Hat Trick Soccer Explained: Laws of the Game

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

What is a hat trick in soccer? When it comes to a hat trick in the beautiful game, few achievements in the sport are as exciting and memorable. A hat trick is one of the most common soccer terms that you will hear and it refers to when a player scores three goals in one game.

In this blog, I will explain everything you need to know about a basic soccer term, the hat trick.

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What is a hat trick in soccer?

In a soccer game, the term “hat trick” refers to scoring three goals in the same game and it is one of most outstanding feats that a player can perform. If the soccer match is played over two legs with an aggregate score, the three goals must be scored in the same game to be considered a hat trick.

If a player scores one or two goals, that is not enough for a hat trick, and if the player scores four goals that counts as a haul, not a hat trick. The goals can be scored at any point in the soccer game including regulation time, injury time, and extra time.

The three goals can also come from open play or through set pieces such as corner kicks, free kicks, or penalty kicks. However, if the game goes into a penalty shootout, a goal from that shootout does not count towards the brace.

Usually, a player who scores a hat trick is worthy enough to be man of the match and take the match ball home.

Where does the English Term Hat Trick Come From?

Did you know that the term “hat trick” originated from cricket? In cricket, if a bowler took three wickets in consecutive deliveries, it was considered an extraordinary achievement worthy of recognition. To celebrate this feat, spectators would pass around a hat to collect money as a token of appreciation for the player.

The tradition eventually entered other sports like rugby, ice hockey, and water polo before becoming popularized in soccer.

Variations of Hat Tricks in Soccer

In soccer, a player achieves a hat trick whenever they score three goals in one match and there are different types of hat tricks.

Normal Hat Trick

A normal hat trick happens whenever a player scores three goals in one match.

Flawless Hat Trick

Scoring three consecutive deliveries without any other player scoring

Perfect Hat trick

A perfect hat trick, also known as a golden hat trick, happens when a player scores three goals, one with the head, and one with each foot, one with the right foot and one with the left foot.

Double Hat Trick

A double hat trick happens when the same player scores six goals in one game.

Triple hat trick

This is very rare, but a triple hat trick happens when a player scores 9 goals in one game. This was achieved by the one and only Erling Haaland during the FIFA U20 World cup.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who scored the first hat trick in soccer history?

John McDougall scored the first hat trick in history during an international game for Scotland during a 7-2 win against England in 1878.

Who has the most hat tricks in soccer history?

Cristiano Ronaldo is the player who has scored the most hat tricks in history followed by Messi, Lewandowski, Suarez, and Harry Kane.

Who has the most hat tricks in Champions League History?

Lionel Messi is the player who has scored the most hat tricks in history. His Portuguese rival, Cristiano Ronaldo is the player with the most Champions league hat tricks.

Who has the most hat tricks in Premier League History?

Serigo Aguero has the record for most hat tricks in Premier League history with 12 to his name.

Who has the most world cup hat tricks?

Four players are tied for scoring the most hat tricks in history with 2 each. Sando Kocsis, Just Fontaine, Gerd Muller, and Gabriel Batistuta.

Who has the record for the fastest hat trick?

Sadio Mane has the record for the fastest hat trick, or quickest hat trick, and it took him only 2 minutes and 56 seconds.

Why is it called a hat trick?

A hat trick occurs when a player scores three goals in a single match. The term hat trick comes from cricket in which a hat would be passed around to collect money for a player who had an amazing performance by scoring three wickets in a row in the same match.

Conclusion

In conclusion, scoring a hat trick in soccer is one of the most outstanding feats for any player and a hat trick happens when a player scores three goals in one game. There are different types of hat tricks and there have been some amazing hat trick records set throughout the years.

In this blog, I explained everything you need to know about the hat trick in soccer, from what it is, to its origins, as well as its variations.

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