Paco Alcácer is a man who writes history, and once he's finished, he goes and writes more history. One goal against Monaco, two in Leverkusen and now three against Augsburg. Lucien Favre was effusive in his praise when talking to the press on Saturday: ''It's a really, really, really good transfer.'' The head coach was talking shortly after the final whistle of an absolutely crazy match, which will live long in the memory due to its seesaw nature and its unforgettable winning goal six minutes into injury time.
Alcácer is the man of the hour, ''our new number nine'' - that was how the matchday programme ''Borussia'' put it before the match against Frankfurt. ''He's a proper number nine,'' said Nobby Dickel, who would know more than most about what it takes to wear the number nine jersey for BVB. Six goals in just three Bundesliga matches: only one player had ever achieved this before in Bundesliga history, the Hamburg legend Charly Dörfel. Nonetheless, it took Dörfel 223 minutes of play to score these six goals. Alcácer did so in just 81 minutes - a long-held record has been smashed. Marco Reus was able to summarise his team mate's achievement in just one word - and one word was all it really took: ''sensational!''
Interviewed for Sky by former Borussia player Christoph Metzelder, the Barcelona loanee was quick to underplay his exploits. He's very happy of course, but the most important thing is the team's achievement. Alcácer wasn't always able to break in to a Barcelona team stacked full of superstars like Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez. But with his fantastic performances so far in a BVB shirt, the Spaniard has attracted the attention of his national team coach Luis Enrique, earning a call up for the fixtures against Wales on Thursday as well as England on Monday. ''I hope that he comes back in full fitness,'' stated Favre, who has been careful to gradually integrate Alcácer into the team.
A light muscle injury suffered on his debut against Frankfurt meant that the Spaniard was out of action for the Matchday 4 and 5 fixtures. He then came off the bench against Leverkusen, while Wednesday's UEFA Champions League match against Monaco was the first time in over three years that he'd played the full 90 minutes, hence why Favre decided not to put him in the starting line-up for the match against Augsburg just three days later.
And why not? It's been 30 years since a Borussia player last came off the bench to score a hat-trick. On 13 September 1988, Norbert Dickel found the net three times against Hannover 96. On that particular day, Dickel entered the fray in the 57th minute, yesterday Alcácer came on in the 59th. Both of them are proper number nines!