull Salzburg suffered their heaviest ever defeat in the Champions League, with their previous biggest loss in the competition also coming against Bayern Munich in November 2020 (2-6).
Having gone 4-0 up after just 31 minutes, Bayern Munich became the quickest side to reach a 4-0 scoreline in a Champions League game since Bayern did so themselves vs Dinamo Zagreb in September 2015 (28 mins).
Tonight’s 7-1 victory was the seventh time Bayern Munich have scored 7+ goals in a Champions League game, more than double that of any other team has managed in the competition.
Thomas Muller has scored 26 Champions League knockout-stage goals for Bayern Munich, more than any other player for the club in the competition’s history.
?? Maurits Kjærgaard (18 years, 255 days) becomes the youngest ever Danish goalscorer in the Champions League (group stage to final) surpassing Christian Eriksen and Nicklas Bendtner ??#UCL pic.twitter.com/AiaSgG6gBb
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 8, 2022
Bayern Munich travel to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday; kick-off 2.30pm. The German champions – who who have a nine-point lead at the top of the table – also host Freiburg before the international break at the end of March.
Red Bull Salzburg host Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga on Sunday; kick-off 4pm. They have won the title for the last eight seasons and have an 18-point lead this term.
When is the Champions League draw?
The Champions League quarter-final draw will take place on Friday, March 18 at 11am UK time, with the balls being drawn out at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The semi-finals will be drawn at the same time, meaning clubs and fans can plot out their potential route to the Paris final.
You will be able to follow the draw on Sky Sports’ digitalplatforms.
Which teams are in the Champions League draws?
Liverpool became the first English team to book their Champions League last-eight spot with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Italian side Inter Milan, following Tuesday night’s second leg at Anfield.
They were joined by Bayern Munich, who defeated Red Bull Salzburg via an 8-2 aggregate win.
The remaining games will be played out over the next week, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United looking to join Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the last eight.
The list of qualified teams are:
Manchester City or Sporting Lisbon
Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain
Manchester United or Atletico Madrid
Ajax or Benfica
Juventus or Villarreal
Lille or Chelsea
How the draw works
The quarter-final and semi-final draws are both ‘open’ so, unlike the last-16 draw, anyone can face any team in both stages, irrespective of their country of origin or previous fixtures this season.
Each quarter-final tie will be given a number between one and four, with those four balls being used to draw out the semi-final draw that succeeds the last-eight pairings.
When are the remaining knockout ties?
The first-legs of the quarter-final ties will be played on April 5 and 6 with the return fixtures on April 12 and 13. The semi-finals will start on April 26 and 27 with the second legs on May 3 and 4. The Champions League final is on May 28 at Paris’ Stade de France.
All dates are provisional and subject to change by UEFA.
You may have seen the pictures of Ze Roberto’s physique that recently circulated online. The former midfielder turns 48 in July but you wouldn’t know it. His Instagram page shows him honing a ripped torso and espousing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
“I am no longer a footballer but I continue to look after my health and my body,” he tells Sky Sports over Zoom from Sao Paulo in Brazil. “To live a clean, healthy life is a great legacy I can leave for the next generation of people and players. That is very important for me.”
Ze Roberto has certainly reaped the benefits of that lifestyle. His remarkable playing career ran until he was 43 years old and his excellence endured until the end, when, aged 42 in 2016, he won the Brazilian championship for the first time with Palmeiras.
Before that, there were two Copa America wins with Brazil (for whom he won 84 caps and played at two World Cups), a Champions League triumph with Real Madrid, and four Bundesliga and German Cup doubles across two glittering spells with Bayern Munich.
He amassed more than a thousand career appearances in total and even now, when our wide-ranging conversation turns to Manchester City, he is adamant he could still cut it in their midfield.
“I have never stopped training,” he says with a smile. “If I was to wear the City shirt today, in the physical condition I’m in, and with the way they play, I believe I could play in central midfield for them easily because it’s a team which never loses the ball.”
Fanciful? Perhaps. But it is not difficult to imagine how much Pep Guardiola would have loved to have him in his pomp.
Ze Roberto was special, an outstanding all-round midfielder further distinguished by a level of tactical intelligence and versatility few could match. When he was not quietly excelling in central midfield, he was doing the same at left-back or on the wing.
The ‘pillars’ of his longevity
His eyes widen at the thought of playing for Guardiola, but these days, when he is not fulfilling ambassadorial duties or taking part in social projects in his homeland, Ze Roberto is usually travelling far and wide to share the secrets of his longevity.
The care with which he maintains his physique is just one of them.
“I do a lot of lectures where I speak at clubs and businesses about the importance of the pillars I had in my life that allowed me to have a long and successful career,” he says. “It’s mostly about planning, focus, discipline, and the importance of teamwork and leadership.
“It was possible for me because I was always a very focused and balanced player and I also knew the importance of having clear objectives. That helped me remain focused on achieving them.
“One of the objectives I had when I started playing in Brazil was to one day play for a big club in Europe, because that would enable me to wear the Brazil shirt and have a chance of representing my country at a World Cup. When you have clarity about your objectives, you automatically begin to work towards them.”
Ze Roberto achieved his first objective in his early 20s, his performances for boyhood club Portuguesa earning him a move to Fabio Capello’s Real Madrid in 1997.
“The key is to make the right decisions,” he says. “When I went to Real Madrid, the best decision I made was to cut certain things out of my life, like alcohol, and to go as a married man with my family.
If I was to wear the City shirt today, in the physical condition I’m in, and with the way they play, I believe I could play in central midfield for them easily
“Being young and being married helped me maintain my focus on my profession. My wife helped me a lot in that process because when a foreigner goes to live in another country on his own, he can have a lot of difficulties. I was able to avoid that.”
Still, though, Ze Roberto found himself back in Brazil, this time with Flamengo, only a year after his arrival at Madrid having struggled to make an impact at the Bernabeu.
But that in itself highlights another reason for his longevity – his willingness to take bold decisions in the interests of his career. Ze Roberto could easily have seen out his contract in Spain. Instead, he determined it was better to return home and play regularly.
It became a theme of his career. Ze Roberto never stayed anywhere for more than four consecutive seasons, broadening his footballing experience – he played for nine clubs in four different countries – and ensuring his motivation always remained high.
He also reflected on his mistakes along the way. Indeed, Ze Roberto came to regard his unsuccessful spell at Real Madrid as a formative one – and a vital lesson in the importance of adaptability.
“I got the move to Madrid because I had stood out for Portuguesa, reaching the final of the Brazilian championship, but I made a big error because I thought that with the form I had shown in Brazil, I would be able to go straight in and do the same at Real Madrid.
“I didn’t think I needed to do anything differently, but in the end I wasn’t able to succeed there because I was coming out of a lower level to go to a much higher level.
“When you arrive at the level of a top European team, what you have done at a lower level doesn’t help you.
“I learned that I needed to adapt in two ways.
“Firstly, I needed to develop a better tactical understanding of how they played in Europe – I had no idea how different it would be – and secondly, I needed to be physically stronger.
“I weighed 69kg when I moved to Madrid but I needed to be at least 71kg in order to compete with the other players.”
Ze Roberto chuckles at the suggestion that he might find it easier now – “I am certainly stronger than I was then,” he says – but when he was given a second chance in Europe by Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 1998, he was far better equipped to make the most of it.
“My mentality had changed,” he says. “I went there fully prepared to develop my tactical understanding of the game and I also started to put on more weight and become physically stronger.”
Why Ronaldo won’t follow in his footsteps
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The Athletic’s Adam Crafton on whether Manchester United should sell Cristiano Ronaldo
In the end, Ze Roberto’s tactical and physical abilities would prove invaluable in helping him extend his career but, despite news of a two-year contract extension for the 44-year-old Gianluigi Buffon at Parma this week, he shakes his head when asked if we may see more players achieving the same levels of longevity in the future.
“I don’t think so because with every year that passes, football becomes more physical,” he says. “In the coming years, if you are not physically good, you are not going to be able to play in the modern game at a high level.
“And if football becomes more physical, then mathematically the average age of players goes down rather than up.
“Here, for example, we have two players coming through who are regarded as Brazil’s next big stars, Angelo Gabriel at Santos, who is 17 and started playing at a professional level at 15, and Endrick at Palmeiras, who is only 15 but already training with the professionals.
“Every year, the average age of when footballers start their professional careers is going down and logically that means the average age of when they finish their careers will go down too, so I think it’s difficult for anyone to play at a high level at 40 now.”
There will come a time when he decides it is better to stop rather than look for something that won’t be the same
What about Cristiano Ronaldo? The Portuguese turned 37 last month but has expressed his desire to play into his 40s. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, 33, has said the same.
“Cristiano is, for me, a machine,” says Ze Roberto, “but I don’t think he will still be going at 40 because he is a player who has always played at the highest level, always winning trophies and always trying to be the best player in the world.
“But in the last two years, we have seen he has not been able to do that with Juventus and now with Manchester United. The best proof of that is that he hasn’t been among the top two or three players for the big individual prizes.
“He is still a player who costs a lot, but as someone who is used to competing at such a high level, there will come a time when he decides it is better to stop rather than look for something that won’t be the same.”
How the Bundesliga shaped him
While Ronaldo’s next steps remain to be seen, Ze Roberto’s legendary status in the Bundesliga is already assured. He spent over a decade in Germany, starting with the four-year spell at Bayer Leverkusen which allowed him to establish himself in Europe.
Bayer benefitted immensely from his presence.
With the Brazilian shining alongside Michael Ballack in midfield, they enjoyed the best spell in their history, securing three second-placed finishes in the Bundesliga, the last of which coincided with agonising Champions League and German Cup final defeats.
“It was a unique experience because Leverkusen were a very unlikely team to reach finals or compete for titles,” says Ze Roberto. “In the Bundesliga, we had gone from mid-table to top of the league, trying to be champions, which was unprecedented for the club.”
Their Bundesliga title challenge collapsed in the final weeks of that season, however, allowing Borussia Dortmund to seize the crown, with Ze Roberto subsequently missing their Champions League final loss to Real Madrid at Hampden Park due to suspension.
“We got to the point we did because we had a very good and very competitive team, but what was difficult for us was that the season was very long, playing in three different competitions, and there was a period when we lost some important players,” he says.
“We lost Jens Nowotny, Lucio and sometimes myself, and when we missed a couple of players, the manager, Klaus Toppmoller, found it difficult to reconfigure the team because we didn’t have a deep squad where another player could come in and maintain the level.
“I think Leverkusen’s error that season was in not having players on the bench who could maintain the level of the team, but for me it was still a very, very positive experience.”
Positive, in part, because it led him to Bayern Munich, where he would continue his midfield partnership with Ballack and finally win the silverware he had long craved.
“Even when I started playing for Leverkusen, I always had the ambition to play for Bayern because I wanted to be a champion in Germany and I knew my best chance of winning the Bundesliga was by playing for Bayern,” says Ze Roberto.
“I realised a dream I’d had ever since I arrived at Leverkusen by doing that and to live both of those experiences was fundamental for me.
“I learned and adapted at Leverkusen, then I consolidated it all at Bayern Munich. They were different experiences but both very positive ones in my career.”
Premier League, Bernardo Silva admiration
Ze Roberto’s two spells at Bayern came either side of a move back to Brazil with Santos. There was a successful two-year stint with Bundesliga rivals Hamburg after that. But the midfielder never had the chance to test himself in the Premier League.
He stops short of calling it a regret but his admiration for the competition is clear.
“For me, the Premier League is the most competitive league in Europe today,” he says. “It’s a very attractive one for players because before every season, there are three or four teams who could become champions and that is unique.”
It is Manchester City, though, who impress him most.
“I believe they are the team that plays the best football in the Premier League because they have possession of the ball all game and they have a way of overwhelming most of their opponents.
Right now, I believe Pep Guardiola has the best player in Europe and that is Bernardo Silva
“They are a cold and calculating team. Cold when they have the ball; calculating when they are finding a way to goal.”
They are helped, Ze Roberto says, by the presence of one player in particular.
“Right now, I believe Pep Guardiola has the best player in Europe and that is Bernardo Silva,” he says.
“He is a player who, if I was a manager, I would want above all others because he is very hard working and he fulfils various functions during the game which help his manager a lot.
“Bernardo is a player who weighs very little, but he plays the game like a song, and regardless of how his manager sets up tactically, he can fit into any part of the midfield or attack and help his team a huge amount wherever he plays.”
Perhaps he sees something of himself in Bernardo Silva but in truth there are not many like the man who kept playing, and kept winning, until the age of 43. Ze Roberto’s career holds lessons for all players – just don’t expect many to replicate his achievements.
Live Bundesliga on Sky Sports this weekend
Stuttgart vs Borussia Monchengladbach, Saturday, live on Sky Sports Football; kick-off 5.30pm
Mainz vs Borussia Dortmund, Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football; kick-off 2.30pm
Cologne vs Hoffenheim, Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football; kick-off 4.30pm
Karim Benzema’s 83rd-minute goal was enough for Real Madrid to extend their lead at the top of La Liga to nine points with a 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano.
Real looked under par for much of the match but found the breakthrough when Benzema exchanged passes with Vinicius Junior and finished from close range.
Atletico Madrid moved above Barcelona into fourth place as Renan Lodi scored in either half to secure a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo.
Gabriel’s fourth-minute strike was enough to give Valencia a 1-0 win at Malaga, though they finished with 10 men as Ilaix Moriba collected two quick yellow cards to see red in stoppage time.
Enes Unal’s brace saw Getafe twice come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Alaves, despite playing nearly an hour with 10 men after Jorge Cuenca’s first-half dismissal.
Bundesliga: Bayern Munich stretch lead at top
Leroy Sane came off the bench to get the only goal as Bayern Munich stretched their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to nine points with a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Sane replaced Marcel Sabitzer with 23 minutes left and was on the scoresheet four minutes later.
Moussa Diaby scored twice as Bayer Leverkusen beat Arminia Bielefeld 3-0 to retain their grip on third place, four points clear of Freiburg who beat Hertha Berlin 3-0.
Union Berlin moved up to seventh with a 3-1 win over Mainz, leading through goals from Genki Haraguchi and Sheraldo Becker before the visitors had Dominik Kohr sent off on the hour.
Wolfsburg blew a 2-0 lead and finished with 10 men in a 2-2 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach, with Breel Ebolo getting a late leveller after Maxence Lacroix saw red.
Greuther Furth and Cologne played out a 1-1 draw.
Serie A: Juve cut gap to leaders AC Milan
Dusan Vlahovic’s brace helped Juventus cut the gap to Serie A leaders AC Milan to seven points with a 3-2 win at Empoli.
Moise Kean put Juve in front with 32 minutes gone only for Szymon Zurkowski to quickly level.
But Vlahovic restored the visitors’ lead just before the break and added a fine clipped second in the 66th minute before Andrea La Mantia pulled a goal back.
Gregoire Defrel struck in stoppage time to give Sassuolo a 2-1 win over 10-man Fiorentina.
Hamed Junior Traore had given the hosts a 19th-minute lead, but the Viola levelled through Arthur in the 88th minute despite the 79th-minute dismissal of Giacomo Bonaventura.
Salernitana and Bologna played out a 1-1 draw.
Ligue 1: Mbappe inspires PSG to victory
Kylian Mbappe had two goals and an assist as Paris St Germain came from behind to beat St Etienne 3-1 and extend their advantage at the top of Ligue 1.
The visitors struck first through Denis Bounga’s 16th-minute goal, but Mbappe levelled three minutes before half-time and then put PSG ahead early in the second half before teeing up Danilo Pereira moments later.
That moved PSG 16 points clear after second-placed Nice were held to a goalless draw by Strasbourg earlier in the day, finishing the game with only nine men after Dante and Justin Kluivert were dismissed.
Tammy Abraham’s penalty more than nine minutes into stoppage time ended Roma’s winless run as Jose Mourinho’s scraped a 1-0 victory at 10-man Spezia in Serie A.
Abraham’s penalty came after Roma had hit the woodwork four times and wasted a number of chances at Spezia, who had played most of the match with 10 men after defender Kelvin Amian was sent off at the end of the first half.
It was Roma’s first win in five matches and lifted them up to sixth, six points behind fourth-place Juventus. Spezia remain four points off the relegation zone. All Serie A matches have started five minutes late this weekend accompanied by a peace message following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Roma coach Jose Mourinho was serving the first of a two-match suspension following his actions toward the referee during and after last week’s 2-2 draw against Hellas Verona.
Giovanni Simeone broke his goal drought in style with a second-half hat-trick to help Hellas Verona beat relegation-threatened Venezia 3-1.
They were Simeone’s first goals since mid-December.
David Okereke headed Venezia back into the match nine minutes from time but Simeone completed his hat-trick and sealed the result seven minutes later.
Venezia slipped into the drop zone, three points behind Cagliari after the Sardinian side won 2-1 at Torino.
Bundesliga: Dortmund lose ground on leaders Bayern
Borussia Dortmund stumbled again in the Bundesliga with a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Augsburg to let Bayern Munich open up an eight-point lead.
Thorgan Hazard scored in the first half for Dortmund but the visitors failed to build on their lead as Donyell Malen hit the post and were caught out when Noah Sarenren Bazee equalised late on.
The point lifted Augsburg out of the relegation zone on goal difference with Hertha Berlin dropping into the relegation/playoff place with 10 rounds of the league remaining. Hertha have not won in the league since beating Dortmund 3-2 at home on December 18.
Dortmund subsequently lost to Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen in the league, while they were knocked out of the German Cup by second division St Pauli and out of the Europa League last Thursday by Scottish side Rangers.
Hazard scored in the 35th minute when he surged past Augsburg defenders Mads Pedersen and Felix Uduokhai before shooting inside the far post from a tight angle.
But Augsburg stayed in the game and coach Markus Weinzierl brought on Bazee to reinvigorate his team’s attack with 20 minutes remaining. The 25-year-old winger scored the equaliser eight minutes later.
Earlier, Christopher Nkunku’s late goal was enough for Leipzig to reclaim fourth and the last qualification place for the Champions League with a 1-0 win at Bochum.
Nkunku scored in the 82nd minute after Bochum captain Anthony Losilla hit the crossbar and Christopher Antwi-Adjei hit the post for the home team. It was Nkunku’s 14th goal of the season.
La Liga: Villarreal teen makes club history
With four goals from four shots, Yeremy Pino became the first Villarreal player to score four times in a Spanish league game on Sunday.
Pino scored a hat-trick before half-time and added another goal in the second half of Villarreal’s 5-1 home rout of Espanyol.
The 19-year-old Spain forward had never scored more than one goal in a game in his career. He is the third-youngest four-goal scorer in the history of the Spanish league.
It was the eighth win for Villarreal in their last 11 league games, with the only loss coming at Elche in January.
Unai Emery’s team came into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Juventus in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League.
Keidi Bare scored Espanyol’s lone goal in the second half. Villarreal’s fifth was scored by Boulaye Dia in the final stages of the game at the La Ceramica Stadium.
The win moved Villarreal up to fifth place, three points behind fourth-place Atletico Madrid, who won 2-0 at Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Espanyol’s winless streak reached eight matches in all competitions, with five losses and three draws. They stayed in 14th place.
Ligue 1: Marseille fail to tighten grip in Champions League race
Marseille missed the chance to move three points clear in second place in Ligue 1 after conceding a last-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw at struggling Troyes.
Striker Yoann Touzghar profited from poor Marseille defending to slide in the equaliser after playmaker Dimitri Payet’s penalty put Marseille ahead in the 28th minute. It was Payet’s club-best ninth league goal of the season.
Second place guarantees entry into next season’s Champions League, with Marseille one point ahead of Nice in third place, and a playoff spot.
Northern side Lens moved into sixth place in the chase for the European places after a 2-1 win at Angers, with Jonathan Clauss’ floating effort looping over goalkeeper Danijel Petkovic in the 77th minute.
Lens are three points behind fourth-place Rennes in the Europa League spot.
Monaco lost 2-1 at home to Reims, despite striker Wissam Ben Yedder’s league-leading 15th goal to move one ahead of PSG forward Kylian Mbappe.
The visitors equalised in the 84th minute when Monaco striker Kevin Volland headed in an own-goal and, soon after Monaco midfielder Jean Lucas was sent off, scored a stoppage-time winner through striker Nathanael Mbuku.
Lorient moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win at Brest as fellow strugglers Bordeaux and Metz both drew.
Bottom side Bordeaux drew 1-1 at Clermont, while 18th-place Metz were held 0-0 at home by Nantes.