Following Harry Kane's First World Cup Hat-trick, We Remember Some Of The Best The Tournament Has Seen

Following Harry Kane's First World Cup Hat-trick, We Remember Some Of The Best The Tournament Has Seen
11:05, 26 Jun 2018

Two penalties and a deflection might not have made for the most satisfying hat-trick, but Harry Kane still joins an impressive list of players to have scored three goals in a single World Cup game. His hat-trick was the second of this tournament so far, after Cristiano Ronaldo's treble against Spain, and he becomes only the third England player to achieve the feat, along with Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker.

In total there have been 52 World Cup hat-tricks. Here are five of the most interesting or significant efforts to look back on.

Pele against France, 1958

No teenager has had as big an impact on a World Cup as Pele did in 1958. The Brazilian prodigy started off on the bench but forced his way into the starting line-up for their third group game. He scored the only goal against Wales in the quarter-finals and then hit three more in the next round to eliminate France.

Having taken advantage of a goalkeeping mistake and some lax defending to get his first two, Pele saved the best for last. The ball was played into him on the edge of the box, and bouncing up off his thigh he smashed it into the bottom corner on the volley. A brace would follow in the final as Brazil emerged triumphant.

Gerd Muller against Peru, 1970

Der Bomber was as clinical as strikers come. The epitome of an old-fashioned fox in the box, he sniffed out chances and pounced with remarkable efficiency. Muller scored 68 times in 62 appearances for West Germany and was at his very best at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, finishing the tournament with 10 goals.

The group stage yielded seven of them, including hat-tricks in successive matches. Muller followed up his first against Bulgaria with another against Peru in the same stadium just three days later. Each of his goals in that 3-1 win demonstrated his renowned ruthless streak, stabbing the ball past an advancing goalkeeper, converting a low cross and looping in a superb header at the far post.

Paolo Rossi against Brazil, 1982

Strange as it may seem now, the pressure was on Paolo Rossi ahead of Italy’s meeting with Brazil. Following a surprise recall to the World Cup squad once a ban for his role in a betting scandal had come to an end, the striker had played four games without scoring before facing the tournament favourites for a place in the semi-finals.

Rossi came alive in front of goal that day, opening his account after five minutes with a precise header. His second was slammed in from outside the area and the third was a poacher’s finish, turning the ball in from close range. Rossi’s hat-trick sealed a 3-2 win and set Italy on their way to winning the World Cup. He grabbed three more goals that summer to claim the Golden Boot too.

Gabriel Batistuta against Jamaica, 1998

Four players have scored two World Cup hat-tricks, but Gabriel Batistuta was the only one to do so in separate tournaments. He got his first against Greece in the group stage of the 1994 World Cup, and repeated the trick in a 5-0 win over Jamaica four years later.

A powerhouse striker with impeccable technique and a fierce shot, Batistuta struck three times in the space of just 10 minutes to make history at the Parc des Princes. After firing in from an angle, he was given far too much time and space to set himself for his second. The Argentine striker was then presented with the ideal chance to round off a fine afternoon’s work when Ariel Ortega was felled in the box. As expected, he made no mistake.

Miroslav Klose against Saudi Arabia, 2002

Four years ago, Miroslav Klose overtook Ronaldo as the World Cup’s all-time leading goalscorer. His record-breaking sixteenth came in the infamous 7-1 hammering of Brazil, but he first got off the mark with a hat-trick of thumping headers back in 2002. It was quite a way to signal his intent on the international stage.

A far-from-vintage Germany side would reach the final that year, their run starting with an 8-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Klose had two before half time and completed his hat-trick with the fifth goal of the game in the 70th minute. Once more demonstrating his aerial prowess, he rose highest to meet Bernd Schneider’s cross.

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