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SOCCER

How many goals does Haaland need to set single-season Champions League scoring record?

Erling Braut Haaland continued his sensational goalscoring start at Manchester City on Tuesday, netting twice as Pep Guardiola’s men walloped Sevilla in the Champions League.

Update:
Erling Braut Haaland continued his sensational goalscoring start at Manchester City on Tuesday, netting twice as Pep Guardiola’s men walloped Sevilla in the Champions League.
TONI RODRIGUEZDiarioAS

Erling Braut Haaland’s double for Manchester City in Tuesday’s 4-0 stroll past Sevilla took the Norwegian to 25 goals in 20 career Champions League appearances - a rate of scoring that far outstrips anything the competition has ever seen before. Indeed, as soccer stats specialists Opta note, the previous goals record by any player in his first 20 Champions League games was the 16 managed by Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roberto Soldado.

Ronaldo Champions League records at risk

Van Nistelrooy and Soldado’s hauls are nothing other than outstanding, yet have been made to look positively paltry by a player who, even at this early stage of his career, looks like a very good bet to chase down the Champions League’s all-time leading marksmen, Cristiano Ronaldo (140 career UCL goals) and Lionel Messi (125). As Opta’s Duncan Alexander puts it, “both men must look at how Haaland has started his career and shudder at the trajectory he is on”.

That is particularly true given that the 22-year-old has now joined a regular contender for the Champions League title. During his time at RB Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, the latest he got to play in Europe’s elite club competition was the quarter-finals; now, at a City team that have made at least the last four in the past two seasons and are the bookmakers’ favourites to lift the trophy this term, Haaland is likely to have more games than ever in which to fill his boots.

All of which also means he looks rather well placed to nab another Champions League goal record held by Ronaldo: the unparalleled single-season total of 17 scored by the Portuguese during Real Madrid’s run to a 10th continental crown in 2013/14. Thus far, the most appearances Haaland has made in a Champions League campaign is eight, for Dortmund - a year in which his 10 goals earned him the competition’s top scorer award. Between matchday one and the final, there are 13 games. Were City to make it there, heaven only knows how many goals Haaland could plunder, given the five-star service at his disposal.

Top five single-season Champions League goal hauls

  • 2013/14: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid - 17
  • 2015/16: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid - 16
  • 2021/22: Karim Benzema, Real Madrid - 15
  • 2019/20: Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich - 15
  • 2017/18: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid - 15

Haaland also makes record Premier League scoring start

In all competitions, Haaland’s brace in Seville left him on 12 goals in eight appearances since joining City in a $75m summer move from Dortmund. He has 10 in six Premier League games for the English champions - including two hat-tricks - and broke the record for goals scored in his first five appearances in the division, netting one more than the eight managed by Sergio Agüero and Micky Quinn. In this piece written after City’s weekend draw with Aston Villa, my colleague Rob Train has taken an in-depth look at the striker’s exploits in the Premier League so far.

See also: Video - a Ronaldo-ess Champions League

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