What is a hat trick in football?

24 January 2024 5 minutes

Let’s dive into the world of hat tricks, where scoring three goals in a single match takes you from player to legend in the blink of an eye. Have you ever wondered where the phrase comes from? Well, you are in luck! In this article, we will look at the origins as well as some key moments throughout history!

What is a hat trick in football?

A hat trick in football refers to a player scoring three goals in a single match. While scoring one or two goals is undoubtedly impressive, the magic of a hat trick lies in the rarity and difficulty of accomplishing such a feat within the confines of a single game. To put it into perspective there have been over 4,000 footballers who have played in the Premier League with over 12,000 matches. At this time only 70 players have achieved this, and only 1.75% of players! (These stats were correct at the time of writing, please note they might vary over time)

Why is a hat trick called this in football?

Dad jokes inbound alert!

A Hat Trick isn’t when a player pulls a rabbit out of a hat like a magician. Haha… alright I’ll stop.

The term “hat trick” has its roots in cricket, where it originally signified a bowler taking three wickets in three consecutive deliveries. The cricketing team would then give the bowler a hat to commemorate the special moment.

The concept was later adopted by the world of football, and the first recorded use of the term in a football context dates back to the 19th century.

What is a perfect Hat Trick?

As if scoring three goals in a game isn’t impressive enough some players have taken it that step further by scoring a ‘perfect hat trick’. A perfect hat trick involves a player scoring three goals in a game with one goal using their left foot, one with their right foot, and one with a header.

What are the most iconic Hat Tricks throughout history?

  1. Geoff Hurst (1966 World Cup Final): In the most significant match of his career, Geoff Hurst scored a hat trick in the 1966 World Cup Final, leading England to a 4-2 victory over West Germany.
  2. Lionel Messi (vs. Real Madrid, 2014): Messi’s hat trick against arch-rivals Real Madrid in 2014 showcased his individual brilliance and cemented his status as one of the greatest players of all time.
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo (vs. Atletico Madrid, 2017): Ronaldo’s stunning hat trick in the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid was a testament to his clutch performances on the grandest stages.

Modern-Day Hat Trick Masters

As football moves throughout time, new names join the ranks of hat trick heroes. Current Icons such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappé, and Erling Haaland are all on the list. However, none of the above are as impressive as James Hayter who scored an EFL hat trick in 2 minutes 22 seconds during his time at Bournemouth in 2004.

A hat trick can make a player a club or national hero. It can revive someone’s career from the depth of despair and change fans’ opinions of a player. The effect this can have on the elusive few who achieve such a feat is indescribable. Let’s wait and see who is next to be added to this special list.

In conclusion, a hat trick in football is more than just three goals on a score sheet; it’s a symbol of a player’s brilliance and the magic they bring to the game. From its historical origins to the various types and legendary performances, the hat trick remains an enduring symbol of excellence in the world of football. As fans, we continue to marvel at the skill and artistry of those who can conjure this football magic, leaving an indelible mark on the sport we hold dear.