Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for scoring the most hat-tricks by an active footballer, with 59 hat-tricks during his trophy-laden career.

Ronaldo, who has the most headed goals in the 21st century among his innumerable records, registered the first hat-trick of his senior career in Manchester United’s 6-0 win against Newcastle United in 2008 while his last came in the Red Devils' 3-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur in their recent Premier League encounter

In a Portugal shirt, Cristiano's last hat-trick came in Portugal’s 5-0 win against Luxembourg in a World Cup 2022 qualifying game. His triple strike was his 10th hat-trick for the national team and he became the first player to score 10 hat-tricks in international football.

Furthermore, Cristiano Ronaldo is also the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup. At 33 years and 130 days, the Portugal skipper scored thrice to help his side draw 3-3 against Spain.

Lionel Messi is second on this list with 55 hat-tricks. The Paris Saint-Germain star and Argentina captain notched his maiden hat-trick in a 2007 El Clasico fixture against Real Madrid, which ended in a 3-3 draw.

Additionally, Messi is the first player to score five goals in a UEFA Champions League game with his effort coming in Barcelona’s 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in 2012.

Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is third on the list for most hat-tricks by an active footballer. The Poland forward has scored 30 hat-tricks in his career and is followed by Lionel Messi’s former strike partner Luis Suarez at 29.

Lewandowski netted five hat-tricks in 2021 for Bayern Munich with four of them coming in the Bundesliga.

Edinson Cavani (15) and Radamel Falcao (10) complete our list for most hat-tricks by an active footballer.

Most hat-tricks by an active footballer

Players Total career goals Total hat-tricks
Cristiano Ronaldo 695 (club), 115 (international) 60
Lionel Messi 679 (club), 80 (international) 55
Robert Lewandowski 532 (club), 74 (international) 30
Luis Suarez 435 (club), 67 (international) 29
Edinson Cavani 360 (club), 54 (international) 12
Radamel Falcao 300 (club), 35 (international) 10

Author: William Paul

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Featured photo: AFP / DANIEL LEAL