Andrej Kramaric became the first Hoffenheim player to score four goals in a Bundesliga game, overwhelming Borussia Dortmund with a one-sided 4-0 away victory on Saturday.
The Croatian striker, his club’s top scorer this season, took his campaign tally to 13 as Europa League-bound Hoffenheim moved above VfL Wolfsburg to finish in fifth place on 52 points.
Borussia Dortmund were already confirmed as runners-up to Bayern Munich, but after this embarrassing home defeat finished 13 points adrift of the champions.
They did threaten early, when Norwegian teenager Erling Haaland forced a full stretch save out of visiting goalkeeper Oliver Baumann in the fifth minute.
But after that it was 29-year-old Kramaric who dominated the game.
He opened the scoring after eight minutes, after a good build-up, picking his spot and curling the ball home from just outside the penalty area.
On the half-hour mark the former Leicester City forward doubled his tally after beating the offside trap to slot home from close range.
After the break, Kramaric was given far too much room by a sleepy Borussia Dortmund defence to complete his hat-trick in the 48th minute.
Then home defender Mats Hummels pushed Moanes Dabbur in the penalty area two minutes later.
Kramaric stepped up to slot the ball home under the body of Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki to seal a dominant performance.
“I dreamt about the possibility of a penalty kick before the game. But, to be honest, my penalty kick was not all that well taken.
“I had decided before that if I got a penalty kick it would be a no-look effort and I got a bit lucky,” he said of the effort that just crept under Burki’s body.
“It’s really (an) amazing stuff and feeling to score four goals in this stadium to win this game and to get direct qualification into the Europa League,” Kramaric added.
“Things like this do not happen often in a player’s career.”