What is a Hat Trick in Soccer

Hat trick in soccer matches is surely a well talked about phenomenon but understanding what it really means and how a player achieves it is important for every soccer fan. If you have been looking forward to understanding what a hat trick in soccer means and why is it so special, you are at the perfect place.

Our article will not only answer your question but will also tell you about the players with most hat tricks scored. Read on!

Hat Trick in Soccer

perfect hat trick

A hat trick in soccer happens when a single player scores three or more goals during any official soccer match. It doesn’t matter if he scores those goals consecutively or not; what matters is that they are scored by him alone in the same game as compared to other players who may score as well (for their respective teams) but those would be considered as extra-goals and wouldn’t be counted as part of the hat trick .

The phrase “hat trick” is said to have originated from cricket where players used to get a special type of cap called ‘Hat’ for every three wickets that he takes during a match.

In the definition of soccer hat trick, “official” means those matches which are conducted and played under FIFA and other similar soccer governing bodies.

A player can achieve the hat trick feat anytime but the chances are less during first halves of soccer matches even though it happens quite often. However, most hat tricks tend to take place during second halves of official games.

Why does a player score three goals or hat trick in a single game? Because that’s what leads his team towards winning that particular match! When an individual manages to achieve this amazing feat, he is considered as ultimate hero who deserves all the praises and acknowledges for his performance.

While it may look an effortless task but there are several things which make scoring three goals more difficult than they appear to be. A player can benefit from factors like- opponent’s defense weakness or strength, the type of penalty corner taker etc.

Why is It Called a Hat Trick – The History Behind The Term Hat Trick

first hat trick

The term “hat trick” is said to originate from cricket where players used to get a special type of cap called ‘Hat’ for every three wickets that he takes during the game. The tradition was carried over into other sports including soccer and now it’s done with goals instead of wickets.

The phrase has been modified in certain regions like India where winning team gets 3 points (in pick-up-sticks) instead of ‘Hat’.

Types of Hat Trick in Soccer – Know Them!

player scoring

There are different types of hat tricks in soccer which make this game even more interesting. To know about them, read on! Denote them as follows:

  1. Fastest Hat Trick – Fastest hat trick refers to the one achieved by a player in minimum time as compared to other players who might be competing with him to score as many goals as they can.
  2. Top Hat Tricks – This is a trick achieved by a player in top-notch leagues. Not only the feat looks classy but is also considered to have high value for players and teams.
  3. Multi Player Hat Trick – It’s basically a perfect hat trick which is scored by more than one player in a single match even though they might be from different teams.

Some other hat trick types in a soccer game include double hat trick or first hat trick.

Factors Necessary to Try For a Perfect Hat Trick

soccer game

In order to ensure a hat trick with soccer ball, certain primary factors are necessary. We have listed them down for you:

1. Time of The Match

As we mentioned before, most players score hat tricks during the second half of the official games. A time gap between first and second halves is usually sufficient enough to allow a player to practice and build his stamina better which is crucial for achieving such a high goal tally.

2. Number of Opponents

If there are fewer defenders on the pitch as compared to offensive players (i.e if goalie has been replaced by another forward), chances of scoring thrice increase exponentially as it becomes easier to bypass their defense with accurate shots or passes. Having more defensive players on field ensures that the fielder cannot score as easily.

3. Skill Level of The Player

Based on the ability and skills of the player, he can plan to score either by playing a long shot or with some fancy one-two passing technique. Opportunities present themselves differently for different players and that’s what makes it even more difficult to pack three goals in a single match.

4. Penalty Shout Taker

If there is a penalty shout given for your team then obviously you have an edge over other opponents as you know where exactly you are supposed to shoot the ball! Hence, scoring thrice becomes much easier when your team has been awarded with penalty corners at regular intervals rather than suddenly being awarded one after two hours of play time which would be almost impossible to achieve.

Using Different Strategies to Score Hat Tricks

There can be several ways to score hat tricks depending upon the judgment and skills of a player. While some players play it safe and target corners where there is minimum defense, others are confident enough that they can go for an all-out shot or attempt killer passes.

It’s always better to use different styles of playing against different opponents because switching between these techniques most often lead to failure rather than success.

A typical strategy includes one player who takes corner shots while another player attempts short corner passes. However, this considerably decreases chances of scoring thrice as compared to when both types of players play together along with the goalie which assures three consecutive goals at least!

Some interesting sequences include- one touch passing, long shots, penalty corner taker or defender scoring through a header.

Is There Any Prize For Scoring a Hat Trick in Soccer?

There is no fixed prize for scoring the ‘perfect hat trick in soccer’ however it can be considered as one of the best accomplishments in a player’s career.

There are several prizes given to players when they score their first three goals in an official game, however you cannot guess that by simply reading this article!

Every sports fan has his or her favorite players and these stars rise to fame because of their abilities on ground along with the skills which help them achieve ultimate goals during critical situations.

Hat tricks are often considered as legendary moments in the history of soccer matches and have allowed several players to earn their name on top of the best soccer players lists of their era.

Soccer Players With Most Hat Tricks in The History of The Game

So, who are all those players who have managed to score more than three goals in a single game? Here is the list of 7 most successful hat trick takers according to their respective numbers-

1. Pele

Brazilian soccer player Edson Arantes do Nascimento popularly known as ‘Pele’ scored 13 hat tricks during his football career which makes him the highest goal scorer in this list. He has won FIFA World Cup trophy thrice along with numerous individual awards and accolades for his outstanding performance.

2. Fernando Torres

Spanish footballer Fernando Torres has 12 career hat tricks to his name which makes him stand second on this list after Brazilian player ‘Pele’. He plays for Atletico Madrid in La Liga and Spain national team.

3. Lionel Messi

Argentine player ‘Lionel Messi’ has scored 10 hat tricks (so far) in his career which makes him stand third on our list of top hat trick scorers. His recent 4 goals against Bayer Leverkusen during the group stages of 2015/16 UEFA Champions League was his 12th career hat trick. He plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and Argentina National Team.

4. Zico

Brazilian footballer Arthur Antunes Coimbra popularly known as ‘Zico’ scored a total number of 9 hat tricks in his footballing career so far making him fourth in this list of highest goal scorers in a single match with most consecutive goals.

He played for Brazil national team and is considered to be one of the most talented Brazilian footballers in history.

5. Miroslav Klose

German player Miroslav Josef Klose whose full name is Miroslav Josef Klose has scored 7 hat tricks in his entire career so far which makes him stand fifth on this list. He plays for German club ‘Lazio’ and also serves as a member of National Team representing Germany in FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro Cup along with several other international tournaments held by FIFA through his long career span from 2001-16.

6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s current club is LA Galaxy but he has scored 6 hat tricks so far during his footballing career which makes him sixth on our list of highest goal scorers in a single match. He started his international journey with National Team Sweden back in 2001 and has played for several clubs throughout Europe.

7. Andriy Shevchenko

Ukrainian footballer Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko has scored 5 hat tricks (so far) in his entire career which makes him stand seventh on this list. He plays for National Football Club ‘Phoenix’ along with Ukraine national team where he made debut in professional football league back in 1994 at the age of 17.

8. Alessandro Del Piero

Italian footballer Alessandro “Alex” Del Piero is another player with 5 hat tricks to his name which places him at number eight on this list of highest goal scorers. He played for several clubs throughout his career spanning from 1993-2013 and has scored 14 music (i.e. four goals followed by another four) in FIFA World Cup 1998 which is the record till date for most consecutive 4 or more goals in a single match in FIFA World Cup history.

9. James Rodriguez

Colombian footballer James Rodriguez’s current club is Bayern Munich but he has played for Spanish club Real Madrid before joining Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich making him stand ninth on our list of highest goal scorers with 5 hat tricks to his name so far. He represented Colombia national team in 2014 FIFA WC held in Brazil and also played in 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA WC.

10. Neymar

Brazilian footballer Neymar da Silva Santos Junior is our last entry on this list of top 10 hat trick scorers with 5 hat tricks scored so far during his footballing career which makes him stand tenth on this list. He plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and Brazil national team as a forward.

Teams With Highest Number of Hat Trick in Soccer

Many teams have made name for themselves because of their enormous contributions in this field. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  1. Manchester United have won many trophies in tournaments like Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, etc. They have scored a total number of 50 hat trick till date which makes them stand at number one on the list.
  2. Liverpool F.C ranks second on this list but Manchester United still beats their success rate being top-notch team operating successfully for more than 130 years (founded in 1892).
  3. Italian Club AS Roma has not yet won the FIFA WC or UEFA Champions League but they have scored a total number of 43 hat tricks so far in their ongoing footballing career.

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