They say that the best things come in sets of three (well, I do at least) so what better way to finish day 5 of my blog every day than compiling a list of the greatest ever hat tricks. Naturally then, I have to pick the top 3 just because, well, it makes sense. Now then, from the top…
1) American Pharoah – Triple Crown (USA)
Now you might be forgiven for not knowing who/what American Pharoah is (yes his name really is spelt that way). Well, American Pharoah is the best racehorse in the world (according to an official rating of 131, ahead of Golden Horn on 130) and this year completed a historic Triple Crown, the first in 37 years. Sure, 11 horses have done it before the 3-year-old bay colt, but this is the most significant due to the length of time it’s been since a horse has won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. If you have the chance, go and watch this horse race, you simply will not believe your eyes. He is just immense and can win any race at a canter, which is why he’s justifiably the best in the world and will be for some time.
2) Wasim Akram – Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 1998
Largely acknowledged as one of the greatest fast bowlers the world has ever seen, Akram took four hat-tricks in international cricket, two each in Tests matches and One Day Internationals. He is the only bowler in cricket to have achieved four hat-tricks. He was the third of only four bowlers to have taken two Test cricket hat-tricks, the others being Hugh Trumble, Jimmy Matthews and Stuart Broad. His Test hat tricks were significant though because they came in 2 consecutive Test matches in the same series in the 1998-99 Asian Test Championship. A feat that is extremely rare and off the top of my head I’m not sure it’s happened since. Two hat-tricks in two consecutive Test matches? Absolutely unbelievable.
3) Wayne Rooney – vs Fenerbahce; 28th September 2004
I couldn’t go through this list without having one football hat-trick in there. Players bag 3 goals all the time in football and it’s not uncommon, so you can imagine the difficulty I had in picking just 1. There were many good contenders: Robbie Fowler, Sadio Mane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and so on, but for me this one just stood out as the one. Wayne Rooney, an 18-year-old tyro with the world at his feet, made his unforgettable debut for Manchester United in a Champions League fixture with Fenerbahce at Old Trafford. Many believed the £25.6m transfer fee would weigh heavily on Rooney’s young but stocky shoulders but he confounded the doubters with a stunning hat-trick in a 6-2 win. Matt Lawton, reporting for the Daily Mail on that evening, said it best:
Old Trafford witnessed something magical last night, an opening performance as memorable as any ever seen at their Theatre of Dreams. Not even Sir Bobby Charlton enjoyed a debut like this. Two goals had marked his first league match as an 18-year-old against, well, Charlton. Rooney went one better. He scored three.
It was just written in the stars, wasn’t it? The next big thing in English football, transferred for a ludicrous sum of money, surely he’s going to flop? Oh how wrong we were and the dawning of the ‘Rooney era’ began and it hasn’t stopped and doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon.
Kelsey De Maria
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