Erling Haaland has taken to the Premier League less like a duck to water and more like a speedboat, scoring a stunning 25 goals in just 28 games so far this season and 31 goals for City across all competitions. Haaland has also already surpassed the Premier League golden boot tallies from the past four seasons, and it is only January.
The former Borussia Dortmund star is also leading the Champions League scorecard with five goals to his name already. The 22-year old Norwegian is on track to break every goalscoring record before him if he keeps finding the back of the net with anything like his current frequency.
Those of us who lived through the past two decades of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo having their own personal G.O.A.T battle might have believed they would never see another player who could live up to the ridiculously high individual standards set by the two living legends.
Between them, the Argentinian wizard and the Portuguese superstar have won 12 of the last 13 Ballon d’Or trophies, but both are now in the twilight of their playing careers and a new generation of stars is emerging with Haaland at the forefront.
Ronaldo, 37, has scored 701 goals in club football while Messi, 35, has found the back of the net 692 times in his club career but how did their stats compare to the Manchester City forward when they were his age?
Haaland burst on to the scene when he signed for Molde in his native Norway at the age of 16 then, as a 17 year old, he netted ten goals - twice the total Ronaldo bagged at the same age with the then Sporting CP teenager hitting five, while Messi got just one as he found his footing in the Barcelona first team.
It was the Argentine who found the net more frequently as an 18 year old with ten compared to Haaland’s five and Ronaldo’s one, but since then it has been Haaland who has been drastically outperforming his young age.
As a 20-year old, Haaland scored a stunning 40 goals which absolutely smashed the 19 Messi scored at the same age and the 17 from Ronaldo.
Then, as a 21-year old the Norwegian netted 42 goals compared to Messi’s 41 and Ronaldo’s 26.
Haaland celebrated his 22nd birthday in July and has already scored 20 goals in all competitions since then, which once again puts him on course to beat the 40 that Ronaldo netted at the same age while the 48 scored by Messi remains a more than achievable goal.
On the international stage it’s Ronaldo who is the undisputed king, holding the record for the most international goals scored by a men’s player.
His current total of 118 in 196 caps for Portugal eclipses Messi’s 98 goals in 172 caps for Argentina, with the PSG star still behind Iran legend Ali Daei’s 109 goal total to sit third in the all-time list.
Haaland has already netted 21 goals in 23 caps for Norway and although he has a long way to go to reach Ronaldo, Messi and Daei’s totals, he overtakes or closes in on another legend with every strike.
He is one away from equalling the 22 that George Weah scored in his 75 caps for Liberia and his next targets could be the likes of Chelsea’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who scored 30 goals in 75 caps for Gabon, or Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish who got 30 in his 102 caps for Scotland.
He is already joint eight on the all-time top scorer list for Norway and is well on course to surpass the likes of Ole Gunnar Solskjær (23 goals in 67 caps), John Carew (24 goals in 91 cps) and the nation’s all time top scorer Jørgen Juve, who scored 33 goals in 45 caps and has held the record for almost a century.