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What is a Hat Trick in Soccer?

One of the most magical things to witness during a soccer match is a hat trick.

A hat trick in soccer is a term used for when a single player scores three goals in a single game. Any goal scored during a game counts toward a hat trick except for goals scored during penalty shootouts. It is one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish in the world of soccer.

Continue reading to gain a better understanding of hat tricks in soccer along with learning qualities and training drills that will improve a player’s chance of scoring more goals. Additionally, you will discover which top players hold the record for the most hat tricks scored.

History of the word hat trick in soccer

The term originated from the sport of British Cricket. Every time a bowler would retire three batsmen with three consecutive balls, he would be entitled to a new hat at the expense of the club. Eventually, the term was applied to a single player who scored three goals in one match.

How to score a hat trick in soccer

To score a hat trick a player must make three goals in a single game. Scoring just a single goal during a match is difficult therefore it is easy to understand why it is so hard to obtain a hat trick.

Normally attacking midfielders and forwards are players that have a better chance of scoring a hat trick due to their positions on the field during a match. Both positions are responsible for applying pressure to the opposing defense while looking to exploit defensive weaknesses which usually leads to goal-scoring opportunities.

Qualities that increase Hat trick scoring chances

  • Spatial awareness
  • Great shooter with both feet
  • Anticipation skills
  • Amazing dribbling skills
  • Elite level first touch
  • 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 what separates good and elite players is consistent high-level training. 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.

What is a Perfect Hat Trick?

As if registering a hat trick was not hard enough, performing a perfect hat trick is almost impossible. A perfect hat trick is achieved when a player scores a goal with their left foot, a goal with their right foot, and a goal in the form of a header all in the same game. Therefore, it is how you score the goals that determine whether it is a normal hat trick or a perfect hat trick.

How to Obtain a Double Hat Trick?

Achieving a double hat trick requires a player to score a total of 6 goals in one game. It is a very rare feat. For example, in the history of the premier league, it has only been achieved 4 times. Although scoring a double hat trick requires a high level of skill, ability, talent, and anticipation; a great degree of defensive collapse from the opposing team needs to be present.

All-Time Most Hat Tricks Ever

The player to have registered the most hat tricks ever is the Brazilian soccer superstar Pele. He has gone into the history book as one of the greatest players to have played the game. In his career, he registered a total of 92 Hat Tricks.

All-Time Most Hat Tricks in UEFA Champions League

The title of the all-time most hat tricks in the UEFA Champions League is shared between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with a total of 8 career hat tricks. Messi secured all of his hat tricks while playing for his former club FC Barcelona. Ronaldo achieved 7 hat tricks during his time at Real Madrid CF and his 8th while at Juventus FC.

Fastest Hat Trick Ever in UEFA Champions League

The fastest hat trick ever recorded only took 6 minutes and 12 seconds and was earned by Mohamed Salah on 10/12/2022. Salah came off the bench and scored his three goals in the 74th, 79th, and 80th minute of the game.

In Summary

A hat trick in the game of soccer is when a player scores three goals in a single match. The term originates from the sport of British soccer. It is very difficult to achieve which is why it is highly celebrated. Attacking mid-fielders and forwards are usually the positions that score hat tricks due to their proximity to the scoring area.