Haaland vs Messi vs Ronaldo at 22: Will Haaland beat GOAT goal records and win more trophies?

Messi and haaland

In his first season at Manchester City, striker Erling Haaland continues to break records.

As his scoring remains red-hot in all competitions, the Norwegian forward has already broken the record for most goals scored in a Premier League season (36) and played a big part in his side’s treble-winning season.

But during his senior career so far with Bryne FK, Molde, RB Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund and now Manchester City, has his goalscoring form reached the heights of legendary duo Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?

Haaland vs Messi vs Ronaldo goals at 22

The best way to look into whether Haaland is on a path to break the goalscoring records of Messi and Ronaldo is to look at his tally in comparison to theirs at his current age of 22.

At age 22, Haaland has already netted a seriously impressive 187 goals in 230 senior club appearances throughout his career, including 98 goals in 100 matches across Europe’s top five leagues.

On top of that during his international career to date, Haaland has also struck a phenomenal 21 goals in 23 appearances for his country as he looks to bring Norway success at the top level for the first time.

In total, that brings the Manchester City striker’s tally to 208 in 253 matches and has recently seen current boss Pep Guardiola state, “as a top scorer we lived two incredible decades with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but he is on that level.”

And as usual when it comes to football, Pep knows what he’s talking about when we take a look at Messi and Ronaldo’s goalscoring at 22 years of age. Haaland turns 23 on July 21, 2023.

That’s because by the end of age 22, Messi had racked up 140 goals for club and country and Ronaldo had rallied 102 strikes.

Haaland Messi Ronaldo
Goals for club and country by the end of age 22 208* 140 102

There are other records too that Haaland can add to the list.

When accounting for both club and international goals, the Norwegian international became the second youngest ever player to score 200 senior goals in his career at age 22 years and 261 days — missing out on Neymar’s record by just five days.

He’s also already broken the Premier League single season scoring record (36) with relative ease, beating out Alan Shearer and Andy Cole who previously held the record at 34 and no player in history has scored 25 Champions League goals quicker than Haaland, taking just 20 games to reach that mark.

Haaland vs Messi vs Ronaldo trophies at 22

Where Haaland loses out to his new found goalscoring rivals is when you look at trophies by the end of age 22.

Blessed to be a part of one of the greatest football teams ever seen in Barcelona, Messi had won 11 titles when he turned 23. That included the 2006 Champions League and saw him win six trophies in one season in 2009 when Barca became the first club to ever achieve the sextuple — winning six top-tier trophies in a single year.

At age 22, Messi also won his first Ballon d’Or award, whilst he further took home the FIFA World Player of the Year — winning both awards by the biggest margin ever seen.

At the same point in his career Ronaldo had won five trophies in professional football, whilst Haaland currently sits on seven after his Manchester City side completed a famous treble after winning the Champions League at Inter Milan’s expense.

Haaland Messi Ronaldo
Trophies for club and country by the end of age 22 7* 11 5

Haaland vs Messi vs Ronaldo international career at 22

Haaland also currently holds the upper hand on the pair in terms of goalscoring at the international level.

After just 23 international appearances, the potent forward already has 21 goals to his name. That equates to a goal per 80 minutes of action and that tally already puts him in eighth spot on the country’s all-time male goalscoring list.

At the same age, Ronaldo had scored 20 goals for Portugal though his career has gone on to see him both become the record cap holders in international men’s football with 198 and the record top scorers in international men’s football with 122 goals.

By the end of age 22, Messi had netted 13 times for Argentina though his international career would see him crowned a World Cup winner in 2022.

Haaland vs Messi vs Ronaldo in the season when they were 22

Another way that we can compare these three stars is by looking at the season in which they were all 22 for the majority. Arguably that’s the best direct comparison as Haaland has now joined one of the biggest clubs in Europe, similar to Messi with Barcelona and Ronaldo with Manchester United at the same point in their respective careers.

Haaland* Messi Ronaldo 
Games 52 53 53
Goals 52 47 23
Assists 8 12 14
Hat-tricks 6 4 0

In their respective seasons at 22, Messi went on to win the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, Supercopa & La Liga with Barcelona, whilst Ronaldo claimed the Premier League trophy with Manchester United.

With Manchester City still on the hunt for a famous treble this campaign, Haaland would undoubtedly have the best season out of the three at age 22 if the Cityzens can bring home the silverware.

Will Haaland become the greatest scorer of all-time?

As mentioned before, at present Haaland is currently set to continue breaking goalscoring records throughout his career.

For club and country his 208 goal tally by the age of 22 sets him infront of both Messi and Ronaldo but it’ll be a tall order for him to keep to this goalscoring pace.

Injuries will remain a concern which the other two no longer have to worry about to an extent as they come towards the end of their respective careers.

In total, Messi has scored 806 goals in 1027 matches for club and country as of early June 2023. Ronaldo has slightly more at 835 strikes.

For Haaland to therefore break Ronaldo’s current record, he’d need to score 42 goals for club and country each campaign over the next 15 years of his career if he also plays until age 38.


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