Five of the best: Hat-tricks

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Football News

"It was a fantastic hat-trick," said Kenny Dalglish on Saturday evening after Luis Suarez had single-handely demolished Norwich at Carrow Road. And the Liverpool boss was spot on.

Suarez netted all three in a 3-0 victory for the Reds, with each the first two strikes beautifully taken and the final effort one of the most special goals in the history of the Premier League.

There will be plenty of debate as to whether or not, perhaps, Suarez's treble is the greatest ever seen and, with this in mind, GMF takes a look at some other possible contenders...

Dennis Bergkamp

Leicester 3-3 Arsenal, August 27 1997

The first month of the 1997-98 season was a particularly impressive one for Dennis Bergkamp, who finished August with goals ranked first, second and third in the Match of the Day Goal of the Month competition.

Two of these strikes came agaisnt Leicester, with the first of three on the night at Filbert Street deemed to have been the third best goal of that month.

If the second goal of his hat-trick against the Foxes was a touch fortunate, his third in the dying stages - which should have been enough to win the match - was simply sublime and will always be remebered as one of his best ever.


Barcelona 3-2 Valencia, June 17 2001

Since he was succeeded by Ronaldinho and, latterly, by Lionel Messi, the influence of Rivaldo at the Nou Camp is often overlooked, yet he can boast to have scored, if not the best, the most important hat-trick in the club's history.

On the final day of the 2000-01 season, Barca need to win against Valencia in order to salvage a spot in the Champions League after a poor season, while their opponents required only a point.

Rivaldo put Barca into the lead with a beautiful free-kick and, after Ruben

Baraja had equalised for Los Che, restored the advantage with a cracker from all of 25 yards.

Baraja then levelled once again but, in stoppage time, Rivaldo netted his most iconic goal - an overhead kick from the edge of the area - to secure Barca's passage into Europe's premier club competition.


Manchester United 4-3 Real Madrid, April 23 2003

Ronaldo did not often visit these shores during his time as a player, but his hat-trick against Manchester United in last eight of the Champions League ensured he left a lasting impression at Old Trafford.

Real had led 3-1 going into the second leg in Manchester and, with United needing to chase a result, the game had all the makings of a thriller. And it certainly did not disappoint.

Ronaldo finished clinically from Guti's delivery to provide Real with a precious away goal before Ruud van Nistelrooy gave United a glimmer of hope before the interval.

Although his second may have been a tap-in, Ronaldo rounded off a lovely move involving Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos to restore the lead, before Ivan Helguera turned into his own net.

Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with a stunning drive from distance to give Real the lead again, but David Beckham came off the bench to score twice, as United won on the night.

Wayne Rooney

Manchester United 6-2 Fenerbahce, September 28 2004

After his star had been confirmed at the European Championships that summer, Wayne Rooney was awarded a move from Everton to Manchester United in a record-breaking deal after the tournament had finished.

Rooney's first game in a United shirt finally came in late September against Fenerbache in the Champions League, and he failed to disappoint the supporters of his new club; scoring a hat-trick he is unlikely to better in his career.

Each strike bettered the previous one as the teenager so elegantly battered Fenerbache; the first a delicate clip over the 'keeper, the second fired across goal into the bottom corner and the third a wonderfully accurate free-kick.

Gareth Bale

Inter Milan 4-3 Tottenham, October 20 2010

This hat-trick from Gareth Bale may have proved to be redundant as far as the result was concerned, but it established him as one of the most frightening young talents in world football.

The encounter could have hardly started much worse for Spurs as they fell three goals behind and saw goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes sent off inside the first 15 minutes, before Samuel Eto'o made it 4-0 prior to half-time.

Bale, though, almost single-handedly snatched a point for Harry Redknapp's side as he sycthed through the Inter defence in the second-half, scoring three goals in almost identical fashion after breathtaking counter-attacks.

The second was almost an action replay of the first as the Welsh winger soared past Maicon at blistering pace and finished clincally past Julio Cesar.

Aaron Lennon did the hard work for Bale's third after cutting in from the right, and the latter used his left foot to devastating effect again, although his heroics came marginally too late for Spurs.

Let us know your favourite ever hat-tricks in the comments section below...

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