Who is better: Mbappé or Haaland? It is not our place to decide but we have laid out their UEFA Champions League achievements to help you make an informed decision.
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Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Saudi Arabia signals the end of an era: a termination of the great rivalry between the Portuguese and Lionel Messi that has shaped the UEFA Champions League over the past 15 years.
What next? Well, we may not have to wait long. If at all. Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland have taken the Champions League by storm since they made their competition debuts in 2016 and 2019 respectively, rewriting the record books right from the off.
Haaland, still just 22 and in only his fourth campaign in the competition, is already joint-28th in the list of all-time Champions League scorers. Mbappé, 24, is 17th. Both players are ahead of where Ronaldo and Messi were at equivalent stages of their careers.
|21/07/2000||Date of birth||20/12/1998|
They have each swapped clubs along the way. Mbappé departed for Paris Saint-Germain after helping Monaco to the semi-finals in his debut season while Haaland has played in the competition for Salzburg, Dortmund and now Manchester City.
Of course, neither have won the Champions League yet. Mbappé was a losing finalist in 2020 and has also twice reached the last four; Haaland is yet to advance beyond the quarter-finals. Plenty of time for that, though.
The debate over who is better already rages, and while it is not our place to decide we have laid out their Champions League achievements to help you make an informed decision.
Youngest to landmark goals
Mbappé was just 17 when he made his Champions League debut as a late substitute for Monaco against Leverkusen on 27 September 2016. He scored on his first start in the competition (and seven of his first eight starts), in the remarkable 5-3 defeat at Manchester City in the 2016/17 round of 16 first leg. Mbappé was eight days off his 19th birthday when he became the youngest player ever to reach ten Champions league goals.
The Frenchman also surpassed Lionel Messi as the youngest man to reach 20, 30 and 40 goals, though his 20-goal mark has since been lowered by Haaland. The Norway striker was 19 when he became the first and so far only player to score a first-half hat-trick on his Champions League debut, in a 6-2 win against Genk on 17 September 2019. Within 18 months he was already up to 20 goals.
By the time they turned 21, Haaland and Mbappé had 20 and 19 Champions League goals respectively. The only other man to reach double figures was Karim Benzema, with 12; Messi had struck eight, Ronaldo zero.
|Player (selected)||20 goals||30 goals||40 goals|
|Mbappé||21y 255d||22y 352d*||23y 317d*|
|Messi||22y 266d||23y 131d||24y 130d|
|Raúl||22y 297d||24y 91d||25y 258d|
|Müller||24y 159d||26y 3d||26y 35d|
|Benzema||23y 282d||25y 105d||26y 307d|
|Ronaldo||24y 306d||26y 270d||27y 241d|
|Henry||25y 39d||26y 206d||28y 188d|
|Van Nistelrooy||26y 85d||26y 296d||28y 125d|
|Lewandowski||26y 202d||27y 110d||28y 240d|
Fastest to milestone goals
|Player (selected)||10 goals||20 goals||30 goals||40 goals|
Mbappé and Haaland: By season
Either Messi or Ronaldo finished with at least a share of the Champions League top scorer prize for 12 successive seasons before Robert Lewandowski broke the spell in 2019/20. Haaland was top scorer the following campaign ahead of Mbappé, becoming the youngest ever to take that title aged just 20.
Mbappé or Haaland: Who's faster?
Mbappé was clocked at 38km/h in a Ligue 1 match for Paris against former side Monaco in 2019 – for reference, when Usain Bolt broke the 100m record a decade earlier his average speed was 37.58km/h. Haaland runs the Frenchman close, though, having been recorded running 36.3km/h in the Bundesliga.
Mbappé and Haaland have met twice in the Champions League, in the 2019/20 round of 16. Two Haaland goals inspired Dortmund to a 2-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain, with Mbappé teeing up Neymar's reply. Haaland was frustrated in the return, though, as Paris stormed back to win the tie 3-2 on aggregate. Mbappé, who had a knock, came on as a late substitute to see the game out and lead the celebrations.
Haaland on Mbappé, Mbappé on Haaland
Haaland in 2022: "I don't like to compare myself with others. I think you need to be your own player. The media has been doing that [comparing top players] with Ronaldo and Messi for the last ten years and they've been pushing each other as well. I think it's been a positive thing."
Mbappé in 2022: "It's the beginning for him. I'm happy for him, for what he's doing. However, I didn't just play up front; I played left and right. In all modesty, I don't think anyone is capable of changing a position like that every year and maintaining a great performance at the highest level."