Erling Haaland has already established himself as one of the most formidable strikers in world football at the tender age of just 19.
Haaland, the son of ex-Leeds midfielder Alf-Inge, has already scored 41 goals in 36 appearances this season for Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund combined.
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The Norwegian quite clearly has the world at his feet, having already shown on a regular basis what it takes to compete on the highest stage.
Haaland has a long way to go before he reaches the incredible levels Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have consistently shown throughout their respective careers – but the omens are certainly in the former’s favour.
In fact, Haaland has a BETTER goalscoring record than the aforementioned pair at the same age.
He has already bagged 62 goals in 107 professional games, giving him an average goals-per-game ratio of 0.58.
Meanwhile, Messi had scored 20 goals in 63 appearances at the same stage of his career (0.31), with Ronaldo only finding the net 12 goals in 87 matches – giving him an average goals-per-game ratio of 0.13.
Interestingly, it took Messi 132 games to reach Haaland’s current tally, while Ronaldo incredibly had to wait 233 matches to score 62 goals.
Mitigating factors must, of course, be taken into consideration. Twenty of Haaland’s 62 goals came in Norway with a further 29 in Austria.
Haaland’s goal record at 19 compared to Messi and Ronaldo
Erling Haaland – Played 107, Goals 62, Average 0.58
Lionel Messi – Played 63, Goals 20, Average 0.31
Cristiano Ronaldo – Played 87, Goals 12, Average 0.13
Such was the regard Messi and Ronaldo were held in from an early age, they were fast tracked and competing in some of Europe’s top leagues from the get go.
Meanwhile the duo also played as wingers for much of their early days.
But It must be noted that Haaland has already displayed his credentials on the highest stage, scoring 10 goals in eight Champions League appearances this season – as well as 10 in 10 for Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are the only other players to reach double figures in their maiden Champions League campaign, while he also has eight hat-tricks to his name so far.
Haaland has failed to find the net in his last two appearances for Dortmund, who lost to Bayern Munich last time out, but he did find the net in the 4-0 home rout of Schalke – their first game behind-closed-doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Such is the impact Haaland has already made in the Bundesliga, he has already been linked with big-money moves to the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Liverpool.
Jesse Marsch, the Norweigan’s former coach at Red Bull Salzburg, believes the towering forward would be an ‘incredible fit’ for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
If Haaland continues in the same vein he has been doing this season, then a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs is surely only a matter of time away.
Paderborn v Borussia Dortmund is LIVE on talkSPORT 2 this Sunday from 5pm, with commentary from Kevin Hatchard and Andy Brassell