Lionel Messi’s hat-tricks: 51 and counting

Lionel Messi has racked up a remarkable 51 trebles for Barcelona and Argentina to date and is showing no signs of slowing down. 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

Watch Messi's hat-trick against PSV

  • 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’?

Suárez is chasing Messi and Ronaldo

Suárez is chasing Messi and Ronaldo©Getty Images

  • 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

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