What Is a Brace in Soccer?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

What is a brace in soccer? When I began watching soccer, there were quite a few words and terminologies used by the commentators that I did not understand. One of these was “a brace”. While it is a common English word, its meaning in a soccer game can be confusing for some people.

Allow me to help you answer the often asked question:

What Is a Brace in Soccer?

In simplest of terms, a player is said to have scored “a brace” when he has scored two goals in a match. The goals can be scored in either half of the game and do not have to be consecutive. The word “brace” comes from Old English and means a pair.

Soccer ball on goal

Since the term finds its roots in Old English, it is commonly used by English commentators and is a popular term amongst the Premier League and the Championship. Scoring a brace is a huge deal for any player as it is an extremely challenging feat to accomplish. It is followed by a hat-trick, where a player scores three goals in a game.

What Is the Origin of the Word “Brace”?

For us, a brace means a strong support for a building or a body part (like a neck brace). It is also the act of preparing yourself against something unpleasant. In soccer, it means a pair of goals scored by a single player during the match, as discussed above.

However, the word “brace” has French origins and it means “pair of arms” or “pair”. It was later used as a hunting term to describe two animals that have been hunted, for example a brace of rabbits or birds. 

The word first appeared as a soccer terminology in the late 19th century, when the phrase “scoring a brace of goals” started to become popular. It was eventually shortened to “brace”, as it is still used to this day to imply a pair of goals.

Who Has Scored the Most Braces in UEFA Champions League History?

The UEFA Champions League is one of the most popular forms of soccer, with a plethora of word-class players and goalscorers. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that there have been numerous braces scored during the three thrilling decades of the League. Following are the 5 players with the most braces in the history of UEFA Champions League:

Soccer player on game
  1. Cristiano Renaldo (Manchester United) tops the list with 38 braces. He is also the competition’s lead scorer with 139 goals and the only player to have won five titles in Champions League history.
  2. Lionel Messi (Paris St Germain) scored 34 braces and is a close second. The striker netted all but one of his 34 braces for Barcelona. He is also one of only two players in the Champions League, who has scored over 100 goals and 8 hat-tricks.
  3. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) comes at number three with 20 braces; 13 of them came while playing for Bayern Munich. He also has 4 hat-tricks to his name.
  4. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) is at number four on the list with 17 braces. He is also a 4-time Champions League winner and one of the only two players to have scored in every season of the competition. His last brace came in the Champions League season this year against Shakhtar Donetsk.
  5. Raul (Real Madrid) scored 14 braces in his career. He is the only player on the list that is retired. He is one of the youngest players to score a hat-trick, with over 70 goals in the competition.

How to Get Better at Scoring a Brace?

The best way to increase your chances of scoring a brace is to improve your shooting and finishing.

  • Shooting is taking a long shot to score a goal.
  • finishing is scoring a goal often after a ball is passed to you while you are near the goal.

If you are not a good shooter or finisher, then you might miss the target when you get the opportunity, or the opposing goalkeeper will prevent the goal from happening.

Moreover, if you play as a midfielder or a forward you will get more chances to score a brace as compared to a defender. Therefore, you should practice shooting from a certain distance and angle until you have perfected your kick.

Soccer player reaching on the soccer ball

What Is a Hat-Trick in Soccer?

Hat-trick is one of many football jargons. As I mentioned in the very beginning, brace precedes a hat-track. Thus, a player is said to have scored a hat-trick when they net three goals in one match. The term is widely used in many sports, but it is believed that it was first used in Cricket.

Scoring a hat-trick is a tremendous accomplishment. Therefore, it has become a tradition that the player who manages the feat is awarded the match ball as a symbolic reward.

Related Questions

What Are 4 Goals in Soccer Called?

When a single player scores four goals in a match, it is described as a “haul”. The term is not as commonly used as a “brace” or a “hat-trick” for two main reasons. Firstly, scoring four goals in a match is not very easy. Secondly, the term is less official than the other two phrases.

What Is the Meaning of Scoring a Glut in Soccer?

The netting of five goals by a single player during a game is unofficially known as a “glut”. Some of the other terms used to describe a five-goal haul are quintuplé and repoker. While glut is an English term, quintuplé is used in France and repoker originates from Spain.


To conclude, a player scores or gets a brace in soccer when they manage to score two goals in a single game. The goals do not have to be one after another; as long as the same player nets the ball twice before the final whistle, it is called a brace. The word comes from Old English and means “a pair” of something.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.