What is a Hat Trick in Soccer?

What is a Hat Trick in Soccer?

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For any player, scoring a hat trick in a soccer match is a fantastic accomplishment. So, what is a hat trick in soccer? Scoring three goals in a single game. Not everyone knows what it is or why it is referred to as a hat trick.

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

What Exactly Is a Hat Trick?

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 a 11 v 11 field, it has been tradition to present the game ball to the player responsible for all three goals. 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.

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

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!

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.

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.

Record Holders

In the history of professional soccer, Pele is the player with the most hat tricks.

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

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way with 60 hat tricks, but Lionel Messi is not far behind with 55 in his career.

Conclusion – it’s a team game

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

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      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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