Which England strikers have scored hat-tricks at the World Cup Finals?
It would be fair to say that England strikers who have scored hat-tricks at the World Cup Finals are few and far between. Of course, the ‘granddaddy of them all’ is Sir Geoff Hurst, who remains the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final. On July 30, 1966, at Wembley Stadium, Hurst levelled the scores at 1-1 against West Germany after 18 minutes and scored twice more in extra time to secure a 4-2 victory. His second goal, confirmed by the infamous ‘Russian linesman’ Tofiq Bahramov, has remained controversial ever since. There was no doubting his third, though, which caused commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme to exclaim, ‘They think it’s all over. It is now!’
Of course scoring a hat-trick in any game is far from a formality. It’s often seen as an aspiration by footballers due to how difficult it is to achieve. Sometimes footballers find their way into a rich vein of form though, so a potential hat-trick can occasionally be on the cards. For those of you looking for big money sports betting payouts betting on one coming up will typically get you generous odds. That will also be true in the World Cup as there are a finite number of games in the competition.
Interestingly Bruno Fernandes’ Odds for the 2021 – 2022 Premier League golden boot tumbles when he scores a hat-trick in the Manchester United vs Leeds United game (his odds fell from 25-1 to 6-1 – partially on account of his current goal tally, and partly the potential it displayed). There are typically 10+ hat-tricks in the Premier League each year. Broad analysis suggests a little over a 3% chance of a hat-trick being scores in any individual game, so the odds would be reflective of that fact (with more likelihood of course in less competitive games).
In any case, I digress.
Next up is Gary Lineker who, on June 11, 1986, scored three times in the first 34 minutes of England’s third and final group game against Poland at the Estadio Tecnológico in Monterrey, Mexico. Following a 1-0 defeat by Portugal and a goalless draw against Morocco, England needed to beat Poland to progress to the knockout stages from Group F – dubbed the ‘Group of Sleep’ by locals, due to the lack of goals – but did so comfortably.
Last, but by no means least, on the list is Harry Kane who, with Lineker, jointly holds the record for the most goals scored at major tournaments. On June 24, 2018, Kane completed an unusual hat-trick in a 6-1 thrashing of Panama in a group game at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Russia. Kane scored his first two goals from the penalty spot, but his third came when a shot by Ruben Loftus-Cheek deflected off his heel and wrong-footed the goalkeeper.
The next big tournament in terms of worldwide attention will be the World Cup (held in Qatar in 2022). It will be interesting to see if any of the world class players in attendance (preferably England players!) will manage to achieve this uncommon accolade. At the odds you’re likely to get for it, it might be worth a punt.