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Soccer | Feb 28

Erling Haaland Is Generational, but Every Batman Needs His Robin

Messi? Mbappe? Shhhh, Haaland Is the G.O.A.T

Erling Haaland Is Generational, but Every Batman Needs His Robin
Erling Haaland (9) of Manchester City - Photo Nigel Keene / ProSportsImages / DPPI

56 Games, 53 Goals – We’re Not Worthy 🤖

This man [Haaland] made the Bundesliga look like child’s play before arriving in England…

The G.O.A.T. discussion is always a difficult one, but before the Kylian Mbappe, Jude Bellingham, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo freaks flood my X comments section with hate, there’s one huge factor that plays into the statistics when debating the greatest of all time… the level of opposition.

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Now, one debate that isn’t really up for discussion is the difficulty of achieving success within the English Premier League. Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Bayern Munich, Juventus, and both Milans are the six teams that dominate their respective domestic divisions (La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, & Serie A), simply because the competition levels throughout history have been heavily swayed to one side.

The EPL, however, is, without a doubt, the strongest, most challenging league globally. There’s a reason why it’s labeled as ‘the most powerful and popular,’ and it’s down to the big-six (Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester Utd) being the largest and most competitive collection of teams in any domestic league worldwide.

With that said, if Erling Haaland isn’t your G.O.A.T., I don’t know what to say.

Of course, Messi and Ronaldo have dominated soccer news headlines for their incredible heroics on the pitch over the last two decades, but honestly, let’s cut the sh*t; their days of dominating at the highest level are up; the MLS and Saudi Pro League aren’t the playing grounds required to enter this discussion.

By no means am I dismissing their accomplishments, and Haaland has a long way to top their efforts. However, regarding generational talent, we receive maybe four or five players in each generation that can truly contend for the G.O.A.T. status, and there’s no denying how Haaland tops that list.

 

Haaland: By the Numbers

This man made the Bundesliga look like child’s play before arriving in England. Despite soccer rumors suggesting he’d find it challenging to compete in the world’s most talent-stacked league, he continues to deliver like a full-time postman.

Eighty-two games, 79 goals, and 15 assists are the numbers achieved by the Norwegian superstar since arriving at Manchester City in 2022. Oh, so you aren’t convinced by those statistics, let’s have a look at this season alone:

  • Premier League – 56 games played; 53 goals scored.
  • Champions League – 17 games played; 17 goals scored.
  • FA Cup – 5 games played; 8 goals scored.

 

While Mbappe cries about a weekly salary of around $1.3 million per week in France, as Messi sits bottom of the MLS with Inter Miami, Ronaldo competes in a league nobody watches, and with Jude Bellingham’s biggest threat being Girona, Haaland is achieving eye-watering numbers in the most competitive soccer division on earth.

 

One Game, Five Goals: Haaland & KDB Destroy Luton

If you’re wondering why Haaland’s name is circulating the internet right now, remove yourself from underneath that rock and search ‘Haaland, Luton’ on X (formerly Twitter).

Now, before you start screaming at the screen, yes, I understand, Luton sucks, and a lopsided Man City win was expected. But come on, five goals? That’s just ridiculous, even by the Hatters’ standards.

Anyone aware of what this man can do with a soccer ball wasn’t surprised by the five goals he shipped at Luton; let’s not forget the five he netted against RB Leipzig in the UCL last year. Aged just 23, the record-breaker will unquestionably continue to demolish the records set by those before him:

  • Haaland is the first player to net five or more goals in the FA Cup since 1970.
  • Haaland is the first player to net five goals in a single game for Man City on two occasions.
  • Since his debut (July 2022), 79 goals scored in 83 games is 30 more than any other EPL player in history in that time (Mohammad Salah 49).
  • Haaland reached 50 EPL goals faster than any other player in history (48 games).
  • Haaland owns the record for most goals scored in a single Premier League season in a debut campaign (36).
  • Haaland has missed six games this season but remains two goals clear in the Golden Boot race.

 

And the above is just 25% of the unique goal-scoring records Haaland has broken and continues to break every week. But to be clear, and before we sign out, there’s another future legend making the Norwegians’ goal-scoring efforts simpler, and he goes by the name of Kevin de Bruyne.

From the five goals Haaland scored against Luton, it was KDB who assisted four of those bangers as the greatest tag team in football, proving why they’re the most dynamic duo in global soccer today.

Of the 79 goals Haaland has bagged in a Man City shirt, De Bruyne has assisted 16. He’s also delivered nine assists in his five most recent FA Cup appearances, and despite starting in just 12 games this term, just four players from Europe have managed more assists than KDB in all competitions… remarkable!

Next up for The Citizens will be the Manchester Derby this Sunday; how much are you betting on Haaland and De Bruyne to send Erik ten Hag and co. packing?

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