Only 23 football players in the history of the beautiful game have scored 500 goals during their careers. A mere four of those record goalscorers are still playing today: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, and Luis Suarez. All four are rapidly heading toward retirement. On the flip side of the coin, Erling Braut Haaland’s career is only just beginning, and the 22-year-old Norwegian is already smashing up scoring records for fun.
At the time of writing, Haaland has scored 202 goals in 243 appearances for club and country, a phenomenal record in its own right but even more impressive due to Haaland only being 22 years old. Haaland has only played 14 Premier League games since Manchester City bought him for €60 million from Borrusia Dortmund, yet he has found the back of the net 20 times. Haaland set a new record for scoring two hat-tricks and three hat-tricks and became the fastest player to 20 Premier League goals after netting a brace against Leeds United, the club he supports, on December 28.
You only need to look at the past record holders to see how fantastic Haaland’s achievement is. Kevin Phillips held the record since the 1999-2000 season; he took 21 games to reach 20 Premier League goals. Others include Andy Cole (23), Ruud van Nistelrooy (26), and the Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer Alan Shearer (29). Unsurprisingly, Haaland is the clear favorite with the best online sportsbooks to win the Golden Boot, with the past four winners scoring 23 goals throughout the season. Haaland has another 23 games to score three goals to match that total. At his current strike rate, the Norwegian is on course to score 50 goals in a single season.
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The Meteoric Rise of Erling Haaland
Haaland was born in Leeds, United Kingdom, on July 21, 2000. Alfie Haaland, his father, was playing for Leeds United in the Premier League. The Haalands moved to Bryne, Norway, in 2004, shortly after Alfie Haaland’s knee injury forced his early retirement.
Erling Haaland joined the Bryne academy aged five and played for the team’s reserves as a 15-year-old, scoring 18 goals in 14 matches. He made his first-team debut three months before his 16th birthday but failed to score during his 16 appearances. Haaland joined Molde, a famous Norwegian team, scoring 14 goals in 39 games before Austrian Bundesliga outfit Red Bull Salzburg acquired Haaland’s services despite interest from his boyhood club, Leeds United. Haaland played only 27 games for Red Bull Salzburg in all competitions, scoring 29 goals, before German Bundesliga’s Borussia Dortmund paid a bargain €20 million for him. Eighty-six goals in 89 games saw Haaland’s stock rise, and Manchester City triggered a €60 million release clause to bring the 6ft 5in star to the Etihad Stadium.
Including European competitions, Haaland has turned out 20 times for Manchester City and has scored 26 goals. Manchester City creates so many chances that it will be a shock if Haaland does not hit 30 or even 40 Premier League goals this season.
Haaland Hungrier Than Ever To Score Goals
With Norway failing to qualify for the recent 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Haaland was forced to watch the action unfold on television. Watching other players score goals and win games for their respective teams has ignited a fire in Haaland’s belly, as he said during a recent interview with Amazon Prime.
I’ve been at home, being a bit mad that I’m not playing at the World Cup. To watch other people score to win games at the World Cup kind of triggers me, kind of motivates me, and irritates me. I’m more hungry, and I’m more ready than ever.”