The first World Cup hat trick

Who scored the first hat trick in World Cup soccer competition?  Take a 
look at the vast majority of books published on the World Cup and you 
will find that honor belongs to Guillermo Stabile of Argentina.  But 
should it?  Was Stabile really the first player to score a hat trick or 
should the record really belong to American Bert Patenaude?

Stabile scored his three goals against Mexico on July 19, 1930, while 
Patenaude scored his three against Paraguay on July 17, 1930, two days 
earlier.  So why is it that the records of the World Cup show that 
Stabile holds the record?

The problem is that most of the World Cup books record that Patenaude 
only scored twice against Paraguay, and while some record that Tom 
Florie scored the other goal, others record that it was an own goal.

Yet the World Cup report submitted to the then United States Football 
Association, by manager Wilfred Cummings records that Patenaude scored 
all three goals.  One year before he died, Arnie Oliver, who was a 
member of the American squad, told a Soccer History Symposium in 
Oneonta, NY, that Patenaude scored all three goals, while in interviews, 
Billy Gonsalves and Jim Brown who played in that game both claim that 
Patenaude scored three times.

Even the game report in the Argentina daily La Prensa supports the US 
claim, even to the extent of publishing diagrams of how the goals were 
scored.  The Brazilian paper O Estadio do Sao Paulo also records that 
Patenaude scored all three goals.  So why the controversy, surely the 
evidence is overwhelming.

The answer probably lies with the own goal claims.  Even today we 
dispute whether or not a deflected shot should be credited to the player 
who shot the ball or the player who deflected it.  Then again, the 
players wore no numbers on their shirts in 1930.

Note (November 10, 2006): FIFA officially acknowledged Patenaude's
hat trick on November 10, 2006.

About this document

Contributed by Dave Litterer

Prepared and maintained by Colin Jose for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation

Author: Colin Jose
Last updated: 13 Nov 2006

(C) Copyright Colin Jose 1995/2006
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.