What were you doing with your life when you were 20 years old? Let’s be honest, the majority of us were just winging life and slowly creeping from one hangover to the next.
Erling Haaland isn’t your average 20-year-old. The Borussia Dortmund frontman is well on his way to becoming the best striker in the world and is already being courted by just about every club in Europe with even an ounce of pulling power.
The Norway international already boasts some of the most ridiculous individual stats you’re ever likely to see, so sit back and relax as we run through the best of them.
We’ll kick off with a stat you’ve probably heard bandied about recently.
Having watched Kylian Mbappe fire three past Barcelona in PSG’s last 16 Champions League win, Haaland decided it was only fair that he reminded everyone there’s another wonderkid on the block.
His first-half double against Sevilla took his tally in Europe’s premier competition up to 18 to date. Now, not only is that more than Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo (not Cristiano, obviously) bagged in their respective careers, the youngster achieved the feat in just 13 games.
13 games. 13!
Of Haaland’s 18 Champions League strikes, eight of them came while he was plying his trade in Austria with RB Salzburg.
That means his tally in the competition for Dortmund is now up to ten, and having reached double figures in just seven games for the club, he now holds the record for the fastest time to score ten Champions League goals for a single team.
His strikes against Sevilla saw him surpass the record of Roy Makaay, with the Dutchman taking ten games to reach the mark for Bayern Munich across the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons.
Having swapped RB Salzburg for Dortmund in January 2020, it didn’t take long for the goalscoring machine to find his feet in the Bundesliga.
Haaland played just 59 minutes of league football in January 2020, yet, after a hat-trick against Augsburg on his debut and a brace against FC Koln the following game, he was named the Bundesliga player of the month for January.
59 minutes. How is that even possible?
Having bagged three on his Bundesliga debut, just a few weeks later Haaland opened his DFB-Pokal account in his first appearance in the competition, and then scored two on his Champions League debut for Dortmund against Paris Saint-Germain just a fortnight later.
In doing so, the youngster became the first ever Dortmund player to score on his Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal debut for Der BVB.
We’ve already established that Haaland and the Champions League seem to be a match made in heaven, but don’t be fooled into thinking he’s padding his stats out with five-goal hauls against minnows in the group stages.
In the wonderkid’s 13 appearances in Europe’s premier competition, he’s only drawn a blank in two games, meaning he’s scored in 11 of his 13 outings.
When Dortmund splashed €20m (£17.3m) on a then 19-year-old Haaland back in January 2020, few could have envisaged that little over a year later we’d be talking about it being an absolute bargain.
The Norwegian has hit an astonishing 41 goals in 42 games in all competitions for Die Borussen – averaging just shy of a goal a game – a stat made even more impressive given the club’s underwhelming 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign.
There isn’t much Haaland can’t do as a centre-forward. Not only is he physical, impressive technically and a lethal finisher, he’s also absolutely rapid.
In Dortmund’s clash with PSG in the last 16 of the 2019/20 Champions League, having headed the ball clear from a corner Haaland covered 60m in a time of 6.64 seconds – just 0.3 seconds shy of the world record.
So, if footy doesn’t work out for him he can just go and be an Olympic sprinter.
Even some prolific strikers can go their entire career without scoring a single hat-trick, so to bag eight by the time you’re 20 is insane.
Not only has Haaland achieved a three-goal haul in the Bundesliga, the Champions League and the Austrian Bundesliga, he’s also achieved the feat at international level, having scored a hat-trick against Romania in October 2020.
There’s absolutely no knowing how many goals he’ll have notched by the time he hangs up his boots, but with 110 at just 20 years of age it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s going to be an eye-watering figure.
Many have speculated that the numbers clocked by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi would never be surpassed – and with good reason – but if he keeps on developing at the rate he is, there’s every chance Haaland could top them both.
Right then, what’s your guess for the world record he holds? Most goals before turning 20? Most hat-tricks as a teenager? Footballer who most resembles a machine?
Well, it’s none of the above. Haaland holds the world record for the longest standing long jump for a five-year-old – achieving a distance of 1.63m in 2006.
Completely useless information? Yes. Absolutely out of keeping with this whole article? Yes. Weirdly interesting and something you’ll likely never forget. Also yes.