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What Is a Brace in Soccer?

Ever wonder why the word brace is associated with the sport of soccer?

A brace in soccer is said when a player scores two goals in one game. The word brace originates from old English and was associated with hunting. It ultimately carried over to the game of soccer and is still used to date.

Continue reading to better understand braces in soccer and learn qualities and training drills that will improve a player’s chance of scoring more braces. Additionally, you will discover which top players hold the record for most braces scored.

Origins of the Word Brace

The use of the word brace in hunting began as early as the 14th century and has Old English roots. When a pair of a certain animal was caught during a hunt, it was said that a brace was scored. The word brace in its plural form becomes a synonym of the word pair. It mainly applied to bird hunting although it could also be applied to other forms of animal hunting. A common way of using the word in a sentence is “I caught a brace of quail”.

History of the Word Brace in Soccer

Due to the word brace having Old English roots it was first introduced to soccer by English commentators and fans in the late 19th century. The phrase “scoring a brace of goals” became a popular term to use during soccer games. The word is still used to date and is considered a normal soccer term.

How to Score a Brace in Soccer

As previously stated, to score a brace a player must make two goals in a single game. It is well understood that scoring just a single goal during a soccer match is difficult. Therefore, attempting to score a brace during a match has a higher degree of difficulty.

Usually forwards and attacking midfielders are players that have higher chances of scoring braces due to their positions on the field during a match. Both positions are tasked with applying pressure to the opposing defense while looking to exploit defensive weaknesses which usually lead to goal-scoring opportunities.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace while playing with the Portuguese National Team

Qualities That Increase Brace Scoring Chances

  • Great shooter with both feet
  • Anticipation skills
  • Spatial awareness
  • Elite level first touch
  • Amazing dribbling skills
  • Ability to accurately head a soccer ball

Training That Helps With Scoring More Goals

Ultimately, you can be the most talented player on your team, but consistent high-level training separates good and elite players. The best training that will improve your ability to score more goals is practicing finishing drills. Dedicating a great amount of time and energy to finishing drills will surely increase the chances of scoring more goals, braces, hat tricks, or more during each and every game.

All Time Most Braces in UEFA Champions League

Here is a list of the top 10 players who hold the record for All-Time braces scored in all UEFA Champions League competitions.

Player NameBraces
Cristiano Ronaldo 38
Lionel Messi 34
Robert Lewandowski20
Karim Benzema17
Raul Gonzalez Blanco14
Filippo Inzaghi12
Ruud Van Nistelrooy11
Thierry Henry10
Sergio Aguero9

In Summary

The word brace in soccer is used to describe the scoring of two goals during a single game by the same player. The origins of the word stem from old English and were used to describe when a hunter caught a pair of a certain animal but was most commonly used when bird hunting.

The term “scoring a brace of goals” in soccer was first introduced by English commentators and fans during soccer matches in the late 19th century when a player would score two goals in a single match. The phrase became extremely popular and is still used to date as a common soccer term. It is extremely difficult to score a brace in soccer yet some elite-level players routinely register braces that prove their level of talent.

Some of the qualities that a player must possess to score a brace are shooting the ball with both feet, anticipation and dribbling skills, amazing first touch and accurate soccer ball heading, and spatial awareness. The best training that helps with scoring more goals during soccer matches is finishing drills.

Due to these necessary qualities, the positions that most commonly have the best chances to score a brace are forwards and attacking midfielders. In the UEFA Champions League, the player that has registered the most braces all-time in all competitions with a total of 38 is Cristiano Ronaldo.

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