Brace in Soccer

What is a Brace in Soccer? – Explained by Soccer Coach

When you hear about a player scoring a brace in a soccer game, it might sound confusing. Soccer is a fun game with different strategies and unique words that make the sport more interesting. One term that often sparks curiosity is “what is a brace in soccer?” A brace in soccer refers to a player scoring two goals in a single match. It shows how skilled a player is and how they can make a big difference in the game. Understanding this term not only makes it more fun to watch but it also makes it easier to appreciate what the players do on the pitch.

In the article, we will deeply examine what is a brace in soccer terms, why it is called a brace, the prizes for scoring a brace, and the player with the most braces.

what is a brace in soccer

What is a Brace in Soccer

A brace in soccer is a term used to describe the achievement of a player scoring two goals in a single match. This unique word is common in various sports, but in the context of soccer, it’s a significant accomplishment that highlights a player’s prowess and impact on the game.

Scoring a brace is often seen as a mark of excellence, reflecting the player’s ability to seize opportunities and contribute effectively to the team’s success. It’s a term that resonates with fans, commentators, and players alike, adding a layer of excitement and recognition to the game.

Understanding what a brace in soccer means enriches the experience of watching the sport, allowing spectators to appreciate the skill and strategy involved in achieving this feat.

Why is It Called a Brace?

The word “brace” comes from the old Anglo-French language. It means “two arms,” like saying “two goals.” But many people think that it comes from an Old English hunting phrase.

Hunters used the word “brace” to say how many animals they had caught. For example, a “brace of geese” meant that they had caught two geese.

This word’s origins in hunting led to its use in soccer, where players were said to be “hunting” for goals.

Scoring two goals became known as a “brace” because two goals were scored in one game. Since then, the term has become part of the soccer language. It means a player can “hunt” and score two goals in a game.

How Can a Soccer Player Score a Goal?

To score a goal in soccer, you need to be accurate, have skill, and follow the rules. A goal is made when the ball goes over the goal line, under the crossbar, and between the two goalposts.

The whole ball must cross the goal line for the goal to count. The only parts of the body that can’t be used to score are the hands and arms.

High-profile incidents have occurred where goals were disallowed because the ball didn’t cross the line entirely. The objective is simple, yet the execution can be complex, involving teamwork, strategy, and individual brilliance.

From powerful strikes to delicate chips, players employ various techniques to score, making each goal a unique and thrilling moment in the game.

Also Read: What Does FC Mean in Soccer – Explained by Soccer Coach

What’s the Prize for Getting a Brace? 

A brace does not come with physical rewards like a medal or trophy in soccer. The honour of achieving a brace is rewarding enough, symbolizing a player’s skill and contribution to the team.

The only tangible benefit is the addition of two goals to the player’s overall statistics. Unlike a hat trick, which refers to three goals in a match and is considered more prestigious, a brace is an impressive feat that players often brag about.

However, elite players may score a brace and think nothing of it, viewing it as part of their job. The true prize for a brace lies in the recognition, the joy of success, and the contribution to the team’s victory.

What is the Prize for a Brace in Soccer? 

The prize for scoring a brace in soccer is not material but symbolic and statistical. No medal, trophy, or specific reward for achieving a brace exists.

Instead, the accomplishment is celebrated for its rarity and the skill required to score two goals in a single match. It adds to the player’s overall statistics, enhancing their reputation and standing within the sport.

The recognition from fans, teammates, and the media, along with the personal satisfaction of contributing significantly to the team’s success, serves as the true prize.

In the grand scheme of soccer, a brace is a noteworthy achievement that reflects a player’s ability, determination, and impact on the game, making it a prized feat.

Also Read: How Long is a Soccer Game – Answered by a Soccer Coach

Is a Brace Similar to a Hat Trick? 

A brace is similar to a hat trick in soccer, but they refer to different achievements. A brace means a player scored two goals in a game, while a hat trick refers to scoring three goals during a match.

The term “hat trick” has an interesting origin, which is why it is called a hat trick in soccer. It’s like a magical trick to score three goals in a game, elevating the player’s performance to a new level.

The phrase came from cricket, where a bowler who took three wickets from three consecutive balls was honored with a hat.

In soccer, it symbolizes a player’s extraordinary ability to completely take over a game, making it a celebrated feat. Both a brace and a hat trick add excitement and recognition to the player’s performances on the field.

Also Read: The 20 Worst Soccer Players of All Time

Do Both Goals Have to Occur Back to Back? 

No, the goals in a brace do not have to occur back to back. A brace simply means that a player has scored two goals in a single game, regardless of when those goals were netted.

It does not matter if the brace was scored in either half of the game or if other players scored in between the two goals. As long as two goals were netted before the full-time whistle and by the same player, any two goals are considered a brace.

The term is commonly used in English soccer and is widely popular among the Premier League and Championship. The flexibility in scoring a brace adds to the intrigue and excitement of the game, celebrating a player’s ability to find the net twice.

Who Has Accomplished the Most Amount of Braces in History? 

The 21st century has witnessed a transformation in football, with players becoming more versatile and goal-scoring responsibilities shared among attacking players. Among the many achievements, scoring braces (two goals in one game) has become significant. Here’s a look at the top players with the most braces in the 21st century:

  1. Lionel Messi (205): The Argentinian legend, Lionel Messi, tops the list with 205 braces. His last brace was against Clermont Foot in PSG’s 5-0 victory in the 2022-23 Ligue 1 campaign.
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (205): Matching Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo has also bagged 205 braces. His last brace came against Arsenal in December 2021.
  3. Robert Lewandowski (135): The Polish star scored 135 braces, with his last in Bayern Munich’s 4-0 rout of Union Berlin in March 2022.
  4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (98): The Swedish legend has 98 braces, with his last one in AC Milan’s 4-3 defeat to Fiorentina in November 2021.
  5. Karim Benzema (87): The Frenchman has 87 braces, with his most recent one in the Champions League semi-final in April.
Lionel Messi205
Cristiano Ronaldo205
Robert Lewandowski135
Zlatan Ibrahimovic98
Karim Benzema87
Luis Suarez79
Edinson Cavani77
Sergio Aguero74
Edin Dzeko70
Wayne Rooney66

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have each scored the same number of braces in the 21st century. Messi has played 976 games to reach this record, while his rival has played 1091 games to do the same.

Most Braces In Champions League History 

Braces have become a symbol of excellence and dominance in the UEFA Champions League, the competition that brings together the best clubs in Europe. Leading the chart for the most braces in Champions League history are two of the game’s all-time greats:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (38 braces): With 140 goals in 183 games, Ronaldo’s ability to score braces has been unparalleled. His brace-per-game ratio of 0.21 showcases his consistency at the highest level.
  2. Lionel Messi (34 braces): Messi’s 125 goals in 156 games include 34 instances of scoring a brace. His ratio stands at 0.22, just slightly above Ronaldo’s.
  3. Robert Lewandowski (20 braces): The Bayern Munich striker has 20 braces in the Champions League, with 86 goals in 106 games.

Other notable players include Karim Benzema (17 braces), Raul (14), Filippo Inzaghi (12), and Neymar (9). These players have not only scored the most braces but have also shaped the narrative of the Champions League, turning games in their favor and leaving an indelible mark on the competition.

Most Braces In A Premier League Season

The English Premier League, known for its intense competition and high-scoring games, has seen some remarkable individual performances. When it comes to the most braces in a single Premier League season, the record holders are:

  • Alan Shearer (10 braces in a 42-game season): The legendary English striker holds the record for the most braces in a 42-game season.
  • Kevin Phillips, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez (9 braces in a 38-game season): These four players jointly hold the 38-game record, each scoring a brace nine times in a single campaign.

Shearer’s record of 10 braces shows his remarkable individual campaigns, while the likes of Phillips, Henry, Ronaldo, and Suarez have gone on to win the golden boot in their respective record-setting seasons.

Also Read: 6 Best 9v9 Soccer Formations – According to Soccer Coach

Who Has Scored the Most Braces in World Cup History? 

In the grand stage of the FIFA World Cup, braces have been a defining factor in many memorable matches. The Brazilian legend Ronaldo leads the chart with four braces in World Cup history.

His braces came against Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, and most notably, in the 2002 World Cup final against Germany. Following Ronaldo are Miroslav Klose, Diego Maradona, and Brazilian icon Vava, each with three World Cup braces. Players like Pele, Sandor Kocsis, Helmut Rahn, and Gary Lineker have also made their mark with two World Cup braces.

Interestingly, every player who scored a brace in a World Cup final went on to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy. Braces in World Cup history are not just about individual brilliance but also about significantly impacting the game’s biggest stage.

They have often been the key to success, turning the tide in crucial matches and leading to unforgettable victories.

PlayerWC Games PlayedOverall Goals ScoredAverage Goals Per GameBraces Scored
Miroslav Klose24160.673
Diego Maradona2180.383
Just Fontaine13132.172
Sandor Kocsis5112.202
Helmut Rahn10101.002
Gary Lineker12100.832

Also Read: 23 Ways on How to Get Better at Soccer With Pro Tips – According to Soccer Coach

Hat Tricks in Soccer 

Hat tricks, scoring three goals in a single match, are one of the most celebrated achievements in soccer. They represent a player’s supremacy and capacity to affect the game alone. Hat tricks have been part of famous soccer moments from the Premier League to the World Cup.

Players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar have scored numerous hat tricks, showcasing their extraordinary talent. Legends like Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat trick in the 1966 World Cup final, have made history. Hat tricks show talent, precision, and resolve, not simply goal-scoring.

They may turn a tie into a win or a loss into a big win. Hat tricks, whether it’s a perfect hat trick (scoring with left foot, right foot, and head) or a quick-fire three goals, are spectacular.

Summing Up on What is a Brace in Soccer

A brace in soccer, scoring two goals in a single match, is a significant achievement that often plays a vital role in a game’s outcome.

From the Premier League to the World Cup, braces have been a part of some of football’s most exciting moments. Players like Ronaldo, Messi, and Klose have made braces a regular feature of their illustrious careers.

While not as glamorous as a hat trick, a brace is still a mark of excellence and a testament to a player’s goal-scoring prowess. It’s a term that adds richness to the language of soccer and celebrates individual brilliance.

Faqs on What is a Brace in Soccer

What is 4 Goals in Soccer Called”Why is It Called a Hat Trick in Soccer

Scoring four goals in a single soccer game is an impressive feat known as a “super hat-trick.” It’s a rare occurrence that showcases a player’s extraordinary skill and ability to dominate a match. If a player scores five goals, it’s called a “glut,” and six goals are known as a “double hat-trick.” Scoring four or more goals is also referred to as an “overhaul.” These terms celebrate the remarkable achievement of individual players and add excitement to the game.

The term “hat trick” originates from cricket, where a bowler who took three wickets from three consecutive balls was honoured with a hat. In soccer, a hat trick refers to a player scoring three goals in one game. It’s a prestigious accomplishment that highlights a player’s skill and ability to influence the outcome of a match.

How Many Goals Make a Brace?

A brace in soccer refers to scoring two goals in a single game. It’s a term that has been used since the 15th century and signifies a player’s ability to significantly impact the game by scoring multiple goals.

How Many Braces Has Messi Scored?

Lionel Messi, one of the greatest players in soccer’s history, has scored 205 braces throughout his illustrious career. His ability to consistently score braces has contributed to his reputation as one of the most prolific goal-scorers in the sport.

Can A Player Score More Than One Brace In A Soccer Match?

Yes, a player can score more than one brace in a soccer match. A brace refers to scoring two goals, so if a player scores four goals, it would be considered two braces. This achievement, known as a “super hat-trick,” is a rare and exciting event in soccer.

Who Has The Most Braces In The Champions League?

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the chart for the most braces in Champions League history with 38 braces. His remarkable ability to score multiple goals in Europe’s most prestigious club competition has solidified his status as one of the greatest players ever.

About the author


Hi I"m Aryan a pro soccer player, coach, and visionary in the world of soccer. With an impressive journey that began at the tender age of five, I have dedicated my life to the beautiful game.

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