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Diogo Gonçalves: scoring for fun in Youth League

He has seven goals in three European games this term, including two hat-tricks, for rampant Benfica – introducing the group stage's top scorer, Diogo Gonçalves.

Benfica's Diogo Gonçalves celebrates one of his three goals against Astana on matchday one
Benfica's Diogo Gonçalves celebrates one of his three goals against Astana on matchday one ©Getty Images

If Benfica have been the team of the UEFA Youth League season so far then the Portuguese side's winger Diogo Gonçalves is the standout performer. Three games into the 2015/16 group stage, the 18-year-old has a competition-leading seven goals to his name – a haul shaped by hat-tricks in the Eagles' record victories against Astana (8-0) and Galatasaray (11-1). So, what do we know about the player blazing a trail at the top of the scorers' chart?

Name: Diogo António Cupido Gonçalves
Date of birth: 06/02/1997
Nationality: Portuguese
Club: Benfica
UEFA Youth League debut:
16/09/14 v Zenit
Competition appearances/goals: 11/9

• Born in Beja, in southern Portugal, Diogo Gonçalves attracted Benfica's interest while playing for Ferreiras during the 2007/08 campaign. He moved to Lisbon for the following season and has developed into a quick, tricky left-winger equally adept on the opposite flank.

A source of inspiration: Nicolás Gaitán
A source of inspiration: Nicolás Gaitán©AFP/Getty Images

• His role model is Benfica's Argentinian international Nicolás Gaitán. "Gaitán plays in the same position as I do," said Gonçalves. "I like him very much."

• In May 2014 he helped Portugal win all three of their group games at the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Malta. England ended Portugal's run in the semi-finals.

• Eight days after turning 18 he made his debut for Benfica's B team in the Portuguese second tier. In 17 league appearances, 11 of them starts, he has scored two goals.

• He renewed his contract with the Eagles at the beginning of this year, saying: "I'm very happy. It's another objective I have accomplished in my career. It's very good for me and my family. This is my boyhood club and my dream is to get to the first team."

• It appears to be a matter of when, not if, Gonçalves breaks the record for most goals scored by an individual in a UEFA Youth League group stage. He has managed two more than Munir El Haddadi did for Barcelona in the inaugural 2013/14 season and has already matched the total Chelsea's Dominic Solanke – like Munir, another of UEFA.com's stars of 2014 – set last term.  

©Getty Images
©Getty Images
©Getty Images
©Domenic Aquilina