Mbappe and Haaland: How many goals do they need to score to match Cristiano Ronaldo?


Not even the biggest Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo fan can deny it felt like something of a changing of the guard this week.

Messi and Ronaldo have been the two best players in world football for more than a decade. But as sad as it is to admit, they're well into the twilight of their careers at 33 and 36 respectively.

It was always going to happen one day.

However, it seems as though we have two players more than willing to step into their shoes.

As Messi and Ronaldo face Champions League elimination after both of their sides lost the first leg of their last-16 clashes, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland made headlines with incredible performances.

Mbappe scored a hat-trick to help his Paris Saint-Germain side beat Messi’s Barcelona 4-1.


Twenty-four hours later, Haaland scored twice as Borussia Dortmund beat Sevilla 3-2.

Haaland only helped to fuel the claims that he and Mbappe were the next Messi and Ronaldo by claiming he was inspired and motivated by Mbappe’s hat-trick the previous night.


But before we start calling Haaland and Mbappe the two greatest players in the world and potential GOATS, let’s not forget the achievements of those that have gone before them - most notably Ronaldo’s goalscoring record.

Ronaldo is the greatest goalscorer in football history with 763 goals.

Could Mbappe or Haaland possibly surpass him?

Well, according to a viral tweet, it’ll be very hard indeed.

Haaland would need to score 44 goals every year until he’s 35 to match Ronaldo’s tally.

Meanwhile, Mbappe would need to score 48 goals every year until he’s 35 to equal Ronaldo.


Playing in Germany and France, you may think that’s possible. But to do that consistently until 35 is surely a tough ask and puts into context Ronaldo's ridiculous record.

In terms of goals in the Champions League before the age of 21, Mbappe (19) and Haaland (18) are ahead of the game. Ronaldo failed to score in Europe’s elite commotion while Messi had only managed eight.

The thought of Haaland and Mbappe becoming the new Messi and Ronaldo is a prospect that was discussed by Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole on BT Sport last night.


"It means we've got something to look forward to after [Ronaldo and Messi]," said Lineker. "That [their goalscoring figures] are Messi and Ronaldo at their prime."

Ferdinand added: "Last night Mbappe overshadowed Messi and tonight Haaland overshadowed Ronaldo on a night where they both played.


"[This is the] changing of the guard. This could be another rivalry which lasts 10 years. How long have we been asking 'what's next?'"

Cole said: "We didn't see these numbers even when Ronaldo and Messi were learning their trade. The frightening thing is these lads will improve."

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