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.
Contributed by Dave Litterer
Prepared and maintained by Colin Jose the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Author: Colin Jose
Last updated: 13 Nov 2006
(C) Copyright Colin Jose 1995/2006
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