Erling Haaland has been unstoppable in the Champions League ever since he first played in the competition back in September 2019 with Red Bull Salzburg. On his debut, he bagged a hat-trick as the Austrian side thrashed KRC Genk 6-2 at home. Since then, the Norwegian has been scoring for fun in Europe’s most coveted club tournament.
After impressing with Salzburg for a year, he joined Borussia Dortmund in January 2020. Alongside a youthful team, Haaland showcased his talent in the Champions League with the German side as well.
He is now in top gear since joining Manchester City this summer. He has already scored thrice for them in the Champions League, taking his goal tally to 26 goals in the competition. In doing so, he has already surpassed some of the legends of the game.
On that note, let’s take a look at five legends Erling Haaland has already outscored in the Champions League.
#5 Ronaldinho (18)
Ronaldinho was truly a legend of the game and this was clearly evident from his performances at Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan.
The Brazil icon also often produced his finest displays on the biggest stages, including in the Champions League. Although Ronaldinho only played six seasons in the competition, the playmaker managed to score 18 goals and provided 13 assists in 47 appearances.
He won the trophy only once, back in 2006, when Barcelona defeated Arsenal 2-1 in the final at the Stade de France. However, his most famous goal came against Chelsea in 2005, when he scored brilliantly from the edge of the box.
Although Haaland has already outscored Ronaldinho, he has a long way to go before being considered a legend like the Brazilian.
#4 Gareth Bale (20)
Gareth Bale is a four-time Champions League winner and is one of only seven players to have scored twice (2014 and 2018) in a UCL final.
His winner against Atletico Madrid in the 2014 final was merely his introduction into the competition. The Welshman would go on to score in the penalty shoot-out in the 2016 final against the same opponent. However, he would save his most famous performance in the 2018 final when he scored twice for Real Madrid against Liverpool, including a sublime bicycle kick.
However, Bale, for all his impressive performances, only stepped up during the big games. Hence, it’s no surprise that he has only scored 20 goals and provided 17 assists in 66 Champions League games.
Hence, while Haaland has outscored the legendary Welsh star, only time will tell whether he can replicate his trophy case and legacy.
#3 Steven Gerrard (21)
Steven Gerrard was one of the finest midfielders of his generation and is now trying to etch a similar name for himself in the managerial market.
While it might still take some time for him to manage a Champions League club, he will have fond memories of the tournament as a player. The Liverpool legend was often the man for the big occasion for the Reds. His goal in the club’s come-back against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final is still ardently remembered by the Anfield faithful.
Apart from that iconic strike, Gerrard scored 20 more times in the Champions League and provided 15 assists in 73 appearances. Hence, Haaland will be mighty proud of outscoring the former England international and will also look to score at least once in a Champions League final.
#2 Frank Lampard (23)
From one English legend to another, Frank Lampard is arguably the greatest player in Chelsea history.
The midfielder has scored more goals (211) for Chelsea than any other player and also won countless titles for them during his 13-year stint at the club. Amongst them was the 2012 Champions League trophy when the Blues defeated Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
The west London club have been a regular outfit in the UCL over the last 20 years and Lampard played a crucial role in ensuring the same between 2001-2014. During this period, he scored 23 times in the competition, including in the 2008 final, when Chelsea went on to lose on penalties to Manchester United.
Regardless, Haaland has already outscored Lampard but will now aim to take Manchester City to the final and hopefully win it.
#1 Luis Figo (24)
Haaland may be one of the most lethal strikers at the moment, but it might take him time before he develops into a classic number nine like Luis Figo.
The Portugal international, who retired in 2010, remains one of the best centre-forwards the game has ever seen. Figo, like many of the legends of the sport, produced some brilliant performances in the European tournament for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan. During his 12 seasons in the tournament, the striker scored 24 times and provided 36 assists in 103 appearances while also winning the trophy once.
Haaland has already outscored Figo and few would be surprised if he were to win more trophies than the Portuguese star by the time he retires.