Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

What Is A Brace In Soccer?

Football is a sport with its own unique vocabulary, which can sometimes confuse those unfamiliar with the game. One phrase that is commonly used in soccer is “brace.” While it may have a different meaning outside of the football world, understanding what it means to score a brace is essential for any soccer enthusiast.

What Is A Brace In Soccer?

In soccer, a brace refers to a player scoring two goals in a single match. It’s as simple as that. However, it’s important to note that scoring just one goal or three goals does not qualify as a brace. Once a player scores a third goal, it becomes a hat trick instead.

The timing of the goals doesn’t matter. Whether the goals are scored early in the match or spread out throughout the game, as long as a player scores two goals in a single match, it is considered a brace. Additionally, the goals do not need to be scored within a single half of the game.

Braces are more commonly achieved by attacking players rather than defensive players. While it’s not unheard of for defensive-minded players to score two goals in a game, it is much less common. Later in this article, we’ll explore some of the most celebrated brace-scorers in soccer history.

Why Is It Called A Brace?

The term “brace” originated in Old English, where it referred to a pair of something that was killed or shot down. For example, hunters would refer to the killing of two rabbits or two pheasants as a “brace.” This usage can be traced back even further to the old Anglo-French language, where “brace” meant a “pair of arms” in reference to the Latin and Ancient Greek words for “arm.”

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Over time, the word “brace” came to mean a pair of something in the English language. In relation to soccer, the phrase “scoring a brace of goals” gained popularity in the 19th century as more people started following the sport. Eventually, the phrase was shortened to simply “brace,” which is commonly used by pundits and commentators today.

Who Has Scored The Most Braces?

Scoring multiple braces in a single season is no small feat, especially in the top leagues. In the Championship, Aleksandr Mitrovic made history during Fulham’s title-winning season in 2021/22 by scoring nine braces in 44 league matches. This extraordinary achievement broke the EFL Championship scoring record.

In the Premier League, Alan Shearer holds the record for the most braces in a single season. During the 1993/94 season, he scored 10 braces, contributing to his overall tally of 34 league goals. However, it’s important to note that this record was achieved when there were 22 teams competing in the top flight, with a 42-game season format. Since the Premier League switched to a 38-game format, several players, including Kevin Phillips, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Luis Suarez, have scored nine braces in a single term.

In terms of international competitions, Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for the most braces in competitive Champions League matches, with an impressive 38 braces in 187 appearances. Lionel Messi is not far behind with 34 Champions League braces, in addition to his astounding 134 La Liga braces. These two legendary players have both scored over 200 career braces. At the World Cup level, Brazilian Ronaldo holds the record with four braces.

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Famous Braces

While numbers matter in soccer, it’s the moments of magic that truly captivate fans. Throughout the history of the sport, there have been some unforgettable brace performances. Here are a few that stand out:

Gareth Bale, Real Madrid

Gareth Bale’s time at Real Madrid may have ended on a sour note, but the Welsh superstar produced some incredible displays during his stint with the club. One of his most memorable performances came in the 2018 Champions League final, where he came off the bench and scored two iconic goals. The first goal was a spectacular overhead kick, while the second was a powerful long-distance strike.

Zinedine Zidane, France

In the 1998 World Cup final, Zinedine Zidane was the star for France, scoring two crucial goals in a 3-0 victory over Brazil. Both goals were headers from corners. Zidane’s outstanding performance in the final contributed to France winning their first-ever World Cup.

Lionel Messi, Argentina

In the dramatic 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France, Lionel Messi scored a crucial brace to lead Argentina to victory. His first goal was a well-taken penalty, and the second goal came in extra time. These goals not only secured Messi’s first World Cup win but also made him the first player in history to score in the group stage, round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final, and final of a single World Cup.

If you’d like to learn more about the goalscoring exploits of your favorite soccer players, check out our guide to hat tricks in soccer.


What Is 3 Goals In Soccer Called?

When a player scores three goals in a single match, it’s called a hat trick. The goals do not need to be scored in succession and can occur at any point during the game, including stoppage time. There is also the concept of a “perfect hat-trick,” where a player scores one goal with their right foot, one with their left foot, and one with their head. For more information on hat tricks in soccer, refer to our comprehensive guide.

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What Is 4 Goals In Soccer Called?

Scoring four goals in a single match is quite rare but not unheard of. It is often referred to as a “haul.”

What Is 5 Goals In Soccer Called?

Scoring five goals in one game is an astonishing accomplishment, although it occurs very rarely. It is unofficially called a “glut.”

What Is 6 Goals In Soccer Called?

Scoring six goals in a single match is extremely uncommon, and there is no official name for it. Given the rarity of such an event, it is understandable that there is no widely recognized term. Similarly, there is no official name for scoring seven goals, with a five-goal “glut” being the highest tally with a commonly used name.

For more interesting facts and insights into the world of soccer, continue exploring our website.


In summary, a brace in soccer refers to a player scoring two goals in a single match. The term originated from Old English and has its roots in hunting and the Anglo-French language. Scoring multiple braces in a season or in prestigious competitions like the Champions League is a testament to a player’s skill and prowess on the field. The sport of soccer has witnessed some incredible brace performances by legendary players like Gareth Bale, Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi, and more. While numbers are important, soccer is ultimately about the moments of magic that leave fans in awe.