What is a Hat-Trick in Soccer? How To Score One and Win

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If you’re new to the game, you might be wondering what is a hat-trick in soccer. In short, a hat-trick is when a player scores three goals in a single game.

It’s not easy to do! While it’s an impressive feat no matter who you are, hat-tricks are relatively rare occurrences in the world of professional soccer.

Here’s everything you need to know about hat-tricks and some top tips on how to score one in your next game!

What is a hat-trick in soccer?

A hat trick in soccer or soccer is when a player scores three goals in a single game.

It’s an impressive feat, and one that any soccer player worth their salt is striving for.

Scoring a hat trick in soccer isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, it’s quite difficult. Only the best of the best players in the world are able to accomplish this fete on a regular basis!

Why do they call it a hat-trick?

There are a few different origins of the term “hat trick.” One theory is that it dates back to the 1850s, when rugby players would be awarded a new hat if they scored three tries in a game.

Another possibility is that it comes from cricket, where bowlers who took three wickets in three consecutive deliveries were said to have performed a “hat-trick.” 

Whatever its origins, the term “hat trick” has become firmly entrenched in soccer culture.

Scoring a hat trick is considered a major accomplishment – we call them hat-trick heroes here at Kit Queen!!

How does a hat trick happen? 

In order for a player to earn a hat trick, they must score three goals within the same game.

This doesn’t have to be three goals in succession or one goal in each half of the game or anything like that. It’s just three goals by the same player over the entire match.

Hat-tricks are relatively rare compared to other plays such as assists or passes, so when one happens it’s considered to be cause for a big celebration!

The hat-trick hero also gets to keep the match ball as a memento of their achievement too.

What are 4 goals in soccer called?

A haul is a term used to describe the four goals scored in a soccer game. 

It’s a pretty big deal, and if you’re lucky enough to witness one live, or score one yourself, it’s an experience you’ll never forget!

what is a hat-trick in soccer Nicknames for number of goals scored infographic

2 goals = Brace.

3 goals = Hat-trick.

4 goals = Haul.

5 goals = Glut.

6 goals = Double hat-trick.

7 goals = Haul-trick.

What is a golden hat-trick in soccer?

A golden hat-trick in soccer is when a player scores with their left foot, their right foot, and their head!

This is considered a “perfect” or “golden” hat trick because it is very difficult to score all three ways in one game. We’ve never seen or done it!

Scoring with the left foot, the right foot, and the head shows a great deal of skill and coordination.

A golden hat-trick is a rare feat and is very impressive.

How to score a hat trick – top tips!

Scoring a hat trick in soccer is no easy feat. It takes skill, talent, and a whole lot of luck. But if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a hat trick scoring machine!

Focus on your shooting.

This may seem like an obvious bit of advice, but it’s important nonetheless.

If you’re not confident in your shooting ability, you’re not going to score many goals – let alone three in one game.

So, spend some time working on your shot. Make sure you have good technique, the right footwear and that you’re able to get power behind the ball. 

Visualise yourself scoring and the ball hitting the back of the net, that always helps us!

Be aware of where the goalkeeper is at all times.

It’s important to know where the goalkeeper is positioned so that you can take them by surprise with a well-placed shot. 

Aim for the corners of the goal where the goalie will have more trouble reaching.

Always be on the lookout for opportunities to score.

This means being aware of both the position of the ball and your teammates at all times. If you see an opportunity to score, take it! 

Watch and learn: How to do soccer hat tricks.

Here’s a great video that shows you a few key skills you can practise to increase your chances of scoring a hat-trick!

What’s the record for most hat tricks in a career? 

Men’s hat-trick records.

According to Guinness World Records Brazilian star Pelé has scored the most hat-tricks in history, ever.

The active player with the most hat tricks in their career (so far!) is Lionel Messi, with a staggering 36 hat tricks to his name.

Cristiano Ronaldo is in second place with 34 hat tricks, followed by Neymar with 28.

As we write, Erling Haaland is at Manchester City smashing records with an incredible 17 goals in his first 11 games!

That’s an incredible achievement, and it’s one that’s unlikely to be beaten anytime soon.

Women’s hat-trick records.

The record for the most international hat-tricks by a U.S. women’s national team player is 10, by formidable forward Mia Hamm who retired from the national team in 2004 with 158 goals in international competition.

She scored three goals in an international match eight times, along with an amazing two, four-goal games!

In Europe, there have been six UEFA European Women’s Championship hat-tricks so far, with France’s defensive midfielder Grace Geyoro and England’s forward Beth Mead joining the exclusive club in 2022.

Famous hat-tricks in history 

While there have been many impressive hat-tricks throughout soccer history, some stand out more than others.

In 1971, for instance, England’s Geoff Hurst became only the second player ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final when he netted three goals against West Germany.

His performance helped lead England to victory and earned him a place in sporting legend. 

Another well-known example comes from Brazilian star Pelé who was just 17 years old when he scored his first professional hat-trick back in 1958.

To this day, he is still widely regarded as one of—if not the—greatest soccer players of all time. 

Not to be outdone by either Messi or Pelé, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for most career hat-tricks with an astonishing 34 to his name.

And at 37 years old, he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon!

The final score.

So there you have it! That’s everything you need to know about hat tricks in soccer. Stay tuned for more informative articles like this one, and happy scoring!

This article was written by

  • Anna Adams, Creative Director & Content Lead

    Hi there! I'm Anna Adams, your go-to source for all things women's soccer. I've been crazy about soccer for over 20 years, ever since I was kicking a ball around with my brothers as a kid. I've turned my passion into a career where I get to share all the cool stuff about soccer with you. As a content lead, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with various sports brands and publications. Whether it's the latest gear, pro tips, or just some cool soccer trivia, I'm all about making soccer ac...