Manchester City striker Erling Haaland turned just 22 in the summer. He has only made 21 Champions League appearances but has already scored 26 goals.
To put that in context, he is only one goal behind equaling Luis Suarez’s scoring balance in the competition and four goals behind Wayne Rooney. Not only that, but he’s already outdone some really great players.
The Norwegian player’s 26th Champions League goal was a stunning acrobatic late in the game against his former team Borussia Dortmund in City’s 2-1 win.
“People who know me probably know the impact of Johan Cruyff on my life as a person, as a teacher, as a teacher, as a coach and everything,” said Pep Guardiola.
“Years ago, Johan Cruyff scored a great goal at Barcelona’s Camp Nou against Atletico Madrid similar to Haaland. The moment Erling scored a goal I thought: ‘Johan Cruyff’. It was just the same. It was an incredible help from João and it was the final touch of Erling is exceptional.”
Mentioning an all-time legend like Cruyff in the same sentence as Haaland is high praise, but the rising star belongs in great company. Here are nine great players Haaland has scored more goals than the Champions League.
Fair enough, Scholes was a midfielder, so it’s not a fair comparison.
The remarkable thing, however, is that Manchester United’s former number 18 is his longevity in competition. The midfielder made his debut in the Champions League in 1994, and his last appearance was in the most famous European Cup competition in 2012.
Scholes won it twice and appeared in three finals. He appeared in 17 different seasons, appeared in 124 Champions League games – over 100 of Haaland’s – and scored 24 goals, including some.
The England international returned to the Champions League again in 2014-15, with a five-year lead at Haaland. No player has appeared more under Pep Guardiola, and for seven years Sterling appeared regularly with the Manchester City team that were among the favorites to win the title.
He scored his 25th Champions League goal – and a first in competition with Chelsea – in a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg, but that same night Haaland scored again to stay one goal ahead.
The Argentine has emerged at the center of the heart of some of Europe’s most glamorous clubs – Real Madrid, Juventus and Napoli – with almost four times Haaland’s participation in the Champions League, 83 to 22 for the Norwegian.
It’s easy to mock Higuain and remember him walking around the field with a sore expression, but for a while he was one of the best strikers, especially at Napoli and early on at Juventus.
Robin van Persie
Van Persie appeared in 11 different Champions League campaigns with Arsenal and Manchester United. He scored 25 goals in 59 games, a more than respectable rate of nearly one in two.
A few years ago, you would not have believed that it would be possible for a 22-year-old to beat his scoring record. But here we are.
UEFA Champions League August 6, 2020
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have dominated European competition for the past five years and Mane has been among their standout players.
The 30-year-old started in three finals, scored in one, and is now up to 57 Champions League appearances. Twenty-four goals at the time were more than a good record – still – but Haaland’s arrival skewed the scales somewhat.
The great Argentine boasted of his brilliant football career. He scored in the Champions League for five different clubs – Parma, Lazio, Inter, Chelsea and AC Milan – over the nine seasons he was in the competition.
25 goals in 65 matches, including nine for Inter in 2002-03, has always looked like a great comeback. A little less so when you put him next to Haaland.
When you think of the former Spain national team player Real Madrid tear up For Liverpool, raising big ears with Chelsea, or enjoying a late run at Atletico Madrid, you might be surprised to hear that he has scored just 20 goals in the Champions League.
Nothing is more memorable than this.
We can’t forget this goal. 🤩
9 years ago today against Barcelona 🙌 Fernando Torres pic.twitter.com/BRndMySXEY
– Chelsea (ChelseaFC) April 24, 2021
The England captain scored 20 goals in 26 Champions League matches. This is the best goals-to-match ratio for the players we’ve picked here by some distance, and only you know beats it.
What a terrorist. Five-time European Champions League winner. The top scorer is arguably the greatest goal in the history of the European Cup.
Fewer goals in the competition than Haaland. We need to lie down.
read the following: The four players who will score a hat-trick in CL: Messi, Benzema…