Spain striker Aduriz scores five in Europa League game - including a hat-trick of penalties 5 years ago

Spain striker Aduriz scores five in Europa League game - including a hat-trick of penalties

Aritz Aduriz probably wouldn't be offended if you called him a late bloomer.

The Athletic Club striker was 29 years old when he was handed his Spain debut - and 35 by the time his second cap rolled around.

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But he's really come into his own at an age which would mark the twilight of most players' careers.

Last season he scored a career-high 36 goals, including 10 in the Europa League - more than any other player in the competition.

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That record earned the veteran a surprise call-up to Spain's Euro 2016 squad, and he's already got five goals in the league this time around including both in a 2-1 victory over Valencia.

Aduriz was a little slower to get off the mark in Europe, failing to find the net in Athletic's first three Europa League games, but he really made up for lost time when Genk came to town.

The Belgian side scored three times at San Mamés through Leon Bailey, Onyinye Ndidi and Tino-Sven Susic, and Aduriz was the only scorer for the hosts. But they weren't complaining - he put the ball past Marco Bizot an incredible five times over the course of 90 minutes.

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Granted, three of the five came from the penalty spot, but you still need to score from 12 yards when the opportunity presents itself.

If he keeps going at this rate, we'll be in for one of the best 40-year-olds in world football not too far down the line.

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