Almost 350 new words were added to the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary this past week, but there was one glaring omission. The verb 'Alcacer' - as in "you’ve been Alcacered!" It’s already common parlance in Bundesliga circles, even more so after Paco Alcacer’s latest star turn from the Borussia Dortmund bench on Matchday 7.
With Dortmund trailing Augsburg 1-0 at the Signal Iduna Park, the Barcelona loanee answered coach Lucien Favre’s call with a sensational second-half hat-trick. And the best bit, aside from the quite brilliant injury-time free-kick that sealed the 4-3 win? He now top sits of the Bundesliga scoring charts on six goals, despite not starting a single league game for BVB! That’s six goals in just 81 minutes of Bundesliga football: a first in the history of Germany’s top flight.
"I spoke to Paco before the game," Favre revealed after one of the most edge-of-the-seat encounters in living memory. "I know what he’s capable of. He hasn’t played the full 90 minutes in over three years. It was a very, very good transfer, though. He’s got a real feel for the game, he’s very handy indeed."
Understatement of the year. On current form, Alcacer could probably assume the role of super sub for the entire season, and he’d still smash the 30-goal barrier. Just look at the evidence. In the Matchday 3 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt, he scored 19 minutes into his debut. At Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 6, he struck twice in the final nine minutes to seal a 4-2 comeback win. He scored in his only competitive start to date for BVB - against Monaco in the Champions League - before running riot off the bench against Augsburg.
Alcacer’s first two goals were classic poacher’s finishes. Within 120 seconds of replacing Maximilian Philipp, he applied the finishing touch to Jadon Sancho’s pin-point cross to bring Dortmund level from close-range. Striker’s instinct personified, the newly recalled Spain international reacted fastest to fellow substitute Raphael Guerreiro’s free-kick to put his side in front 18 minutes later – but he wasn’t done yet.
After Michael Gregoritsch had seemingly done enough to send Augsburg back to Bavaria with a point, Paco-Man – just like the 1980s video game icon – spied an opportunity to take one last bite at the cherry. As the clocked ticked past the 95-minute mark, Achraf Hakimi won a free-kick 25 yards from goal. To the baying backdrop of Dortmund’s Yellow Wall standing terrace, Alcacer nonchalantly stepped up to whip an unstoppable right-footed strike past the dumbfounded Andreas Luthe, and win the day. Augsburg had been well and truly 'Alcacered'.
"I remember him sticking away a few free-kicks on his first day at Dortmund," recalled captain Marco Reus. "We were all hoping that he’d put it in – and then he did. He came into the game and scored three goals in 30, 35 minutes. What can you say? It doesn’t get any better!"
Or does it? Alcacer’s six goals in 81 Bundesliga minutes – spread over three substitute appearances – put him ahead of Luis Suarez (three in 569 mins) and Lionel Messi (five in 575 mins) in the goals-per-minutes department. Some statement, considering they’re two of the players who reduced him to a bit-part role at parent club Barcelona and pushed him into the arms of Dortmund on a one-year loan deal in the summer. And yet Alcacer couldn’t be happier.
"I’m loving it at Dortmund," Alcacer said after plundering the second hat-trick of his senior career. "I’m scoring goals, we’re playing well and there’s harmony in the team – that’s what matters most, more than me scoring goals. I could definitely imagine staying at Dortmund beyond the one year. I’m going home now to see my daughter, and I’ve got international duty with Spain, but then I’ll be back."
What a way to sign off for the October international break. Not just with a hat-trick, but a Terminator-esque warning to boot. Respite will be brief, before the Bundesliga’s insuperable goal-scoring machine is back with Dortmund, doing what he does best. 'Alcacering' the hell out of the opposition.