Known for his speed, strength and clinical finishing, the 22-year old striker from Norway, who stands 6 feet 5 inches tall, has taken the English Premier League by storm, breaking and setting new records in almost every single match. The goal against the Saints on Saturday was also his 10th straight game on the goal sheet for Man City.
He has already scored three hat-tricks in the Premier League that too in three consecutive home games, making him the first player to achieve the feat in the Premier League. Haaland has achieved the record in just eight games to become the quickest player in league history to score three hat-tricks, beating the previous record of 48 games, set by Michael Owen way back in 1998.
Impressed with the giant strides made by the striker, veteran TV sports presenter John Dykes called Haaland ‘a phenom’.
Speaking on the Times of India’s sports podcast, TOI Sportscast, Dykes said: “For a guy with such a big physique and being so powerful, his speed is remarkable and he will earn a lot of penalties due to it. He makes very few touches during a game, but he has this uncanny ability to be where he should be. Not just that, you see his athletic ability to connect and score goals. That’s like Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) in a way if you try to find a comparison. He is something you don’t see everyday. The scary thing is that he has a lot of room to improve in the heading department, and that will give him another option. He can play with back to goal very effectively. If teams play deep, he can reach the crosses quite effectively. He tends to use his feet, in situations others will use their heads. If he adds the heading aspect to his game, then there will be so many different ways to score goals for him. He is quite a unique customer. He is a phenom. Isn’t he?”
The extraordinary prowess showcased by the Norwegian youngster, who played for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga before joining City, has even prompted joke petitions on social media asking for a ban against him as ‘it’s not fair’ for the other players. And at 22, he is already considered to be one of the best players in the world.
The ponytailed striker’s form is not only limited to the Premier League in England, he has been in terrific goal-scoring form in the UEFA Champions League too. He scored two against Copenhagen last Thursday to take his total Champions League goal tally to 28 in 22 games.
“Haaland looks like the one who will make a difference and define the season (UEFA Champions League),” John Dykes added on TOI Sportscast.
Haaland’s footballing journey so far
Haaland came up through the youth system at Bryne FK in Norway, eventually playing for their reserve and senior teams. He first made his name in the European football circuit after joining Austrian league side Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019, where he became first teenager to score in five consecutive matches in the Champions League.
Haaland then joined Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in December 2019, his last club before he went to play in England. At Dortmund, Haaland set numerous records at both Bundesliga and Champions League levels. He finished as the Champions League top-scorer in the 2020-21 season with 10 goals. And in November 2021, he became the youngest to score 50 Bundesliga goals.
In May 2022, Haaland joined Man City, a club represented by his father Alfie Haaland as defender during his playing days. Haaland senior has played for Nottingham Forest and Leeds United too in England.
Haaland made his international debut for Norway in August 2019, and has so far scored 21 goals in 23 games. Unfortunately, he won’t be a part of the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar as his national team Norway failed to qualify for the showpiece event.
Records Haaland has already broken this season:
* The quickest player to score15 Premier League goals, reaching the mark in just 9 games. Previous record was with Andy Cole, who needed 15 games to do so.
* First player to score a hat-trick in three consecutive home games in the Premier League – against Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United.
* First player to score in his first four away games in the Premier League.
* His double against Copenhagen took his tally to a record 28 Champions League goals in 22 games. The old record for goals in a player’s first 22 Champions League games belonged to Harry Kane (18).
* First player to score multiple times on his Champions League debut for three different clubs – a hat-trick for Salzburg against Genk, two goals for Dortmund against Paris St-Germain and a double for Man City against Sevilla.
* The youngest player to score 25 goals in the Champions League, breaking the previous record held by Kylian Mbappe.
* Holds the record for fewest Champions League games needed to score 10, 15 and 20 goals. Also nobody else has scored multiple goals in four successive appearances in the competition.
* First Man City player to score on both his Premier League debut and Champions League debut for the club.
Haaland’s records before joining Manchester City:
* Only player to score on his Dortmund debuts in the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League.
* First player to score a hat-trick on his Bundesliga debut as a substitute (against Augsburg).
* Took 50 games to score his first 50 Bundesliga goals, a record – and, at 21, was the youngest player to get to the half a century mark.
* Youngest player to score four times in a Bundesliga game (20 years and 123 days, against Hertha Berlin).
* His nine goals in one game against Honduras in 2019 remains a record for a FIFA Under-20 World Cup match.