What is a Hat Trick in Soccer?

What is a Hat Trick in Soccer?

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What is a hat trick in soccer? A hat trick is when a soccer player scores three goals in a single game. These goals don’t have to be scored consecutively or in the same style. Any player can score a hat trick at any point during a game. Easy in concept but very difficult in reality!

For any player, scoring a hat trick in a soccer match is a fantastic accomplishment. Here’s some unforgettable hat tricks!

In this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the infamous hat trick.

What is a Hat-Trick in a Soccer Game?

When a player scores three goals in a single game, it is called a “hat trick.” Click to see more soccer terms.

Every goal counts, regardless of when it was scored (during the regular time or overtime).

Given the rarity of three goals when the game is played on an 11 v 11 field, it has been a tradition to present the game ball to the player responsible for the hat trick.

A player who has already scored twice in a game (called “a brace“) is said to be “on a hat trick” since scoring once more will result in an official hat trick.

Who scored the first hat trick in international soccer history? In 1878, John McDougall became the first player to score three goals in an international game. He did this while representing Scotland in its match against England.

The Perfect Hat Trick

Have you heard of a “perfect hat trick”?  One player may achieve a perfect hat trick if they score a goal with each of the following three parts of the body: the right foot, the left foot, and the head. As you can imagine, this is very rare!

For example, the player might score one goal with their right foot, one goal with their left foot, and one goal with their head. This is considered to be a level above a normal hat trick, as the player has showcased a variety of different skills by scoring each goal in a different way.

While a perfect hat trick is a rare feat, it has been achieved by some of the greatest players in soccer history. Some notable examples include Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Luis Suarez.

Double Hat Trick

In soccer, a “double hat trick” is accomplished when a player scores six goals in a single game, as indicated by the name. However, a double hat trick is very unusual in soccer, and you’d be hard-pressed to see one in any professional league today.

Yet, there have been games where a single player scored six or more goals.

The last time this happened in English soccer was in 1957 when Neville Coleman scored seven goals to lead Stoke City to an 8-0 Second Division victory against Lincoln City. Now, that’s impressive!

In youth soccer, I’ve witnessed plenty of double hat tricks from rec first-grade leagues. There’s always one or two kids that will dribble through everyone to score at a rapid pace.

4 Goals Called in Soccer

When a soccer player scores four goals in a soccer game, it is called a “poker” in Spain, while other countries, it is referred to as a “haul” or a “super hat-trick.”

It’s important to note that these terms are unofficial and are not recognized by official soccer organizations. However, they are commonly used by fans and commentators to describe a player’s impressive performance on the field.

Why Is It Referred to as a Hat Trick?

The term “hat trick” was first used in 1858 by English cricketer H. H. Stephenson grabbed three wickets with three straight deliveries at Sheffield’s Hyde Park stadium.

Shortly after that day, Heathfield Harman Stephenson got the wickets of three batters with three successive deliveries, coining the phrase “hat trick.” Stephenson was given a hat as a token of appreciation for his skill.

So, the phrase originated from the famous case in which three wickets were taken off of three consecutive deliveries.

As such, Heathfield Harman Stephenson wasn’t probably aware that he was coining a new expression and that it would be associated with sports, notably soccer, for the next centuries.

Hat Trick Record Holders

In the history of professional soccer, Pele is the player with the most hat tricks in all the major professional soccer leagues.

Even though he retired in 1977, his record of 92 hat tricks puts him miles ahead of the competition.

Currently, Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way with 60 hat tricks, but Lionel Messi is not far behind with 57 in his career.

Top Hat Tricks in Soccer History

If you’re a soccer fan, you know that a hat trick is a special achievement. It’s when a player scores three goals in a single game. Here are some of the most famous hat tricks in soccer history:

  • Lionel Messi: Scored a five-goal haul against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo: Scored three goals against Atletico Madrid in the 2019 UEFA Champions League round of 16.
  • Geoff Hurst: Hurst’s three goals in the 1966 World Cup final helped England win the tournament.
  • Arjen Robben: Robben had an impressive three goals in the 2013 UEFA Champions League semifinals against Barcelona.
  • Michael Owen: Scored his hat trick against Germany in the 2001 World Cup qualifiers.

Conclusion – it’s a team game

Three goals in a game is an impressive feat for any soccer player. Every attacking player wants to have this honor since it speaks to their scoring ability. Moreover, a soccer game where someone scores a hat trick is usually more talked about afterward.

Scoring a hat trick requires a combination of skill, precision, and a bit of luck. It is not an easy thing to accomplish, and that’s why players who score hat tricks are usually highly praised and celebrated.

Although one player is highlighted, it’s usually a team effort in moving the ball up the field and setting up the player who gets the goals.

Overall, this is a remarkable achievement in soccer, and it is a testament to a player’s talent and hard work. Whether you are a player, coach, or fan, you can appreciate the significance of a hat trick and the excitement it brings to the game.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many goals for a hat trick?

Three goals is considered a hat trick in soccer.

What it is called when a player scores two goals?

Two goals is considered a brace in soccer.

Who has the most hat tricks in MLS history?

As of 2023, Josef Martínez has scored an MLS record six hat-tricks.

What is a super hat trick in soccer?

A super hat trick in soccer, also known as a perfect hat trick, is when a player scores three goals in a single match, with each goal being scored with a different part of their body.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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