Ronaldo, Messi, Rooney: The most prolific U21 player in every season since 2000

Cristiano Ronaldo was on fire for Man United in 2006/07

Erling Braut Haaland has been a goalscoring machine for Borussia Dortmund this season.

In his 26 Bundesliga appearances, the giant Norwegian striker has scored 25 goals and assisted his teammates on seven occasions.

Unsurprisingly, Haaland is comfortably top of the pile when it comes to goal contributions by players aged 21 or under in Europe's top five leagues in 2020/21.

The 20-year-old's haul of 32 is nine more than Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic in second-place, so the Dortmund man will almost certainly still be sitting top come the end of the season.

With that in mind, we've decided to take a look at how Haaland's 2020/21 compares to the other great individual seasons by U21 players in the 21st century.

Using Transfermarkt, we've worked out the footballer aged 21 or under with the most goals and assists combined in every single campaign since 2000/01.

Haaland in action

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Only players operating in Europe's top five divisions have been considered for selection, while only goals contributions in league action count towards each players' total.

2000/01 | Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen) - 26

Games: 31

Goals: 19

Assists: 7

2001/02 | Javier Saviola (Barcelona) - 26

Games: 36

Goals: 17

Assists: 9

2002/03 | Kevin Kuranyi (Stuttgart) - 24

Games: 32

Goals: 15

Assists: 9

2003/04 | Alberto Gilardino (Parma) - 23

Games: 34

Goals: 23

Assists: 0

Gilardino celebrates

2004/05 | Alberto Gilardino (Parma) - 23

Games: 38

Goals: 23

Assists: 0

2005/06 | Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) - 25

Games: 36

Goals: 16

Assists: 9

2006/07 | Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) - 33

Games: 34

Goals: 17

Assists: 16

2007/08 | Karim Benzema (Lyon) - 29

Games: 36

Goals: 20

Assists: 9

Benzema with Lyon

2008/09 | Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 35

Games: 31

Goals: 23

Assists: 12

2009/10 | Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) - 34

Games: 32

Goals: 27

Assists: 7

2010/11 | Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) - 25

Games: 34

Goals: 12

Assists: 13

2011/12 | Eden Hazard (Lille) - 38

Games: 38

Goals: 20

Assists: 18

Hazard with Lille

2012/13 | Romelu Lukaku (West Brom) - 24

Games: 35

Goals: 17

Assists: 7

2013/14 | Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim) - 28

Games: 33

Goals: 16

Assists: 12

2014/15 | Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan) - 30

Games: 36

Goals: 22

Assists: 8

2015/16 | Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) - 26

Games: 38

Goals: 25

Assists: 1

Kane with the PL Golden Boot

2016/17 | Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) - 28

Games: 31

Goals: 21

Assists: 7

2017/18 | Leroy Sane (Manchester City) - 25

Games: 32

Goals: 10

Assists: 15

2018/19 | Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) - 42

Games: 29

Goals: 33

Assists: 9

2019/20 | Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) - 34

Games: 32

Goals: 17

Assists: 17

Sancho celebrates

Mbappe's haul of 42 goal contributions in 2018/19 - a total achieved in just 29 appearances - is comfortably the record for an U21 player in one season this century.

Hazard's stunning 2011/12 as a fresh-faced youngster at Lille is the second most prolific since the year 2000, with Messi's 2008/09 campaign at Barcelona taking the bronze medal.

Haaland's got some catching up to do in Dortmund's final two Bundesliga games of this season...

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