Not all hat tricks are equal. In order to assess the best hat-tricks of all time, we had to take into consideration the quality, succession, and the importance of the three strikes. Without further adieu, here are our top 11 hat-tricks of all time.
Rivaldo, Barcelona vs. Valencia June 2001
Rivaldo’s hat-trick against Valencia ranks as one of the memorable hat tricks of all-time. The first blast came off a set piece in which Rivaldo tucked the ball into the right corner. The second goal emerged after Ronaldo juked a defender with the ball before pummeling it into the middle of the net. But the Brazilian saved the best for last. With two minutes left in regular time, he buried away Valencia with an unbelievable bicycle kick to make it 3-2 and secured his team’s place in Champions League the following season.
Dennis Bergkamp, Arsenal vs. Leicester City August 1997
One of the greatest hat-tricks in Premier League history, Dennis Bergkamp scored his first goal with a seething curler into the right corner past Kasey Keller. The second goal saw Bergkamp run into a lead pass while he chipped over the goal. But the third goal was a doozy, the paragon of Bergkamp’s class. He traps a lobbed pass over his shoulder before flipping it over the defender with ease and scoring with his right boot around Keller. Arsenal ended up tying the match but it foreshadowed the class and technique to come from the legendary Dutchman.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona vs Real Madrid 2007
The little magician has scored 40 hat tricks for Barcelona but his three goals against Real Madrid in 2007 stand out as his best. On his third goal, the 19-year-old cuts inside to receive a pass from Ronaldinho and with a burst of speed, the Argentine dribbles all the way to goal to crush the ball past Iker Casillas. The hat trick officially announced the arrival of the Lionel Messi.
Gareth Bale, Inter Milan vs Tottenham 2010
In what was Tottenham’s first taste of Champions League football, the 21-year old Gareth Bale announced his presence onto the world stage by scoring three sublime goals from the left side of the pitch in what was a 4-3 loss to Inter Milan. Julio Cesar had zero chance of saving the third and final goal.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden vs England Nov 2012
With a 30-yard free-kick, Zlatan Ibrahimovic put his side up 3-2 against England to complete the hat trick. But the fourth goal topped it off. In one of the ridiculous goals of all-time, Ibrahimovic scored a 30-yard overhead kick that has been on replay around the world ever since.
Luis Suarez, Liverpool vs Norwich December 2013
This wasn’t the only time Suarez had scored a hat-trick against Norwich but this particular series was exquisite. From a 50 yard smash with the first hit, the second and third goals required great composure, while the fourth goal from a set piece was icing on the cake. Suarez scored a remarkable 54 league goals in his last two seasons with Liverpool before transferring to Barcelona.
Ronaldo, Real Madrid vs Manchester United April 2003
Ronaldo scored one of the better hat tricks the world has ever seen in the semifinal Champions League match against Manchester United. Like a predator, the first and third goals were thunderous strikes off the laces of the boot that left the Manchester goalie motionless. If it wasn’t for persistent injuries to the star player, we could have seen more games like this.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United vs Fenerbahce 2004
On his Champions League debut, teenager Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick that saw two powerful strikes along with a wondrous free-kick. His overall performance signaled the beginning of an era for the English forward. He’d gone to score 253 goals in 559 appearances with the club, along with a Champions League and five league titles.
Paul Gascoigne, Rangers vs Aberdeen April 1996
In what was a tight race in the Scottish Premier League, Rangers midfielder Paul Gascoigne scored three goals in the final game of the season to beat Aberdeen 3-1 and single-handedly take the league from Celtic. The legendary footballer is part of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.
Marco Fabian, Chivas vs Atlas May 2015
The Mexican footballer Marco Fabian demonstrated pure power and technique when he scored three goals against Atlas in the Mexican League. With the 3-1 win, Chivas secured entry to the league semi-finals.
Ronaldo, Barcelona vs Valencia October 1996
It’s no surprise that Ronaldo makes the list here twice. With raw power and speed, the Brazilian was incredibly dominant, no more evident than his hat-trick against Valencia. On the third goal, he literally tears the defenses apart. In one year with Barcelona, he nearly averaged a goal a game, scoring 47 times in 49 matches.