No team had been able to resist Erling Haaland in the UEFA Champions League – until he came up against Manchester City.
Article top media content
After 22 UEFA club competition games, Erling Haaland has netted an astonishing 24 goals and scored at least once against every side he has met in the UEFA Champions League – except Manchester City, that is, who denied the Norwegian in this season's quarter-finals.
• With 24 strikes in his first 20 European matches (prior to the City tie), Haaland was scoring at an unprecedented rate. At the same point in their careers, the other modern greats had nothing like his goalscoring potency; after 20 European outings, Kylian Mbappé had scored 12 goals, Lionel Messi eight, Robert Lewandowski six and Cristiano Ronaldo just one.
• Even the most celebrated marksmen of the earliest UEFA club competition vintage could not match Haaland's totals. After 20 European games, Real Madrid legends Ferenc Puskás and Alfredo Di Stéfano had notched 19 and 21 goals respectively; AC Milan titan José Altafini hit 21 in his first 20 appearances, while 1970s German aces Gerd Müller and Jupp Heynckes scored 15 and 18 respectively in the equivalent number of continental fixtures at the dawn of their careers.
• Haaland is already Norway's joint-third highest scoring player in UEFA club competition, trailing Harald Brattbakk (31 in 75 games) and John Carew (28 in 85), but level on 24 goals with Toré André Flo (who took 61 matches to achieve the same total). His one-time mentor at Molde, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, ended his career with 23 European goals.
• Only one team aside from City have managed to stop Haaland scoring in a European game so far: the forward failed to register on his continental debut as his Molde side lost 2-1 to Northern Ireland's Glenavon in a July 2018 UEFA Europa League qualifier. He bagged his first European goal on his next outing, a 3-0 success against Albanian club Laç.
• Glenavon's Rhys Marshall recalled of Haaland's debut: "He barely got a kick, to be fair to our defenders. He was very young; there were something like 18 or 19 scouts there to watch him. We all knew about him because there was so much talk about him. That was in the summer and I think the following January he joined Salzburg."
• Surprisingly, Haaland's European goalscoring statistics have improved with each move up the international ladder; with Molde, he scored four goals in five European games, while he hit eight in seven UEFA fixtures for Salzburg and has struck 12 times in ten Dortmund matches.
• Those raw figures – 24 in 22 matches – are the equivalent to 1.09 goals per game. Should he continue to score at the same rate, he will overtake Cristiano Ronaldo's record of 137 European goals some time during his 127th continental fixture. Had Ronaldo scored at the same rate as Haaland throughout his 184 European outings to date, he would have amassed more than 200 goals by now.
Which clubs has Haaland scored against?
• All of them bar Glenavon and City, so ten clubs in all: Club Brugge, Genk, Hibernian, Laç, Lazio, Liverpool, Napoli, Paris, Sevilla and Zenit. Eight of his goals have come against Belgian opposition, at a rate of one every 33 minutes.
|Opponents by club||Games||Minutes||Goals||Minutes per goal|
When Haaland has scored his UEFA competition goals
• Haaland's goals have been spread evenly across both halves so far, but opposition managers should note that he is at his most fearsome when he gets the scent of half-time oranges; seven of his 24 goals have come in the final 15 minutes of the first half.
|41 to half-time||2|
|85 to full time||2|
Last updated: 14/04/21