(CNN Spanish) — He’s a robot, they say. They nickname him “the android”. He is the new great soccer idol after the Messi-CR7 era. He is the player who breaks records. Erling Haaland has arrived at Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to improve his scoring ability and has not only exceeded the expectations of many, but is surpassing unimaginable milestones in club football.
52 goals this season
The 22-year-old Norwegian, who stands 1.95m tall and is the son of Leeds and Manchester City defender Alf-Inge Håland, joined the England squad in 2022 from Borussia Dortmund. This season he has scored 36 goals in the Premier League, 12 in the Champions League, 3 in the FA Cup and one in the EFL Cup. A total of 52 goals in 52 games played.
He has yet to play in the Champions League final and is champion in his debut season in England of the Premier League and the FA Cup. What’s your ceiling?
Haaland’s record in the Champions League
Halland scored 35 goals in just 35 Champions League games. He has only played four seasons and is already in the post 19 on the all-time scoring list of the Champions League, as registered by UEFA. He beats great characters like Kaká, Antoine Griezmann, Wayne Rooney and Samuel Eto’o.
He scored eight goals (in six games played in the tournament) for FC Red Bull Salzburg, 15 goals for Borussia Dortmund (13 games) and 12 goals in nine games for City.
In the current season, with 12 goals, he is the top scorer and will play in the final. Next is Mohamed Salah, with 8 goals.
Reach 30 goals in the Champions League only 25 games were needed, an important result if we take into account that other top scorers have not come close: Lionel Messi needed 48 games to reach that figure and Cristiano Ronaldo had to play 74 games. Only close is Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who has reached 30 touchdowns in 42 games.
History in the Premier
In the local league, Haaland smashed the goal record in his debut season. He scored 36 goals in 35 games. Crazy when you think that the previous record, 34 goals per season, was held by Andy Cole (1993/94 season) and Alan Shearer (1994/94), when league seasons lasted 42 games. The current version of the Premier League is 38 games and Manchester City have secured the championship before the end of the tournament.
The new global idol: the comparison with Messi and Cristiano
Haaland leads 208 goals in his career. The comparison with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is interesting: at the current age of Haaland (22 years and 11 months) Messi wore 114 goals and CR7 only 68, according to the newspaper Ace.
In the Champions League (35 for Haaland, against 20 for Messi and 7 for Cristiano at that age) he seems to be aiming to break more records. It remains to be seen whether in his maturity he will have the same excellence as the Argentine and Portuguese, who after turning 30 continued to display unrivaled football.
With the Norwegian team, the same scenario: Haaland scored 21 goals, and at that moment Messi had 9 with Argentina, and Cristiano 11 with Portugal.
A peer who dominates football is Kylian Mbappé, now 24 years old. But the comparison also turns in favor of the Norwegian: when he was 22, Mbappé scored 131 goals.
for the triplet
Haaland and Manchester City have the chance to win a hat-trick this season: they won the FA Cup against their home rivals Manchester United; they destroyed the Premier League again, leaving Arsenal behind and playing the Champions League final against Inter Milan as favourites.
The Norwegian arrived at Guardiola’s Manchester City, a team that was previously characterized more by ball control than by massive goals, and changed his scheme: with a more direct game. Already accustomed to winning the Premier League (five league titles in six years), City have one task pending: the Champions League. In 2021 they lost the final against Chelsea and in 2022 they were eliminated in the semifinals by Real Madrid. They have already had their revenge against the Spanish team.
Now City completes the feat by making a historic treble. And with Haaland breaking records, it seems possible.
With information from Andrew McNicol