Carlos Vela helped Real Sociedad to a place in this year's Champions League. (Alfredo Sanchez Zubiaurre/Icon SMI)
Carlos Vela's international future may be murky at best, but he was in fine form at club level on Saturday.
The Mexican forward scored all four goals in Real Sociedad's 4-3 win over Celta Vigo, with the last three coming in the space of a 20-minute span in the second half. Video after the jump.
Vela got started early, rolling an opportunistic finish home from close range in the sixth minute to put Sociedad on top. But that looked like it was going to be just about the only positive for his team -- Celta equalized through Rafinha in the 23rd minute, Álex López gave them the lead in the 28th minute, and Rafinha added what most figured to be an insurance goal 12 minutes into the second half.
That's when Vela kicked into high gear. The Mexican was able to get in front of his defender on a freekick to nod home his second in the 61st minute, then equalized the scores and completed his hat-trick with an opportunistic (and very offside) finish in the 78th minute. Vela completed his romp and completed an incredible comeback with a nice finish off a darting run into the box, found nicely with a lofted through ball by Antoine Griezmann.
Video of all the goals here:
The hat trick is Vela's second as a pro -- his first came a full five seasons ago, when he netted three goals for Arsenal in a League Cup win over Sheffield United. Vela had never scored four goals in a game at club level before today.
However, even with his fine form, El Tri fans shouldn't hold their breath waiting for Vela to return to the national team setup. Vela last played for Mexico two years ago, and has steadfastly refused call-ups from managers Jose Manuel "Chepo" De La Torre and his successor Víctor Manuel Vucetich for World Cup Qualifiers this year. Vela has scored nine times for Mexico in 30 appearances.