Haaland turns 21: How does he stack up against other legends?



Posted Monday, July 26, 2021 by Marca.com

Haaland turns 21: How does he stack up against other legends?

It's hard to believe that Erling Haaland only just turned 21 on Wednesday, but the Norwegian prodigy has already had some remarkable achievements.

He has already scored 113 goals, having made 164 first-team appearances for both club and country.

The youngster also has five titles to his name: two OFB Cups, two Austrian Bundesliga titles and one DFB Pokal.

With seven goals for his country, from only 12 appearances, Haaland could even hope to break Jorgen Juve's record of 33 goals which has stood since 1937.

How does Haaland compare?

When it comes to incredible goalscoring, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have become the standard bearers.

Yet, Messi had notched only 51 first-team goals by his 21st birthday, less than half of Haaland's record to date. Ronaldo was even further off at the same age, having scored only 36 goals.

At that age, both were establishing themselves at elite clubs in Barcelona and Manchester United, beginning to become stars for the first time but lacking the notoriety of Haaland.

A more modern rival, similar in terms of reputation at the same age, could be Kylian Mbappe, who is only 19 months older than Haaland.

The Frenchman is the only one of the three active legends to have beaten Haaland's stat, but only just. Playing for Monaco, PSG and France, he had scored 118 goals by his 21st birthday, five more than Haaland with the benefit of an additional 35 matches played.

Only one man can blow Haaland out of the water and that's Pele, who had scored 282 goals by that age, though doubts over the accuracy of Santos' records remain.

It's clear that Haaland, who has benefitted from playing in Norway and Austria, less competitive leagues than France, Spain or England, is among the elite with such incredible goalscoring stats.

By the time Messi, Ronaldo and Mbappe turned 21, though, all three were winning titles, with all of them having won a major league title and Messi having won a Champions League to boot.

Haaland is outperforming them in front of goal, but must start winning major titles if he is to truly establish himself as one of the greatest.



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