The Ultimate Guide to Hat Trick in Soccer: History, Records, and Legendary Players

Brice Petersen

Hat Trick in Soccer

Anyone who knows a thing or two about soccer has likely heard of the term “hat trick.” Scoring three goals in a single match is a thrilling achievement for any player and a moment of pure exhilaration for fans. But why is this feat called a hat trick?

The term actually originated in cricket during the 19th century when a player took three wickets in consecutive deliveries.

In soccer, achieving a hat trick is no small feat and can be a game-changer. The fastest hat trick on record belongs to Tommy Ross, who scored three goals in just 90 seconds in 1964.

Understanding the significance of a hat trick adds a layer of appreciation for the skill and timing required to achieve it.

Whether it’s a traditional hat trick, a super hat trick with four goals, or the incredibly rare double hat trick of six or more goals, these milestones highlight the exceptional talent and precision of the players.

What Is a Hat Trick in Soccer?

A hat trick in soccer occurs when a player scores three goals in a single match. This feat is highly celebrated and showcases tremendous skill and precision.

The Origin of the Term “Hat Trick”

The term “hat trick” originated not in soccer but in cricket. In 1858, cricket player H.H. Stephenson took three wickets on three consecutive balls, a rare event.

To honor this achievement, a collection was taken up, and Stephenson was presented with a hat bought with the proceeds. Over time, the term crossed into other sports, including soccer, where it now signifies the significant achievement of scoring three goals in one game.

Variations of Hat Tricks in Soccer

Hat tricks in soccer have several variations:

  • Super Hat Trick: When a player scores four goals in a single match. These goals can include those scored during extra time or from a penalty kick, but not during a penalty shootout.
  • Perfect Hat Trick: Involves scoring one goal with the left foot, one with the right foot, and one with a header. This demonstrates exceptional versatility.
  • Double Hat Trick: Extremely rare and involves scoring six or more goals in one match. Only four players in soccer history, including Andy Scott and Syd Carter, have achieved this.

Tommy Ross holds the record for the fastest hat trick in soccer, scoring three goals in just 90 seconds in 1964. His achievement highlights the speed and talent required for such feats.

In soccer, achieving any variation of a hat trick is considered a remarkable accomplishment, signaling the player’s exceptional offensive skills.

Soccer Players Who Have Achieved the Most Hat Tricks

Scoring a hat trick in soccer is a remarkable achievement, demonstrating a player’s talent and precision. Among the elite players, some have consistently showcased their exceptional abilities by scoring numerous hat tricks throughout their careers.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé) – 92 Hat Tricks

Pelé, widely considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time, scored an astonishing 92 hat tricks during his career. His unmatched skill and scoring ability allowed him to dominate the field, often outplaying defenders with ease.

Pelé’s legacy as a prolific goal scorer remains unparalleled in soccer history.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 60 Hat Tricks

Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the modern era’s most celebrated players, has scored 60 hat tricks. Known for his versatility, speed, and powerful shots, Ronaldo has consistently delivered stellar performances for both club and country.

His achievements include breaking numerous records and demonstrating remarkable consistency.

Lionel Messi – 56 Hat Tricks

Lionel Messi, another soccer icon, has scored 56 hat tricks. Renowned for his dribbling skills, vision, and precise finishing, Messi has captivated fans worldwide.

His hat tricks often come in crucial matches, showcasing his ability to perform under pressure and contribute significantly to his team’s success.

Robert Lewandowski – 30 Hat Tricks

Robert Lewandowski, one of the top strikers in modern soccer, has scored 30 hat tricks. Playing primarily for Bayern Munich, Lewandowski has demonstrated an impressive knack for finding the back of the net.

His positioning, aerial ability, and composure in front of goal have made him one of the most lethal forwards in soccer.

Luis Suarez – 30 Hat Tricks

Luis Suarez, known for his tenacity and clinical finishing, has also scored 30 hat tricks. Suarez’s career includes successful stints at clubs like Liverpool and Barcelona, where he consistently terrorized defenses with his sharp instincts and technical prowess.

His ability to score from various positions and situations has cemented his status as a premier goal scorer.

The Perfect Hat Steve Gordon

A perfect hat trick in soccer includes scoring three goals in a single match with one’s left foot, right foot, and head. This rare accomplishment highlights the player’s versatility, skill, and precision.

Defining the Perfect Hat Trick

A perfect hat trick consists of scoring three goals in one match, each using different parts of the body: left foot, right foot, and head. These three distinct goals emphasize a player’s all-around ability and adaptability on the field.

Memorable Perfect Hat Tricks in Matches

Several players have delivered perfect hat tricks that captivated audiences. For instance, David Beckham’s precise left-footed strikes, powerful right-footed shots, and clinical headers made his performances unforgettable.

Similarly, Cristiano Ronaldo’s perfect hat trick against Sevilla in 2011 showcased his incredible range of skills. These matches serve as prime examples of what it truly means to achieve a perfect hat trick in soccer.

Records and Statistics

Hat tricks in soccer provide an exciting measure of a player’s skill and finesse. Records and statistics not only highlight individual achievements but also illustrate the evolution of the game.

Players with the Most Hat Tricks

Erwin Helmchen holds the record for the most career hat tricks, an incredible feat in soccer history. Modern legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi also dominate the list with numerous hat tricks, showcasing their consistent excellence.

Ronaldo boasts 60 hat tricks, while Messi follows closely with 55. These records provide a benchmark for future generations aiming to reach similar heights.

Fastest Hat Tricks Recorded

Speed in achieving a hat trick adds an extra layer of astonishment. Tommy Ross holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest hat trick, set in November 1964.

Playing for Ross County, he scored three goals in just 90 seconds. This record remains unmatched and sets a high bar for players worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hat tricks does Ronaldo have?

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 60 hat tricks in his career. This tally includes both his club and international performances, making him one of the top hat trick scorers in soccer history.

Who holds the record for the most career hat tricks?

Erwin Helmchen holds the record for the most career hat tricks. While the exact number is debated, it’s generally believed that he scored over 141 hat tricks during his career.

What is a Perfect Hat Trick?

A Perfect Hat Trick is when a player scores three goals in a single game using their left foot, right foot, and head. This demonstrates a player’s versatility and skill in scoring.

Who scored the fastest hat trick ever?

Tommy Ross holds the record for the fastest hat trick, scoring three goals in just 90 seconds during a 1964 match. This impressive record still stands today.

Has Messi scored a Perfect Hat Trick?

Lionel Messi has not scored a Perfect Hat Trick. Despite his prolific scoring ability, a Perfect Hat Trick involves scoring one goal with each foot and one with the head, which he has not achieved in a single match.


Achieving a hat trick in soccer is a testament to a player’s exceptional skill and versatility. From historical milestones to modern legends, hat tricks continue to captivate fans and elevate the sport’s excitement.

Whether it’s a record-breaking feat like Tommy Ross’s fastest hat trick or the consistent brilliance of players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, these moments are etched in soccer history.

The pursuit of hat tricks pushes players to new heights, inspiring future generations to strive for greatness on the field.

Moreover, in competitive leagues and international tournaments, a hat trick can single-handedly change the outcome of crucial matches. Coaches and analysts often review these performances to develop strategies and improve team dynamics.

Ultimately, the fascination with hat tricks lies in their rarity and the sheer talent required, creating unforgettable highlights that resonate throughout soccer communities worldwide.

Photo of author

Brice Petersen

As a former player turned coach, my enthusiasm, structure, creativity, and appetite for success drive me to excel. I prioritize excellent communication and management skills, engaging with players of all ages and abilities to build their confidence and empower them both on and off the field. I aim to develop well-rounded individuals and adapt to football's evolving nature. Passionate about continuous learning and problem-solving, I believe every day offers valuable lessons to enhance the game and its players.

Leave a Comment