what is a hat trick in soccer

What Is a Hat Trick in Soccer? Everything You Need to Know

Anyone who knows a thing or two about soccer has likely heard of the term "hat trick." When a hat trick appears for the first time, it can be confusing. 

Scoring goals is the primary goal of any striker in a game but is considered an accomplishment to achieve a hat trick. 

What Is a Hat Trick in Soccer? 

A hat trick is when a player achieves 3 goals in soccer for their team all in the same match. 

While it is exciting for a player to achieve that many goals for their team during their game, there needs to be clarity as to why scoring those goals is referred to as a hat trick. It is believed that the term “hat trick” originated in cricket

soccer score

Why Is It Called a Hat Trick in Soccer?

The term first was used in the 19th century when an English cricket player, H.H. Stephenson, took three wickets consecutively throughout a game between his England team and Hallam, creating the first hat trick.

After the game, there was a collection where money was placed into a hat and awarded to Stephenson.

In a soccer hat trick, the goals do not need to be scored as consecutive deliveries. They can be scored at any point throughout the game, including in regulation or stoppage time.

When soccer players get a hat trick, they are awarded the match ball to symbolize their feat. 

What Is the Perfect Hat Trick?

While all hat tricks are impressive, some are considered better than others.

The traditional view of a hat trick in soccer defines that a perfect hat trick is achieved by scoring a goal on the soccer field with your left foot, one goal with your right foot, and another goal using the head (known as a header). 

The perfect hat trick is even rarer than a typical one, mainly because you must use both feet and your head. When a player knows how to properly kick a soccer ball and grabs the perfect hat trick, it must be such a feeling of great success. 

Soccer Players Who Have Achieved the Most Hat Tricks

Scoring hat tricks requires immense skill, which is why it isn’t surprising that some of the most well-known soccer players have scored some of the best hat tricks. 

These players have likely scored hat tricks because they spend as much time as possible practicing finishing and conditioning drills. Only some players are capable of achieving a hat trick. Only players with intense instincts have been able to succeed.


Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé) - 92 Hat Tricks

While his full name was Edson Aranted do Nascimento, he was better known as Pele. The Guinness Book of World Records establishes Pele as the soccer player with the most hat tricks and world cup hat tricks in soccer. 

He has grabbed 92 hat tricks in total throughout his entire soccer career as a Brazilian striker. He is regarded as one of the best soccer players of all time, winning three World Cups in Brazil in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

Cristiano Ronaldo - 60 Hat Tricks

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most well-known professional soccer players in modern society and is a top scorer in leagues in Spain, Italy, and England. Ronaldo, a forward, has an impressive 60 hat tricks throughout his career, and the most recent hat trick came in the 20201/2022 season for Manchester United. 

Lionel Messi - 56 Hat Tricks

This professional soccer player from Argentina, Lionel Messi, is one of the greatest soccer players of today’s generation known by soccer fans. Messi won the championships three times in 2009, 2011, and 2015. 

He spent most of his professional soccer career scoring 26 hat tricks for Barcelona and the remaining hat tricks for the Argentina National Team and French Club PSG.

Robert Lewandowski - 30 Hat Tricks

Robert Lewandowski is a Polish striker who plays for La Liga club Barcelona. He is one of the best goal scorers in the world, as he has scored over 500 goals for his club and country. He has scored 30 hat tricks throughout his professional soccer career.

Luis Suarez - 30 Hat Tricks

Luis Suarez is a well-known striker for the Uruguayan national soccer team and has received the honor or Premier League player of the year in 2013 and 2014. He, unfortunately, became popular for the wrong reasons, such as biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer match.

While he does not have the best sportsmanship record, he is still one of the best strikers worldwide and has achieved 30 hat tricks.

hat trick

The Fastest Hat Trick in Soccer

The player to score the fastest hat tricks in soccer is Tommy Ross, a Scottish professional soccer player playing with teams such as Wigan Athletic, Peterborough United, and York City. 

In November 1964, he scored the quickest hat trick in soccer in only 90 seconds. He is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for this accomplishment.


What is a super hat trick in soccer?

A super hat trick in soccer is when a player achieves four goals in a single soccer game.

Like a traditional hat trick, these goals do not need to be achieved sequentially, but goals made during a penalty shootout are not counted. It is counted if the goal comes from a penalty kick or is made during extra time.

What is a double hat trick in soccer?

A double hat trick is when a player scores six or more goals in a single game. A double hat trick is very rare, as it has only been achieved by four players.

The soccer players who have accomplished a double hat trick are Andy Scott, Syd Carter, Johnnie Mullington, and Albert Valentine.

Is there a prize for a hat trick?

While there is not an official prize for accomplishing a hat trick in soccer, it is traditional for the player who scored the hat trick to keep the ball used in the game. The ball is considered the memento for achieving the hat trick.

What Other Sports Have Hat Tricks?

Some other sports with hat tricks include:

  • Field hockey
  • Ice hockey
  • Cricket
  • Baseball 
  • Lacrosse
  • Motor racing
  • Rugby football
  • Water polo

Final Thoughts

Achieving a hat trick in soccer might seem unachievable, but anything is possible with the proper practice and determination. To practice and enhance your soccer skills, you can practice your shooting skills using a training goal, rebounder, and backstop. 

The Open Goaaal 3-in-1 Trainer includes all of these features to help you get better at soccer faster and more efficiently. Try the Open Goaaal 3-in-1 Trainer today!

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