After sticking it to Bundesliga powerhouse duo Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in his short time on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf, Dodi Lukebakio is back in the Bundesliga, signing a permanent deal with Hertha Berlin.
Lukebakio has scored five goals in four appearances against Germany's top two to date, but what else will the mercurial Belgian be telling the grandkids about in years to come..?
Club: Hertha Berlin
Country: Belgium (17 U21 caps, four goals)
Lukebakio arrived at Düsseldorf in summer 2018 with only six senior career goals in 45 appearances for Anderlecht, Charleroi, Toulouse and parent club Watford to his name. At the end of his debut Bundesliga campaign, the rocket-powered 6'2" wide man had produced 10 goals and four assists in 31 league outings to keep promoted Fortuna comfortably above the water line.
Three of those efforts came in the most unlikely of 3-3 draws at Bayern on Matchday 12. Lukebakio then grabbed the opener as Fortuna inflicted a first defeat of the season on leaders Dortmund late in the 2018/19 Hinrunde, having also plundered back-to-back braces in the first and second rounds of the DFB Cup.
Watch: Relive Dodi Lukebakio's hat-trick heroics at the Allianz Arena
Born to Congolese parents, he made his senior international debut for DR Congo in 2016, but has since pledged his allegiance to his country of birth, scoring four goals in 17 outings for the Belgium U21s.
Plays a bit like: Paulo Wanchope
Lukebakio’s rangy frame and imagination make him a nightmare to contain for opposition defenders. Fans of a certain vintage might remember Paulo Wanchope, the Costa Rican who lifted fans of Derby County, West Ham and Manchester City among others off their seats with moments of attacking magic. Some questioned if Wanchope didn’t know what he was going to do next, how could his markers? Lukebakio has that self-same unpredictability.
Did you know?
Lukebakio became the first Bundesliga player since Ebbe Sand (Schalke) in 2001 to score a hat-trick against Bayern and the first in Bundesliga history to put three past sweeper-keeper supreme Manuel Neuer in one game, with his show-stopping salvo at the Allianz Arena.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have never managed more than two in one match against the Bayern and Germany No.1 - and they've faced him countless times in the UEFA Champions League!
What they're saying
"His pace and dribbling - it's something else. I've never experienced anything like it in the Bundesliga. He's the toughest opponent I've had to face since I moved here." - Wolfsburg defender Jerome Rousillion
"Dodi can become a very good player. He's so unpredictable with his pace and dribbling, that's why we let him have free rein." - Fortuna coach Friedhelm Funkel
"Dodi is a dynamic attacking player, who doesn't only score goals. He also has eyes for his teammates." - Hertha general manager Michael Preetz