How about we take a trip down memory lane and take a look at all the beautiful hat-tricks in Euro history? Here is everything you need to know about the list of UEFA European Championship hat-tricks.
Euro 2020 came and went with all its glory and we got to witness one of the most exciting tournaments of all time, where we had several surprising underdogs and well-performing nations, alongside underperforming world greats. We got to see many beautiful goals being scored throughout the competition, including Patrik Schick’s rocket against Scotland and Mikkel Damsgaard’s beauty againstEngland
What we didn’t get to see, however, was a masterfully struck hat-trick and we had players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski and many more world-class players competing in the tournament. While it was quite disappointing not to see any hat-tricks being scored in Euro 2020, no one can stop us from taking a trip down memory lane and revisiting
all the Euro hat-tricks
scored throughout history.
They say that quality is better than quantity and they are right. Only seven footballers have managed to score three goals in a game in Euro history, which shows exactly how much dedication and lethality it would take for a striker to manage such a feat. Surely not many would be able to remember all the hat-tricks in Euro history as the first one was scored way back in 1976.
So are you as excited as us to go down the list of UEFA European Championship hat-tricks and reminisce about the prime days of some of the world’s best footballers? Then read on as we take you on a journey through history.
From Dieter Muller who scored the very first hat-trick in Euro history for West Germany to David Villa who is currently the last footballer to have scored three goals in a game in Euros, we have on our list some of the greatest players of all time. So without further ado, here is the
list of UEFA European Championship hat-tricks
Yugoslavia 2-4 West Germany
Here is a record no one and not evenCristiano Ronaldo
can break. Being literally the first player to score a hat-trick in Euro history is something that will have your name shine in the footballing halls of fame for eternity. That is why Dieter Muller is still remembered fondly by old timers as he was the one who scored the first of the eight
hat-tricks in Euro history
The now 67-year-old former professional footballer is considered by many to be one of the greatest strikers in Germany and his international performance is only a proof of this claim. The former Koln striker made a total of 12 international appearances throughout his career, but all twelve were crucial games in vital tournaments. Now not only is Dieter Muller the person to have scored the very first of all the Euro hat-tricks, he is also dubbed a super-sub for his brilliant performance after coming on as a substitute in the same match.
Imagine your team is behind in the semifinal of such a tournament with 11 minutes left to go and you get to come on as a sub and not only score the equalizer, but also go on to add two more goals to complete your hat-trick. That is exactly what Muller did when he came on as a substitute in West Germany’s clash against Yugoslavia and managed to make it 2-2 only three minutes after coming on.
He went on to add two more goals to his tally in the extra time to complete a historic comeback and send his national team into the final of Euro 76. The striker got to score in the final against Czechoslovakia as well, but it was not enough to save his national team from losing in the final.
1980 Group Stage
West Germany 3-2 Netherlands
It seems that footballers playing for West Germany had a knack for scoring hat-tricks in major tournaments as yet another German footballer is on our list of
hat-tricks in the European Championships
. Even though Klaus Allofs scored a hat-trick in the group stages of Euro 1980, it was still a crucial set of goals as it allowed West Germany to qualify for the next round with a vital win against the Netherlands. This win also allowed them to continue onwards and reach the final itself, where they won the tournament against Belgium.
While some might try to go for the perfect hat-trick, which is scoring three goals with your left foot, right foot and head, Allofs simply went for a victory as he simply carried his team around during the whole match against theNetherlands
. He managed to score one of the eight
hat-tricks in Euro history
with a goals in minutes 20, 60 and 65. Of course Bernd Schuster also got to play a huge rule in setting up the goals, which is why he was credited for the goals as much as Allofs himself.
The now 64-year-old former striker has got quite a resume for himself, having played for the likes of FC Koln, Marseille and Dusseldorf. As one of the most prolific strikers in Germany, Allofs went on to score a total of 288 goals in 648 appearances, winning quite a number of trophies which included the 1980 Euro cup. Of course he will be remembered by many as the one whose name is on the list of hat-tricks in the European Championships.
1984 Group Stage
France 5-0 Belgium
Younger football fans might not remember a day when Cristiano Ronaldo andLionel Messi
weren’t the dominant superstars of football, but those who were lucky enough to see the likes of Michel Platini in their prime can certainly remember those days. The French goal scorer is not only on the list of
hat-tricks in Euro history
, but is also considered to be one of the greatest strikers of all time.
Being on par with the likes of Ronaldo, he was tied with the Portuguese striker as the all-time top scorer in Euro history until theJuventus
man finally broke his record in Euro 2020 with a brace against Hungary in the group stages.
Cristiano Ronaldo might have broken Michel Platini’s record to become the all-time top scorer in Euro history, but there is something that the Portugal striker has not yet managed to achieve whereas Platini has done so not once but twice in his career. The French former striker is the only person in the whole world to have scored not one but two of the eight hat-tricks in Euro history. His first was actually quite poetically a perfect hat-trick, which meant that he got score with both his feet and his head.
The first one came in a group stage match against Belgium in Euro 1984, where the attacking midfielder managed to score a goal with his left foot in the 4th minute, add a second with his right foot in the 74th minute and complete his hat-trick with a header in the 89th minute of the game. Platini’s perfect hat-trick helped Les Bleus to an emphatic 5-0 win against Belgium after their narrow 1-0 victory againstDenmark
in their first match of the tournament.
1984 Group Stage
France 3-2 Yugoslavia
The Euro 1984 was the tournament that launchedMichel Platini
into more greatness than ever before as the French attacking midfielder proved how lethal he was in front of goal with yet another hat-trick. He proved everyone that he is simply one of the best in the world not only by two of all the Euro hat-tricks, but also by becoming the tournament’s all-time top scorer in a single tournament.
It is quite mind-blowing to think that Platini was the all-time top scorer for decades after only taking part in a single tournament, whereas it took Cristiano Ronaldo four Euros to reach the Frenchman’s tally of 9 goals. His second hat-trick came following his first one as he went on to continue shining in the group stages of Euro 84. It was during France’s clash against the formidable Yugoslavia that Platini showed his class to the world once again. Only three days after his initial hat-trick, the Frenchman single-handedly won the game for his national team with yet another perfect hat-trick against Yugoslavia.
The French captain managed to become the only man to have scored two hat-tricks in Euro history by proving his class in the second half, when he scored a left-foot attempt in the 59th minute and followed up on his tally with a 62nd minute header and a brilliant 77th minute free-kick goal with his right foot.
1988 Group Stage
England 1-3 Netherlands
Surely when people talk about the greatest strikers to have graced the pitch from the Netherlands, Marco van Basten’s name could be heard repeatedly mentioned by many. The 56-year-old former striker is one of the greatest strikers of not only the Netherlands, but also the whole world. Having scored one of the hat-tricks in Euro history only proves this claim further. The formerAjax
forward was living in his prime during the 1988 Euro Cup tournament, which is why he got to shine for his nation as one of the most prolific goal scorers of the time.
Van Basten managed to score one of the hat-tricks in Euro history during his nation’s 3-1 victory against England. Him single-handedly winning such a crucial match in the group stages proved then Netherlands manager Rinus Michels how vital van Basten could be for his squad after they had suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Soviet Union in the previous match.
The Dutch striker scored a hat-trick in 31 minutes thanks to brilliant assists from his then AC Milan teammate Ruud Gullit, with whom he also later teamed up to score in the Euro 88 final against the Soviet Union, where both got on the score sheet as Netherlands won the tournament with a 2-0 victory in the final.
The center-forward was simply amazing during his years playing as a Netherlands international. He made a total of 58 international appearances for the Flying Dutchmen and managed to score a total of 24 goals and provide 6 assists in the process, which earned him the 1988 Euro Cup and the 1988 Ballon d’Or.
2000 Group Stage
Portugal 3-0 Germany
One might think that if someone from Portugal is going to be on the list of footballers who have scored hat-tricks in Euro history, it must be Cristiano Ronaldo orLuis Figo
. But the truth is that none of these legends managed to score a hat-trick throughout their careers. Of course while Ronaldo might still have the determination to do so if he still continues playing on top of his form in four years, Figo’s chances of scoring a hat-trick in Euro are long over.
Fear not, Portugal fans, as there is a Portuguese footballer who is on this prestigious list and his name is Sergio Conceicao. The now 46-year-old who usually played as a right-winger during his playing days at clubs such as Porto, Inter Milan and Lazio, Conceicao turned into prime Figo during his nation’s match against Germany.
The Portuguese were already through the group stages and did not have to push on for such an emphatic victory against such formidable opponents. But Conceicao simply took the chance to shine as he scored a perfect hat-trick to immortalize his name amongst some of the greatest footballers of all time. His goals came in the 35th, 54th and 71st minutes as the winger completed his hat-trick in a total of 36 minutes.
Netherlands 6-1 Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia might not be a country anymore, but thankfully they were a country for long enough to have three of the greatest players of all time score hat-tricks against them in three different Euros. While Dieter Muller was the first one to score a hat-trick against Yugoslavia, it was the legendary Patrick Kluivert who got to score another hat-trick against the said nation in the Euro 2000 quarterfinals, where Netherlands absolutely battered Yugoslavia with a brilliant 6-1 victory.
The Dutchman managed to score three of his nation’s goals thanks to assists from Dennis Bergkamp, Edgar Davids and Boudewijn Zenden, but Kluivert might have scored even more goals had he not been taken off on the hour-mark. With all three of his attempts coming from his right foot, Kluivert might have even been able to complete his hat-trick sooner at the 51st minute had his effort not been written down as a Dejan Govedarica own goal.
The now 45-year-old played for some of the greatest clubs in the world throughout his career, including Ajax, AC Milan and Barcelona. His international career was of course legendary as well. He made a total of 79 international appearances for the Netherlands, scoring 40 goals and providing 7 assists in the process. The center-forward’s international efforts did not bear any fruit, however, as he never won a major trophy with his national team.
2008 Group Stage
Spain 4-1 Russia
was the incarnation of Spain’s brilliance during the late 2000s and early 2010s. Perhaps the former Barcelona and Valencia striker was one of the main reasons his clubs and nation managed such feats during such a short period. Whatever it was, Villa certainly played in his prime days during Spain’s golden age of football as they went on to win the Euro 2008 together.
The 2010 World Cup winner was simply amazing during his prime as he got to become the top scorer of Euro 2008 with a total of 4 goals, three of which came during Spain’s 4-1 domination of Russia in the group stages. While his first goal might have been an easy tap-in thanks to Fernando Torres doing all the hard work, his second goal came thanks to his lightning-fast pace, with his third goal of the game coming from a laser-guided finish in the 75th minute of the game.
It might have taken Villa 55 minutes to score his hat-trick against Russia, but it was totally worth it as we got to witness one of the most beautiful games of the tournament, where Villa showcased his brilliance as one of the greatest strikers of all time.
Scoring a hat-trick is never easy and scoring three goals in a major tournament like the Euros is even more difficult. That is why only seven people have managed to put three behind the opposition goalkeeper in a single match throughout the tournament’s history. Surely this list will keep on growing in years, but it will take great determination and a tinge of luck to become one of the lucky few and score a hat-trick in European Championships.
Who do you think will manage such a feat in the future? Will the likes of Erling Haaland, Marcus Rashford and Kylian Mbappe ever get to score three goals in a game for their nation? We can only wait and see who gets to immortalize their name in the footballing halls of fame as one of the few hat-tricks scorers in Euro history.