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Football Fans Love The Hat Trick

May 31, 2008
As with any sport, soccer or football in the U.K has its elusive accomplishments that make individual players stand out from the average. The hat trick is an especially difficult standout performance and will definitely gain the successful performer a place in the record books.

Specifically the hat trick refers to scoring three goals in one game. The term originated in the game of cricket with the awarding of a hat to a bowler who managed to take three wickets. It has been utilized in soccer with several variations on the theme. While the normal hat trick designation is awarded for any player that makes three goals, it is considered a "flawless" hat trick if all three goals are scored in a single period of play and no other player has scored between them.

The "golden" or "perfect" hat trick takes a little more effort and expertise. To be awarded with the designation of "perfect" the three goals must be accomplished by making one goal with each foot and one from off the head of the player. While hats are not given in soccer it has become traditional for the game ball to be presented to the player that can successfully complete this maneuver. It should be noted that penalty shots are not counted towards the successful completion of a hat trick.

To date, the fastest hat trick was performed in 1964 at Victoria Park in Dingwall. In a fast paced game against Nairn County, Tommy Ross of the Ross County Football Conference succeeded in making three goals in a ninety second time period. Each league and conference maintains its own records of the hat trick as it is such an outstanding play accomplishment. In Premiership play, for instance, Robbie Fowler of Liverpool took only four and a half minutes to make their hat trick record against Arsenal in a 1994 game.

The World Cup competitions have twice seen players accomplish two hat tricks in the same game. In 1958 Just Fontaine succeeded in a double hat trick and Gerd Muller followed in the 1970 World Cup with his successful completion of this tricky maneuver. The Argentinean Gabriel Batistuta is renown for having scored the hat trick in two separate World Cup championships in both 1994 and 1998.

Besides showing top competitive skills by managing to complete the hat trick, the maneuver is also quite often the deciding factor in a team's victory. The hat trick maneuver is present in all levels of the sport from elementary school soccer games to the professional play in all leagues and conferences world-wide.

The hat trick is such an outstanding performance that individual hat trick successes have been filmed and released in video compilations of Great Moments in Sports. There is no better way to demonstrate the quality and skill of a player than through performing this feat. That soccer is a team effort at all times shows that not only the individual player but the entire team is performing at a high level of expertise.

The hat trick is so popular with enthusiasts that it has lent its name to soccer video games and online team management games. It has found its way into the names of game pitches like Oklahoma City's Hat Trick Indoor Soccer Arena. While the hat trick may not have originated in soccer, soccer has taken it over and made it their own.
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