Lionel Messi has racked up a remarkable 51 trebles for Barcelona and Argentina to date and is showing no signs of slowing down. UEFA.com crunches the numbers behind Messi’s hat-trick heroics.
Messi’s first career treble came against Real Madrid in March 2007, his most recent against Real Betis in March 2019; in over a decade of goalscoring, the Argentinian has returned eight hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League, 33 in the Spanish Liga, three in the Copa del Rey, one in the Spanish Super Cup and a further six at international level.
Messi’s hat-tricks by numbers
Of Messi’s eight UEFA Champions League hat-tricks, two have come in the knockout stage: he scored five in a 7-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16 second leg in March 2012 having previously bagged four against Arsenal in the sides’ quarter-final second leg in April 2010.
The Argentine hit back-to-back hat-tricks in the 2016/17 group stage, scoring three against both Celtic on matchday one and Manchester City on matchday three having missed matchday two’s trip to Borussia Mönchengladbach through injury.
Messi’s 33 Liga trebles are second only to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 34, so overhauling the Portuguese – now starring with Juventus in Serie A – is a realistic ambition for the Blaugrana ace.
Valencia, Osasuna, Espanyol and Deportivo have been Messi’s favoured opponents in the Liga, the No10 claiming hat-tricks against each of them on three separate occasions (he has a Copa del Rey treble against Valencia too); Messi also has three hat-tricks against Sevilla, including two in the Liga and one in the Spanish Super Cup, and three against Atlético – two Liga and one Copa del Rey.
- At international level, the most important of Messi’s six Argentina hat-tricks came in Ecuador in October 2017, his triple strike securing the Albiceleste a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
How do those numbers compare to his contemporaries’?
Of Ronaldo’s 52 career hat-tricks, eight have been in the UEFA Champions League (seven for Real Madrid, one for Juventus) – with four of those in the knockout stage, including his first treble for new club Juventus against Atlético in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg.
At domestic level, the Portuguese notched one hat-trick for Manchester United, 37 for Madrid (34 in the Liga, two in the Copa in addition to one in the FIFA Club World Cup) and boasts a further six for his country.
Messi’s club-mate Suárez boasts an outstanding hat-trick return: the Uruguayan plundered nine for Ajax, six for Liverpool (three of them against Norwich) and has 12 for Barcelona as well as a further two for his nation.
- Three other South Americans – Agüero, Cavani and Falcao – have reached double figures for hat-tricks in recent years, while the relentless Lewandowski leads the European charge.
Last updated: 18/03/19