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Levante boss hails hat-trick hero Boateng after Barcelona demolition

9:55 pm AEST 14/5/18
Emmanuel Boateng
Paco Lopez lauds the 21-year-old's attitude after he scored three times against the Blaugrana on Sunday

Levante manager Paco Lopez is full of praise for Ghanaian youngster Emmanuel Boateng who hit a hat-trick in Sunday's 5-4 triumph over Barcelona in La Liga

The 21-year-old emerged hero of the day as his efforts ended the champions' unbeaten run in the topflight this season. 

The treble, the first by any player against the Blaugrana in the league since Diego Forlan in 2005, comes three months after the striker netted his first La Liga goal in a 2-2 draw with heavyweights Real Madrid

"We have already talked about him in recent weeks," said Lopez. 

"I told you that he was a boy with a lot of desire to improve, with an immense attitude and with very important conditions for football. 

"It was not just praise being showered. 

"I tell you, he's having a magnificent season. 

"He has gotten that calmness to finish off play in the final third."

Sunday's exploit took Boateng's La Liga goal tally to six. 

The Accra-born made a transfer to Levante last summer, signing a four-year deal from Portuguese side Moreirense.

He initially joined Rio Ave in 2013, before moving to Moreirense in 2015.

The attacker, who represented Ghana at the 2015 Fifa Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, only last week earned his first senior international call-up for upcoming friendlies against Iceland and Japan on May 30 and June 7 respectively.