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Jonathan Soriano The Hat-Trick Daddy

The football world holds various unique and emotional stories, and Soriano, the Spanish striker and idol at RB Salzburg, is the protagonist of one such story. Below, we’ll recount how the scorer witnessed the birth of his daughter and scored a phenomenal hat-trick on the same day.

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Jonathan Soriano’s Career

The Spanish striker was born on September 24, 1985, in the small Catalan town of El Pont de Vilomara i Rocafort, and since the age of 10, he trained in the youth ranks of Espanyol.

In 2001, he was promoted to the senior team, but to the B team, where he began to stand out by scoring many goals, earning frequent call-ups to the Spanish U-17, U-19, U-20, and U-21 national teams.

Between 2002 and 2009, he constantly moved between the B team and the main squad of Espanyol but never managed to establish himself as a starter.

During these years, he was also loaned out to smaller Spanish teams such as Almería, Poli Ejido, and Albacete, where he showed his potential but lacked consistency in his performances.

In 2009, after the end of his loan spell with Albacete, the young Soriano, then 24 years old, saw his youth club, Espanyol, unwilling to renew his contract. However, their great Catalan rivals, Barcelona, trusted in his potential and brought him to their B team, which competed in the Spanish third division.

From 2009 to 2012, he didn’t play for Barcelona’s illustrious senior team, but in the B team, he had very impressive seasons, showcasing his ability to find the back of the net. In total, over these three seasons, he scored 55 goals in 79 games.

Jonathan Soriano nunca acabó de cuajar en el primer equipo blanquiazul | Foto: Santi Cogolludo

With his strong performances for Barcelona B, the Spanish striker caught the attention of RB Salzburg, who signed him midway through the 2011-2012 season.

In the Austrian team, Soriano took some time to adapt and scored only 5 goals in his first season, but in the following seasons, he became one of the club’s greatest idols in history.

In one of the early games of the 2012-2013 season, the Spanish striker was substituted by the coach at the 37th minute of the match. However, he didn’t let it affect him, and he had a phenomenal season, scoring 29 goals in 38 games, with three of those goals having an exclusive chapter in this article.

In the 2013-2014 season, he was appointed captain of the team and helped the Rotten Bullen (RB Salzburg) to rediscover their winning ways, which had never been forgotten. In this season, Soriano was unstoppable, finishing as the top scorer in the Austrian Bundesliga with 31 goals in 28 matches, including an impressive four hat-tricks, and also topping the Europa League scoring charts with 8 goals. He lifted the trophies of the Bundesliga and the Austrian Cup at the end of the season.

As captain and top scorer of the team, Soriano became idolized by the fans, continuing to score goals and lift trophies until February 2017 when he transferred to Beijing Guoan in China.

To this day, Soriano is regarded as one of the greatest idols of RB Salzburg, winning a total of 4 Bundesliga titles and 4 Austrian Cup titles with the Rotten Bullen, besides becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer with 172 goals in 202 games.

One month after his transfer, RB Salzburg decided to retire the number 26 shirt worn by the Spanish striker throughout his time with the Rotten Bullen.

In China, he continued to score many goals before moving to Al Hilal, Girona, and ending his career in 2021 with Castellon.

Definitely a player without much glamour or media attention, but who knew exactly how to find the back of the net, besides being one of the greatest idols of one of the greatest teams in Austria.

The Hat-Trick Daddy

Passing through Soriano’s remarkable career, especially with the idolatry created at RB Salzburg over the six seasons he played for the club, we now come to the central point of this article, which was the historic feat celebrated by the Spanish striker on April 20, 2013.

On this day, Soriano awaited the birth of his third daughter with his wife Cristina Sabater, and fate would have it that little Abril was born on the same day as an important match between RB Salzburg and Wolfsberger AC. After all, the Bulls were fighting neck and neck with Austria Vienna for the league leadership and title.

It was certain that the striker would not be with his team on that day; after all, he would be celebrating the birth of his youngest daughter.

Just hours before the game, little Abril was born, healthy and smiling. With her and his partner in the hospital room, Soriano turned on the TV to watch his team from afar and began to feel the desire and even the obligation to be at the stadium with his teammates in what was a crucial game for the Rotten Bullen.

Without hesitation, the striker made sure his wife and daughter were well and, without telling anyone except them, headed from the maternity ward to the stadium. In a journey of 30 minutes, he arrived at the game almost at halftime.

When his teammates and coach saw him, they were surprised but very happy to see the striker.

Upon seeing this scene, the coach approached Soriano, congratulated him, and said, “Since you’re here, I’ll put you on in the second half.” Soriano responded that it was what he wanted most.

The game in question was tied 2-2 at halftime, a very intense match, with a player even being sent off for WAC at the end of the first half.

Soriano then got ready and took to the field to make history five minutes into the second half. In what was almost his first touch of the ball, he received a beautiful lofted pass into the box, let the ball run a bit, and with all his brilliance, chipped the goalkeeper with his right foot, a masterpiece. Naturally, his celebration paid homage to his little one, as the happy and smiling striker celebrated with his finger to his mouth.

Eight minutes later, he saw his teammate Alan score another one, completing a hat-trick for the Brazilian and making it 4-2 for the Rotten Bullen.

At the 21st minute of the second half, a corner was swung in from the right to the near post, and the Spanish striker outjumped the defense and headed it into the far corner, another fantastic goal, with another homage in his celebration.

In the dying moments of the game, Soriano saw his teammate carry the ball down the right, cut inside, and head towards the edge of the box through the middle. Recognizing the play, he charged into the box, attacking the space, and received a beautiful ball, alone. The striker didn’t hesitate and unleashed a rocket into the net, making a beautiful hat-trick on the day his third daughter came into the world. Almost unable to believe it, he celebrated joyously, at that moment being one of the happiest and most fulfilled men in the world.

In an interview, Soriano said it was one of the best days of his life and that he would do it all over again:

“I took about 30 minutes from the maternity ward to the stadium. I arrived with the game at halftime, it was 2-2. I hadn’t arranged with the coaching staff to play, but, to my surprise, the coach put me on in the second half. I felt that I had the responsibility to do something for my team.”

“It was a special day in every way. I was able to witness the birth of my daughter and do what I loved most, which was playing football. I was under strong emotions, but focused on the game.”

And this is yet another one of those stories that only football can provide.

Written by João Felipe Miller

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