Erling Haaland joins exclusive Champions League class

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Erling Haaland has often made goal-scoring look easy since his days in Austria with RB Salzburg. But moving from Dortmund in the Bundesliga to England was bound to be testing for the young Norwegian as many expected he would be tamed by the rugged Premier League defenders.

However, the former Signal Iduna goal hunting specialist has transitioned well into the life in English football and broke multiple records despite his late low scoring stats.

Taking his boots to Europe with Pep Guardiola’s men, the Norway international has not failed to impress having plundered in five goals in the group stages.

Against RB Leipzig in the first leg in their Round of 16 class in Germany, the Norwegian failed to hit the back of the net on his return to German soil. But he was not to be denied on Tuesday night in front of a roaring Etihad crowd as he blew the Germans apart with five goals including a first half hattrick.

In doing so, he has joined an exclusive list that includes one of football’s greatest ever in Lionel Messi. The Argentine along with Luiz Adriano in October 2014 for Shakhtar Donetsk against BATE Borisov had been the only two players to have scored five goals in one Champions League game till date.

That was, however, not to be with the Norwegian coming to the party as he added his own name to the exclusive page in the history books of the competition.

Aside from adding his name to that piece of history, his five goals against Leipzig took his overall Champions League goals tally to 30, as many as several footballing greats have managed in their entire careers.

He has more Champions League hat-tricks (2) than Thierry Henry, Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. Erling Haaland has now also scored more Champions League goals (30) as Rooney, Antoine Griezmann, Samuel Eto’o and Kaká.

His five goals also means he is now just one hattrick away from equaling the number of trebles (3) by Filippo Inzaghi (Juventus 2, AC Milan 1), Mario Gomez (Bayern), Luiz Adriano (Shakhtar) and Neymar (Barcelona 1, Paris 2).

The Norwegian has also broken other records with his five goals having become the youngest player to score 30 Champions Leagues, a record previously held by Messi who achieved it at age and 131 days.

Aside from that, his 30 goals in 25 matches has also broken the record previous held by Dutch and Manchester United great Ruud van Nistelrooy who was the quickest to score 30 goals with just 34 Champions League games.

He has now become the first Premier League player since Harry Kane in the 2016-2017 season to score five hattricks in a season. And with 11 matches left to play, Haaland has one record in sight; to topple Alan Shearer with the most goals in a single Premier League season (31). He has 28 goals so far.

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