Toppo’s Top Tens – Hat-Tricks

Scoring a hat-trick is without doubt a highlight for any footballer, bagging three goals in one game and talking home the match ball.

At the weekend Dimitar Berbatov got on the scoresheet five times in Manchester United’s 7-1 demolition job over Blackburn Rovers, but what is the best hat-trick ever scored? This week’s Toppo’s Top Ten aims to answer that question by taking a look at some memorable trebles from world football.

10: Danny Butterfield – CRYSTAL PALACE v Wolves, FA Cup 2009

The first hat-trick in the list is a pretty remarkable one, as it was scored by someone who usually plies their trade at right-back. During an FA Cup fourth round match against Premier League Wolves, Crystal Palace’s Danny Butterfield was utilised as a makeshift striker due to injuries and it proved to be an inspired move by manager Neil Warnock.

Within the space of seven second-half minutes, Butterfield set a new club record as he plundered a perfect hat-trick with goals from his left foot, right foot and head as Palace won 3-1. Not bad from a man who had managed just seven goals in the previous eight years.

9: Oleg Salenko – RUSSIA v Cameroon, World Cup 1994

Despite their heroics in Italy four years previously, Cameroon were on the end of a hiding to nothing at USA 1994 as they lost 6-1 to Russia in the group stages. Roger Milla became the oldest World Cup goalscorer in history at the age of 42 in this game, but that feat was overshadowed by Russian striker Oleg Salenko, who hit five of his team’s six goals.

Salenko’s clinical finishing put himself into the World Cup history books for scoring a record five goals in one game and with the addition of another strike against Sweden, shared the Golden Boot with Bulgaria’s Hristo Stoichkov, quite a feat considering Russia were knocked out in the first round of the competition.

8: Wayne Rooney – MANCHESTER UNITED v Fenerbahce, Champions League 2004

Signed from Everton for £24 million pounds in 2004, Wayne Rooney’s arrival at Old Trafford signalled the beginning of a new era for Manchester United, and Rooney kicked it off in style against Turkish side Fenerbahce.

Rooney instantly endeared himself to Red Devils fans with an excellent hat-trick on his debut for the club. All three goals came from outside the box – the first a left footed drive rising high into the net, the second a 25 yard strike which flew into the bottom corner and the third was bent home from a free-kick as United won 6-2.

7: Robbie Fowler – LIVERPOOL v Arsenal, Premier League 1994

This hat-trick is memorable for being the fastest in Premier League history. Robbie Fowler burst onto the scene during the 1993/94 season and forged a reputation as one of the deadliest finishers in the English game. The 19-year old demonstrated his goalscoring instincts with this treble against Arsenal at Anfield in 1994 – scored in just 4 minutes 33 seconds and is a record for the quickest Premier League hat-trick which still stands today.

6: Ronaldo – Manchester United v REAL MADRID, Champions League 2003

In the quarter-finals of the 2003 Champions League, Manchester United and holders Real Madrid played out a memorable tie across two legs. United lost the first 3-1 in the Bernabeu and at Old Trafford in the return faced an uphill struggle to remain in the competition.

That task was made even harder thanks to the brilliance of Ronaldo, the Brazilian several pounds lighter and very much at his peak. He hit a hat-trick which helped Madrid reach the semis, despite losing 4-3 on the night. For his first goal he ran onto a through ball from Guti and smashed a shot past Fabien Barthez at his near post. The second came after some fine passing football from the Galaticos which presented the striker with an easy tap-in but the third was the best, a powerful 25-yard strike which Barthez didn’t see.

5: Andy Cole – MANCHESTER UNITED v Ipswich Town, Premier League 1995

A match at Old Trafford where many records were set – Manchester United beat Ipswich 9-0 which to this day remains the biggest Premier League victory and United’s striker Andy Cole scored five, the most goals scored by one player in a Premier League match. The record has since been matched by Alan Shearer, Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov at the weekend, but Cole was the first man to do it and that’s why he makes the list.

4: Geoff Hurst – ENGLAND v West Germany, World Cup 1966

The greatest achievement in English football history was the national team winning the World Cup on home soil in 1966. The final against West Germany at Wembley ended 4-2 to England and three of their goals came from West Ham striker Geoff Hurst.

The goals meant Hurst became the only person to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final, a record which still stands and  it was a perfect treble scored with his left foot, right foot and head. As if we don’t talk about this game enough in England, relive the triumph again….

3: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – CHELSEA v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League 2002

Following a £15 million move to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid in 2000, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored goals for fun in a four-year spell with Chelsea. A fine example of the Dutchman’s goalscoring exploits came in a match against Tottenham in 2002 as he netted a perfect hat-trick to set the Blues on the way to a 4-0 win.

His first goal was a 25-yard curling effort with his right foot, the second a header from Jesper Gronkjaer’s right-wing cross and the third was a beauty, as he somehow curled home a left-footed shot from the far corner of the penalty area, proving that whatever he could do with his right foot, he could do with the left too.

2: Dennis Bergkamp – Leicester City v ARSENAL, Premier League 1997

A thrilling Premier League game at Filbert Street in 1997 saw Leicester City hold Arsenal to a 3-3 draw and also provided a memorable hat-trick scored by Arsenal’s non-flying Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp.

The first goal was a Bergkamp special, as he bent the ball into the top corner of the net from the far edge of the penalty area. The second came as Bergkamp collected Patrick Vieira’s ball inside, with one great touch ran through on goal and just got the ball in the net, his shot partially blocked by goalkeeper Kasey Keller, however his final goal was sublime. The ball was chipped into the penalty box toward Bergkamp by David Platt. Within four touches of the ball, the Dutchman controlled the pass, juggled it past defender Matt Elliott and sidefooted it home. An unbelieveable bit of skill to complete a fine hat-trick.

1: Rivaldo – BARCELONA v Valencia, La Liga 2001

At the beginning of the century Rivaldo was arguably the best footballer in the world. The Brazilian was unplayable when at his best, as Valencia found out during an incredible La Liga match against Rivaldo’s Barcelona in 2001.

Having had a poor season by their usually high standards, Barcelona went into the final match of the season at home needing to win to qualify for the Champions League against Valencia, who needed a draw to seal their place in next season’s showpiece. Rivaldo went all out to ensure it was Barca who qualified with a quite stunning hat-trick.

His first strike was an unstoppable free kick hit with power and swerve that went in via the post, the second a low long-range shot which flew into the bottom corner of the net. Valencia had twice equalised thanks to Ruben Baraja and with 90 seconds of normal time remaining it seemed it would be they who claimed Champions League qualification, but Rivaldo had the final say. Frank de Boer chipped a ball toward Rivaldo who was stood on the edge of the Valencia penalty box with his back to goal. He controlled the pass on his chest and produced a brilliant overhead kick to win the game 3-2 and seal Barca’s place in the Champions League. The Nou Camp erupts in celebration of a magical moment.

And finally……

Martin Palermo – ARGENTINA v Colombia, Copa America 1999

Martin Palermo is the Argentine striker famous for once completing the most unenviable of hat-tricks – missing three penalties in one game. During a 1999 Copa America match against Colombia, Palermo demonstrates the kind of penalty prowess generations of Englishmen have been renowned for as he crashes his first spot kick against the bar, blasts the second one over and sees the third saved by the goalkeeper diving to his left. Argentina lost the match 3-0 and Palermo entered the Guinness Book of World Records for his misses.

Any other great hat-tricks left out of the list? Get in touch at or

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