Just four players have ever ended a season as the leading scorer in both the Premier League and Champions League, an exclusive group of goalscorers who made an impact both at home and in Europe.
Erling Haaland is the latest to have achieved the feat and his arrival at Manchester City has been the catalyst behind the club’s treble-winning season, with the Norwegian having shattered goal records on route to a triple trophy success at the Etihad.
Appreciating the four players to finish top scorer in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League in the same season.
Dwight Yorke – Manchester United (1998/99)
Erling Haaland is not the first big-money signing to have inspired treble success in their debut season at a new club, with Dwight Yorke having had a memorable maiden campaign at Manchester United in 1998/99.
Yorke had not been the Red Devils’ first-choice when Sir Alex Ferguson targeted a different profile of forward, but proved to be the perfect signing for the club after arriving from Aston Villa. The Trinidad and Tobago international formed an electric understanding with Andy Cole in attack as United won a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.
🔴 Dwight Yorke completes the turnaround! 👏
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 13, 2020
Yorke scored 18 goals in the Premier League to earn the division’s Golden Boot, sharing the accolade alongside Liverpool’s Michael Owen and Leeds forward Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. His performances earned Yorke the Premier League Player of the Season accolade.
The summer arrival was also crucial to the club’s run in Europe. Yorke and Cole combined in fine fashion during the club’s Champions League success, with the former scoring vital goals against the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Juventus. His eight goals in Europe saw Yorke finish as the joint-leading scorer in the competition, alongside Dynamo Kyiv’s Andriy Shevchenko.
Ruud van Nistelrooy – Manchester United (2002/03)
Ruud van Nistelrooy was a prolific presence across five seasons at Manchester United, a period which saw the Dutchman average 30 goals a season.
Van Nistelrooy’s finest individual campaign came in 2002/03 as the forward scored 44 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils.
He won the Premier League’s Golden Boot after scoring 25 league goals, including a run of scoring in each of the final eight games of the season as United came from behind to overhaul Arsenal and win the title.
Van Nistelrooy’s form extended into Europe and he scored 12 goals in the Champions League to be named as UEFA Club Forward of the Year. The forward’s return remains the joint-highest scoring single season in the competition for an English club and fired the Red Devils into the quarter-finals, before defeat to Real Madrid.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 12, 2022
Van Nistelrooy ended as the Champions League’s leading scorer three times in just four seasons between 2001/02 and 2004/05. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (7) and Lionel Messi (6) have finished as the competition’s top scorer on more occasions during the Champions League era.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United (2007/08)
Cristiano Ronaldo became the third Manchester United player to end a season as the leading scorer in both competitions, following a phenomenal 2007/08 campaign that ended with a first Ballon d’Or.
Ronaldo was head and shoulders above the rest of the division in the Premier League and scored 31 league goals as Manchester United won the title. Ronaldo’s return was a record for a 38-game season at that time, while it also saw him become the first winger to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot and the European Golden Shoe.
Top corner perfection 😮💨
— Premier League (@premierleague) June 8, 2023
Ronaldo was named as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year winner for the second successive season, before adding the Ballon d’Or and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year accolades after leading the Red Devils to European success.
The Portugal international scored eight goals in the Champions League, including one in the final against Chelsea as United won on penalties to be crowned European champions for a third time in Moscow.
Erling Haaland – Manchester City (2022/23)
Erling Haaland has become the fourth footballer to top score in both competitions in the same season, following the forward’s record-breaking debut season at Manchester City.
Haaland has scored 52 goals in all competitions, the second highest-scoring season ever for an English club and the highest since 1927/28.
The Norwegian’s 36 goals in the Premier League shattered the record for a single season, earning the 22-year-old the Golden Boot. He scored 12 goals in Europe – a joint-record for an English club in a Champions League season – as Manchester City ended their wait for elusive success on the Champions League stage.
Has Erling Haaland delivered the greatest debut season ever? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/OZEQZCZ3d7
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) June 10, 2023
Haaland’s haul included a five-goal destruction of RB Leipzig, as he became just the third player to score five goals in a Champions League fixture.
It is the second time that Haaland has finished as the Champions League’s leading scorer and he is the youngest player to have done so on multiple occasions, breaking Lionel Messi’s record by eight days.
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