Scoring Milestones in Soccer: Names for Multiple Goals In Football

Explore the scoring milestones in soccer and discover the various names for achieving multiple goals in a single match. From hat-tricks to braces and beyond, delve into the terminology that celebrates players' remarkable scoring feats.

Soccer, a sport beloved by millions around the globe, is not just about the strategy and teamwork, but also the individual brilliance that players bring to the pitch. One of the most thrilling aspects for players and fans alike is scoring goals. In the lexicon of soccer, scoring a significant number of goals in a single match by one player is celebrated with specific names. These terms encapsulate the excitement and achievement of such feats. Let’s explore these terms and their cultural significance in the world of soccer.

1. Brace

Definition: A "brace" refers to a player scoring two goals in a single match.

Origin: The term has its roots in hunting. Originally, a brace referred to a pair of game animals killed in one hunt, and this usage extended into sports. In soccer, scoring a brace is often seen as a commendable achievement, showcasing a player's ability to find the back of the net multiple times in a game.

Significance: While a single goal is celebrated, a brace suggests a player is in excellent form, possibly dominating the opposition. It’s common to hear commentators praise a player’s “brace” with an air of enthusiasm.

2. Hat-Trick

Definition: A "hat-trick" occurs when a player scores three goals in a match.

Origin: This term is borrowed from cricket, where it initially described a bowler taking three wickets with consecutive deliveries. In the late 19th century, this term was adopted by soccer and other sports. The phrase is thought to have been inspired by a tradition of awarding a hat to players who achieved such feats.

Significance: Scoring a hat-trick in soccer is a rare and celebrated event. It is often a career highlight for many players and can dramatically change the course of a match. When a player scores three goals, they are typically awarded the match ball as a memento of their achievement.

Notable Examples: Famous hat-tricks include Cristiano Ronaldo's in various UEFA Champions League matches and Lionel Messi's multiple hat-tricks in La Liga and international competitions.

3. Poker

Definition: A "poker" refers to a player scoring four goals in a single match.

Origin: The term "poker" is borrowed from card games, particularly referencing the four of a kind hand in poker. In the context of soccer, scoring four goals is often as exhilarating as hitting such a hand in poker, due to its rarity.

Significance: Scoring four goals in one match is an extraordinary accomplishment, indicating a player’s dominance and exceptional skill. While not as commonly discussed as a hat-trick, a poker is celebrated for its rarity and the decisive impact it often has on the game.

Notable Examples: Players like Robert Lewandowski and Radamel Falcao have achieved this feat in high-stakes matches, cementing their reputations as lethal strikers.

4. Glut

Definition: A "glut" occurs when a player scores five goals in a match.

Origin: The term "glut" signifies an abundance, reflecting the sheer volume of goals a player scores in one game.

Significance: Scoring five goals in a single match is almost mythical. It underscores a performance that is not just dominant but virtually unstoppable. This term, while less commonly used in everyday commentary, highlights the prolific nature of the player’s performance.

Notable Examples: Lionel Messi’s five goals in a Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012 is one of the most famous instances of a glut.

5. Double Hat-Trick

Definition: A "double hat-trick" refers to scoring six goals in a match.

Significance: Achieving a double hat-trick is exceedingly rare and signals a historic performance. It’s a feat that can elevate a player’s status to legendary proportions.

Notable Examples: Though rare, such performances have been seen in youth or lower league matches but are exceptionally rare at the highest levels of professional soccer.

6. Haul

Definition: While "haul" is not specific to any number, it generally refers to scoring multiple goals in a match.

Significance: The term "haul" is often used to describe a player’s ability to consistently find the net, emphasizing their role as a prolific scorer in a game. It’s flexible and can apply to any significant goal-scoring performance, often three goals or more.

Beyond the Terms

These terms encapsulate the excitement and grandeur associated with multiple goal-scoring feats in soccer. Each has its own place in the rich tapestry of the game’s history and culture. For fans, these terms are more than just words—they represent moments of brilliance, joy, and the pure essence of what makes soccer the world’s most popular sport.

In the end, whether it’s a brace or a haul, the magic of scoring goals is what keeps the passion for soccer alive across generations and continents.

In contemporary soccer commentary and analysis, these terms are not just used to highlight individual performances but are often laden with context. For instance, scoring a hat-trick in a high-stakes final or derby match carries even greater significance than in a regular league game.

Commentators and fans also use these terms to celebrate the historical context of a player's career. For example, the number of hat-tricks or braces a player scores over their career is often a key statistic in evaluating their greatness. This lexicon thus becomes a part of the player's legacy, contributing to the narrative of their achievements on the global stage.


Understanding these terms and their origins enriches the experience of watching soccer. They provide a shorthand for celebrating the game's heroes and their remarkable achievements. As soccer continues to evolve, these terms will remain integral to how we narrate and appreciate the beautiful game’s most exhilarating moments.

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