Erling Haaland is a freakish forward seemingly hell-bent on obliterating every goalscoring record in the book.
This week the Manchester City machine improved his outrageous record on the Champions League stage, scoring twice as the Premier League champions began their campaign with a 4-0 win at Sevilla.
Since scoring a hat-trick on his competition debut for Red Bull Salzburg, Haaland has scored better than a goal-per-game among Europe’s elite and has now reached a stunning 25 goals in just 20 Champions League appearances.
Still just 22, Haaland has rocketed his way up the all-time goal charts and has already passed some notable names in the process. We’ve decided to look at five iconic footballers who Haaland has already outscored in the European Cup/Champions League.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 8, 2022
Marco van Basten – 19
Marco van Basten was a two-time winner of club football’s biggest prize during a career in which he starred as arguably Europe’s finest footballer.
Van Basten formed part of an iconic AC Milan team in the late eighties and early nineties, one which won back-to-back European Cup crowns in 1989 and 1990. He scored twice in the first of those final successes as the Rossoneri thrashed Steaua București 4-0 in Barcelona, with Ruud Gullit also on target as Arrigo Sacchi’s iconic side earned an emphatic win.
Van Basten – a three-time winner of the Ballon d’Or – also became the first player to score four goals in a Champions League fixture following the relaunch of the European Cup when he netted four goals, including a wondrous overhead kick, in a 4-0 win over against IFK Göteborg in 1992.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) January 13, 2021
He ended his career in Europe’s top competition with a record of 19 goals in 27 appearances.
Romario – 20
Regarded as one of the finest finishers of all-time, Romario racked up more than 700 goals in career that saw the Brazilian scale huge heights.
He moved to Europe to sign for PSV Eindhoven in 1988 and scored 128 goals in just 142 games for the Dutch side, where he won three league titles and finished as the Eredivisie’s leading scorer on three occasions.
Romario signed for Barcelona to form part of Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team’ in Catalonia, though his time was brief but brilliant with the Spanish side. He scored 32 goals during his debut season, but saw hopes of a Champions League medal disappear following a shock final loss to AC Milan in Athens.
🇧🇷 This legendary Brazilian forward starred for PSV & Barcelona…
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) January 29, 2019
The forward – who won the Ballon d’Or in 1994 and scored 55 goals in 70 games for Brazil – netted 20 times in 32 appearances at European Cup/Champions League level.
Ronaldo – 14
Ronaldo was viewed as the heir to Romario’s throne with Brazil and proved a more than worthy successor, having scored 68 goals in 98 caps for the Selecao.
That haul included finishing as the World Cup’s leading scorer in 2002, as the South Americans were crowned world champions for a fifth time.
The early version of Ronaldo is the most memorable however, with O Fenômeno regarded as arguably the greatest number nine of all time. The youngest ever winner of the Ballon d’Or, he scored more than 200 goals for club and country before the age of 23 and twice broke the world transfer-record before his 21st birthday.
📅 #OTD in 2003, THAT Ronaldo hat-trick at Old Trafford ⚽️⚽️⚽️
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 23, 2020
His individual honours include being named FIFA World Player of the Year three times and two Ballon d’Or awards, though he scored just 14 goals in the Champions League despite a career representing clubs including Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
Ronaldo’s most memorable performance in Europe came in 2002/03, as he scored a stunning hat-trick for Real Madrid at Manchester United, a display which saw him receive a standing ovation from the home crowd.
Francesco Totti – 17
Francesco Totti’s unbreakable loyalty to Roma prevented the forward from winning the silverware his talent deserved, with a single Serie A title and two Coppa Italia triumphs the sole successes of his one-club career.
Totti’s love for his hometown club – coupled with his outrageous individual quality – made him a much revered figure even outside the comforts of Rome.
While not an out-and-out goalscorer, he scored more than 300 goals in a club career which saw him win both the Capocannoniere and European Golden Shoe awards, in addition to forming part of Italy’s victorious side at the 2006 World Cup.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 19, 2022
Roma might not have genuinely challenged for Champions League honours but were regulars in the competition with Totti making 57 appearances, scoring 19 goals.
Miroslav Klose – 14
Miroslav Klose holds some of the game’s great individual records, as the leading scorer for both the Germany national team and in World Cup history.
The forward’s game was built on efficiency and aerial prowess, traits which saw him outscore legends such as Gerd Muller and Ronaldo Nazario to claim those aforementioned milestones and etch his name into the record books.
Klose’s game was perhaps defined by his performances for Die Mannschaft, with who he won the World Cup in 2014. However, he recorded 258 goals at club level and represented Bayern Munich and Lazio in the Champions League, scoring 14 times.
🇩🇪 Klose scored twice as Bayern beat Lyon 3-2 #OTD in 2008.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 10, 2021
He reached the final of the competition with the latter in 2010, though the Bundesliga side lost 2-0 to Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan.