soccer brace

What Is a Brace in Soccer?

When you hear Lionel Messi scoring a brace in the FIFA World Cup Final, it might sound confusing. 

The answer to the question “ what is a brace in soccer” is not what you expect. In soccer, it has something to do with goal-scoring. The term brace indicates one player scoring two goals in a soccer game.

Why is this so?

In this article, we will discuss the soccer brace meaning in detail to clear up all confusion.

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Why is it Called a Soccer Brace? 

The term brace is not used in its common context in a soccer game. It does not indicate some kind of support for a body part or getting ready for a situation. 

Here the term is used to mean a “pair” or a “duo”. Since this definition of the word is used in the old English language, most people do not associate the term “brace” with this meaning

So, when one player scores a couple of goals in a single game, it is called a brace. Considering that the average number of goals scored per match in a World Cup is less than 3, scoring two goals is an impressive feat.

Any player, including the goalkeeper, can score a brace in soccer.

However, the scorer should beat the goalie twice within the official time limit and before the penalty shootout. 

Goals scored during the shootout are not added to the individual tally of the player. In other words, the pair of goals should be scored before the referee blows the final whistle.

brace in soccer

Where Does the Word Brace Come From?

Once you have understood “what is a brace in soccer “, you might be curious about the origins of the term.

The first use of this form of the English word “brace” can be traced back to the Anglo-French language form used in Middle England around the 14th Century.  

This often meant 'two arms’ or a “pair of arms” and is related to the Latin term bracchia- plural of bracchium or “arm”. It is also associated with the old French word bracier, meaning “embrace”.

Fair enough, but how did the term find its way into soccer?

During this period, the term was also related to hunters who were able to kill two pheasants or rabbits in a day. In the 19th century, the term started being used for soccer players who scored two goals. So something like a “brace of birds” got transformed into a “brace of goals”.

As soccer spread out from England, the term became a part of soccer jargon. Even though the word is no longer used in this context, its use has stuck with the game of soccer. The term is also used frequently by British commentators for various tournaments including the Premier League and Champions League.

What Is the Prize for a Brace in Soccer?

There are no specific medals or awards for a player who scores a brace in a soccer match. The performance of the scorer is a cause worthy of celebration.

Is a Brace Similar to a Hat Trick?

Similarly, when a player scores three goals in a single match, it is a hat trick. However, the origin of the term comes from the game of cricket.

In cricket, a hat trick happens when a bowler takes three wickets in three consecutive deliveries. Some records mention that in 1858, a bowler who performed this feat was gifted with a hat.

Do Both Goals Have to Occur Back to Back?

Note, the goals do not need to be scored consecutively in the game for scoring a brace. A single player can score the first and fourth goals for their team and still register a brace. 

Who Has Accomplished the Most Amount of Braces in History?

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have scored the maximum number of braces among soccer players in the 21st century.

There are no official records of the exact numbers but as per some reports, each of them has scored 205 braces. Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is in the third position with 135 braces.

Among the soccer legends, Diego Maradona scored three World Cup braces, while Pele scored two.


Can a soccer player score more than one brace during a soccer match?

There are no limits to the number of braces a player can score in soccer. But there are specific terms for each goal scored by a single player beyond a hat trick. However, it is a rare feat for a player to score beyond a hat trick.

What are four goals called in soccer?

When a player scores four goals it is called a “haul”. The term used for five goals is “glut” and six goals are termed a “double hat trick”.

What are three goals called in soccer?

Hat trick is the term used when a player scores three goals in a game.

Final Thoughts

Hope that answers the query “what is a brace in soccer “. 

To score a brace soccer players have to ensure their best performance. And elite players know that the key to that level of performance is practice.

If you want to get better at soccer quickly, it is important to remain focused on the practice. For that, the Open Goaaal 3-in-1 Soccer Trainer and Rebounder is an excellent tool you can use during backyard training sessions.

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