WTF!? Five world class footballers Haaland has already outscored in the UCL

WTF!? Five world class footballers Haaland has already outscored in the UCL

Erling Haaland’s astonishing rise continued this week with the Borussia Dortmund star scoring twice to maintain his remarkable record in the Champions League.

Haaland scored twice as the Bundesliga side took control of their last-16 meeting with Sevilla, the forward’s brace helping secure a 3-2 victory that makes Dortmund strong favourites to reach the quarter finals.

The 20-year-old burst onto the scene with a hat-trick on his Champions League debut for Red Bull Salzburg last season, his incredible impact leading to a winter window move to Dortmund where the goals have continued to flow with unerring regularly.

Haaland’s brace against Sevilla moved him to a sensational record of 18 goals in just 13 games amongst Europe’s elite, a figure that has already bettered the career totals of some notable names.

Here are five world-class footballers Haaland has already outscored in the UCL:

Zinedine Zidane

Regarded by many as the best footballer of his generation and amongst the greatest to have graced the game, Zinedine Zidane was an artist of a footballer who spent much of his career captivating audiences in the colours of Juventus and Real Madrid.

Whilst the midfielder was not renown as a prolific goalscorer, he was still a player who regularly influenced games at Champions League level including a wondrous winning goal as Real Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 final.

Zidane’s goal record was better at international level with 31 goals in 108 appearances for France, infamously netting twice as Les Bleus were crowned as world champions for the first time on home soil in 1998.

The Frenchman was an exquisite talent for who it all appeared so, so easy, winning the Ballon d’Or following his World Cup exploits and being named as the FIFA World Player of the Year on three occasions across the turn of the millennium.

Zidane’s status in the game is unquestionable but his impact on the Champions League, in terms of tangible goal statistics, has already been eclipsed by an incredible young footballer spearheading Borussia Dortmund’s challenge.

Ronaldo

For some, the ‘original’ Ronaldo or Brazilian version as he is now often referenced perhaps stands as the greatest centre-forward the game has ever seen.

Strangely though, those notions are not backed up by the statistics for a player who has already been outscored on the Champions League stage by a 20-year-old with just 13 appearances in the competition, but those who watched Ó Fenómeno at the peak of his powers have rarely seen such a talent.

Ronaldo was explosive, electric and exhilarating when at his pre-injury best, dazzling with the nimble footwork of a ballerina and shrugging of defensive challenges with an unparalleled pace and power.

Twice made the world’s most expensive player before his 21st birthday, Ronaldo was a phenomenon and unquestionably the world’s most exciting talent in his heyday at Barcelona and Inter Milan.

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Perhaps his greatest Champions League performance came later at Real Madrid, when he inspired the Galacticos with a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford, a performance which saw him applauded from the pitch by the home support.

Despite netting only 14 goals in the competition he remains arguably the best player never to win the Champions League.

Francesco Totti

Rome’s favourite son and a player who committed his entire career to bringing success to his boyhood side, Francesco Totti scored more than 300 goals for the capital club and stands as the second-highest scorer in Serie A history.

Totti was an exceptional footballer equally adept at scoring as he was creating, a born and bred Roman who produced jaw-dropping moments of brilliance on a consistent basis.

His unwavering loyalty to Roma perhaps prevented him from reaching greater heights, the Italians regular qualifiers for the Champions League but rarely contenders to be crowned as champions of Europe.

That said, Totti featured in nine Champions League campaigns for the Giallorossi and scored 17 goals in 50 appearances in the competition, a figure eclipsed by Haaland with his double against Sevilla.

Haaland has already moved past one of Italian football’s greatest ever footballers and has done so in an incredible 37 games fewer, a mind-boggling statistic and vivid reminder of the youngster’s exploits on this stage thus far.

David Villa

Spain’s greatest ever goalscorer and a player who won virtually every major honour in the game, David Villa is another stellar name that Haaland has surpassed on his way to superstardom.

Villa was a fabulous footballer who scored prolifically at Real Zaragoza and Valencia before making a big move to Barcelona, where he would form a crucial part of arguably the best club side ever assembled.

The forward starred in tandem with Lionel Messi as Barcelona won the Champions League in 2011, scoring 23 goals in all competitions that season as Pep Guardiola’s side played some truly spellbinding football.

Villa finished his career with 381 goals in all competitions and a record 59 on the national stage for Spain, the star amongst the key figures in an era of international dominance that brought European Championship and World Cup success.

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He has, however, been already been outscored by a Norwegian goal-machine after retiring with a record of 14 goals in 47 appearances in the Champions League.

Carlos Tevez

It’s fair to say that Carlos Tevez made his mark on the European stage during a glittering career at some of the continent’s biggest clubs, winning the Champions League as part of a fabled front three at Manchester United in 2008.

Tevez was a player adored by supporters for his on-pitch style with the Argentine a forward who ran himself into the ground for the cause, never giving defenders a moment’s peace with his aggressive pressing play and ability to provide match-winning moments.

After spells on both side of the Manchester divide, he moved onto Juventus and formed part of the side which reached the Champions League final in 2015, their run to the showpiece coming as part of a prolific two-year spell in Turin that delivered 50 goals in 97 appearances.

Tevez only scored 13 goals in 46 appearances in UEFA’s leading club competition though, a figure Haaland staggeringly reached in just his 11th appearance amongst Europe’s elite with a group stage brace against Zenit St Petersburg earlier this season.

Read – The Champions League stats that show why Haaland and Mbappé are at the top of the game right now

See also – Ranking the five best U23 players in World Football right now

The post WTF!? Five world class footballers Haaland has already outscored in the UCL first appeared on The Football Faithful.