Erling Haaland might only be 22 years old, but he has already impacted football incredibly. The indelible mark he has left will only be more excellent in future years as he continues to dominate.
Many were critical of his goalscoring ability when he rose to prominence in the global game. No one had heard of him while playing and learning at Molde in his native Norway. People took notice as he moved to Austria, played for Red Bull Salzburg, and showed that he could score frequently. This subsequently led to him enjoying moves to Borussia Dortmund and then Manchester City, where he has continued to take the world by storm with his ability in front of goal.
Haaland has become a household name
Often included in the debate alongside Kylian Mbappe regarding the best footballer in the modern game, Haaland has become a household name despite still being so young. He and the Frenchman are continually pushed as the successors to the classic Ronaldo vs. Messi debate, and it is hardly a shock to see the Norwegian included in those discussions.
During his time at Molde, he could go quietly about his business after signing from Bryne. He would begin his career as a winger but was moved to center-forward, and as they say, the rest was history.
Borussia Dortmund were the benefactors as they managed to sign him for a reported transfer figure of around €20 million, a bargain given what he has achieved on the pitch. During his time with the BVB, he would net 62 Bundesliga goals in 67 appearances across the two seasons he spent in the German Bundesliga before sealing a move to Manchester City.
Manchester City came calling
Having been bought for approximately €60 million, there was a lot of pressure on his shoulders to succeed in the Premier League. However, he managed to prove the doubters wrong with a record-breaking season. He would wind up with the Premier League goalscoring record in a single season, as he netted 36 from 35 appearances. He also managed to equal Thierry Henry’s record for most goal contributions in a single season, providing 44 in total.
With a season like that, many are already expecting him to go on to achieve even more. He is the favorite to be the top goalscorer for the 2023/24 Premier League season again, while many of the biggest bookmakers are already accepting sports bets on the outright title as Man City continues to dominate.
It would not be surprising to see that happen, given how he has taken to life on the football pitch. Haaland can do the most challenging thing in football and make it look effortless. Every football team would do much to have a player like him on their books.
What will Haaland’s legacy be like?
It does already seem silly to discuss what Haaland’s legacy might be in football, given his age. With his skill and natural ability, everyone knows he will go down in the annual history of the beautiful game.
There have only ever been a few players who have been as gifted as he is with the ball and finding the net. Messi, Ronaldo (both CR7 and O Fenômeno), Romario, and Gerd Muller probably continue to rank at the forefront of any list that considers goalscoring. It will not be long before this Norwegian superstar is above those, especially if he continues in the same form for the rest of his career (or at least, most of it).
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