Messi's hat-tricks / FCB

1) All over the place. There are no exceptions where Leo Messi is concerned. He has scored hat-tricks in La Liga (22), the Champions League (5), the Cup (2) and the Spanish Super Cup (1). He got 19 at the Camp Nou and 11 on the road.

[[DES_1]]2) Winning goals. If Messi scores a hat-trick, Barça always win. Apart from the very first time, that is, when he got three against Real Madrid in 2007. That one ended 3-3.

3) Three against three. Three teams have been hit by Messi hat-tricks on no fewer than three occasions. Those sides are Osasuna, Valencia and Atlético Madrid. He has also done it twice against all of Real Madrid, Málaga, Espanyol and Deportivo, the only club to have conceded two Messi hat-tricks at home.

4) Four and five. Messi has scored more than three goals in a game five times in his career. All of Arsenal, Valencia, Espanyol and Osasuna were on the receiving end of what is known locally as a ‘poker’ of goals, while once against Bayer Leverkusen, he went even better and scored five.

5) Crazy wins. Messi has scored hat-tricks in some huge wins, including an 8-0 victory at Almeria and 8-0 and 7-0 wins against Osasuna at the Camp Nou.

6) One after the other. The Argentinian has achieved back-to-back hat-tricks four times. His finest performance was when he got three against Malaga followed by four against Espanyol towards the end of the 2011/12 season.

7) Penalties not the answer. Only six of Messi’s 30 hat-tricks have included spot kicks. Three of his hat-tricks involved one penalty and another three featured two.

8) Record breakers. His hat-tricks in a 5-3 win against Granada on March 20, 2013 and a 5-1 rout of Sevilla on November 22, 2014 were especially historic. Those were the games where he overtook César to become Barça’s all-time highest goalscorer and Zarra to break the Liga scoring record.

9) Right on. Messi’s hat-trick against APOEL in November 2011 was the only one in which all three goals were scored with his right foot.

10) Victim twenty? Until now, 19 different clubs have been on the receiving end of a Messi treble. And as he is still only 27 years old, he has plenty of time left to find ,more victims. The top flight teams that have managed to hold out until now are Elche, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao and Levante.

Origin of the term

The peculiar term  ‘hat-trick’ for scoring three goals in a game is said to have its origins in the English game of cricket. In 1858, HH Stephensen bowled out three players with three consecutive balls and his team-mates bought him a new hat as a reward. The custom caught on and is now used in other sports, and even other languages, to refer to a ‘triple’ achievement.

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