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In football, if a player scores a hat-trick, he usually takes the match ball with him as a souvenir.

But if 2 or more players score a hat-trick in a single game, then who gets to take the match ball with him?

  • There is not the one match ball, so if they really both want one, the second one will have to pick one from a ball boy. – Don_Biglia May 5 '15 at 6:58
  • @ThomasDB - While what you say can be true, but could you help by providing some references. Thx. – SahuKahn May 5 '15 at 10:00
  • A reference to multiple balls being used in a game? – Don_Biglia May 5 '15 at 12:18
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    @ThomasDB: the fact that you don't see (or recall) it doesn't mean it doesn't happen: here is a picture of Messi posing with all the balls he scored hat-tricks with (bit.ly/1E0Q6OZ), and here is one of Ronaldo doing the same (bit.ly/1KyvC52). A google search for "takes hat-trick goal" returns several images of hat-trick scorers leaving the field with the ball in their hands, or getting it signed by their teammates. – Koldito May 10 '15 at 20:07
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    @ThomasDB - something being a little uncommon does not mean it is obsolete. I think it makes it more interesting on the other hand. – SahuKahn May 11 '15 at 10:38
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As usual, the very excellent The Knowledge series of The Guardian has an answer. The January 28, 2004 entry goes like this:

"On Sunday, Empoli drew 3-3 with Juventus, Tommaso Rocchi bagging a hat-trick for the home side, and David Trezeguet claiming all three goals for Juve," says Stuart Bruce. "With the scorers of hat-tricks traditionally claiming the match ball, who gets to take it home in a situation like this? Has there ever been a situation of three or more players all with a valid claim to the match ball in any one match?"

But, we have consulted with the FA stattos on this one and are told that though there are no rules, the convention would in all likelihood be that the first player to score a hat-trick would receive the match ball. Thus, as Rocchi completed his hat-trick in the 62nd minute, 14 minutes before Trezeguet made it 3-3, the Empoli striker should have be the one making space on his mantelpiece, which we hope is level or else the ball will keep rolling off it.

As far as your second question goes Stuart, there are in fact several examples of three players scoring a hat-trick in one game. The last instance - which, incidentally, is also the last instance of a team scoring 10 goals in an English league game - comes from November 7 1987, when Manchester City beat Huddersfield Town 10-1 in the old Second Division.

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On Wednesday February 3rd, 2016, FC Barcelona vs Valencia, in the Copa Del Rey, Luis Suarez and Messi both scored a hat-trick. Suarez scored 4 goals, Messi scored 3 goals. At the end of the match, they both left with a football.

Sources:

Messi and Suarez with match balls

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    I have added some links, so that the claims in this answer are not without any reference. I hope you do not mind. – Martin Feb 4 '16 at 18:20

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