In 13 editions of the UEFA European Championship, there have been just eight hat-tricks; including a sensational debut and two in one tournament, UEFA.com recaps the exploits of those players to have find the net three times in a finals match.
Dieter Müller: 1976 semi-finals, Yugoslavia 2-4 West Germany (aet)
Rarely can a player have made such an explosive international debut as this. Müller's team were headed for a 2-1 defeat and elimination when he came off the bench to make his bow with 11 minutes left. Just three minutes later, he had made it 2-2 and extra time was required; two more goals from him completed an impressive comeback and a truly extraordinary hat-trick.
Klaus Allofs: 1980 group stage, West Germany 3-2 Netherlands
Allofs may have taken the plaudits for his exploits in front of goal, but his influence was easily matched by that of young firebrand Bernd Schuster, who was directly involved in two of his strikes. Narrow 1-0 victors in their first group fixture, this was a performace, a result and, ultimately, a hat-trick which gave West Germany the momentum to go pn and win the tournament.
Michel Platini: 1984 group stage, France 5-0 Belgium
The 1984 hosts started in tentative fashion with a 1-0 victory against Denmark, but here in Nantes they and their talisman ratcheted up the gears. A fourth-minute predatory rebound, a penalty and a header accounted for Platini's treble, though it was his all-round influence which boded particularly well for Les Bleus.
Michel Platini: 1984 group stage, France 3-2 Yugoslavia
Only three days later, in France's very next game, their captain was at it again, becoming the first and only man to date even to score more than one hat-trick in a single tournament. Adopting a free role which perfectly suited his elegance and style in possession, Platini did all his damage in 18 second-half minutes, the piece de resistance coming in the form of a splendid free-kick with 13 minutes left.
Marco van Basten: 1988 group stage, England 1-3 Netherlands
Only a substitute in the Netherlands' 1-0 defeat by the Soviet Union in their tournament opener, Van Basten was this time handed a starting berth and paid back coach Rinus Michels in spades. The AC Milan striker showed himself to be a lethal finisher of the very highest order against England, giving his team sufficient momentum to go all the way to the final – where he once again had a spectacular part to play.
Sérgio Conceição: 2000 group stage, Portugal 3-0 Germany
An international stalwart for two decades, Lothar Matthäus was winning his 150th and final Germany cap, but there was no doubt this night belonged to just one man. Germany had only a solitary point heading into this final group game and were positively blown away by a second-string Portugal side spearheaded in splendid fashion by Conceição, whose three goals maintained his team's 100% record.
Patrick Kluivert: 2000 quarter-finals, Netherlands 6-1 Yugoslavia
Less than a week after Conceição's exploits for Portugal, Kluivert dished up more of the same for the Oranje. Deceptively quick for his burly frame, it was Kluivert's fleet of foot and predatory nature which came to the fore here; three instinctive efforts ensured he had the match ball wrapped up by the time he went off on the hour.
David Villa: 2008 group stage, Spain 4-1 Russia
Pace, persistence and an unparalleled eye for goal: this was a performance which epitomised Villa. From a simple tap-in – Fernando Torres had done the hard work – to open the scoring, to a pacy, bustling run and precision finish to wrap up his treble, the then Valencia CF striker was the perfect apex to a Spanish side packed to the brim with artists and creators.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.