Back in January, 19-year-old Domenico Berardi garnered international recognition with a barnstorming four-goal performance for Sassuolo against AC Milan.
Never before in the Rossoneri’s illustrious history had a player struck four times against them in a single game.
And not only was the man who upended history playing for a relegation-threatened club tasting Serie A football for the first time, but a teenager in the midst of his first top flight campaign.
Days later, reports began surfacing in Italy that Manchester United were preparing a massive £19million bid for the youngster, said to be of interest to Sir Alex Ferguson before his retirement.
The offer would never arrive for the Neroverdi forward - co-owned by Sassuolo and giants Juventus - but this week he did something that will see attention come his way yet again.
As it turns out, Berardi really loves scoring goals in bunches. The Italian’s January demolition of Milan was not his first time this term hitting three or more in one match - he also bagged a hat-trick against Sampdoria in November.
And just to round off what’s been a brilliant debut Serie A campaign, Berardi added his third hat-trick of 2013-14 in Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi.
Not only did his superb display pull crucially pull Sassuolo out of the relegation zone with two games left to play, but drew him level with a pair of Europe’s deadliest forwards for a season record.
3 - Domenico #Berardi has scored 3 hat-tricks this term, a joint-record in the top-5 European leagues (with Messi & Suarez). Leader.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 6, 2014
Berardi joined Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as the only players in Europe’s top five leagues to net three hat-tricks this season.
For a 19-year-old discovered just four years ago playing a casual game of five-a-side at his brother’s university, superlative company to keep.
Sassuolo president Carlo Rossi has said that he hopes to hold onto Berardi for another term. But they’d be hard pressed to resist Juventus buying out their 50 per cent share if the Serie A champions think the prolific youngster is ready for the big time.
And with Berardi’s name now alongside the likes of Suarez and Messi for his exploits at the Mapei Stadium, the Bianconeri may just be convinced it is time for him to come to Turin.