Haaland scored his first three Bundesliga goals in less time than it takes most of us to eat our lunch. His 23-minute hat-trick against Augsburg on January 18, 2020, saw him shatter Joel Pohjanpalo’s half-hour record and earn his first three strikes for Bayer Leverkusen with plenty of time left over for dessert. Since then, he’s been feasting.
Haaland, defying postprandial somnolence, scored back-to-back braces in victories over Cologne and Union Berlin, becoming the first player to score seven goals in his first three games, eight in his first five, and nine in his first six. The only surprise was that he failed to score in the subsequent 4-3 loss to Leverkusen, which was, unfortunately, his first full 90 minutes in the league.
Haaland scored six more goals before the end of the season, giving him a total of 13 goals in 15 Bundesliga matches, or once every 81.7 minutes. He scored 14 goals in 16 Austrian Bundesliga appearances for Red Bull Salzburg in the first half of the season. His first full season in the Bundesliga saw him maintain his upward trend.
With 27 goals in 28 Bundesliga appearances, Haaland finished third in the 2020/21 scoring statistics, behind Robert Lewandowski (41 goals) and Andre Silva (28), but second in minutes-per-goal (89). He never went more than two games without scoring, and his season-ending brace against Leverkusen gave him the first U21 player to score 40 career Bundesliga goals.
It was his tenth double of the season in the league. On three of the 14 occasions that he was on target, he failed to shoot more than once. The other, held at Hertha Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, had four Haaland goals in 32 minutes of second-half action.
Haaland has struck nine times in six outings in 2021/22, including four doubles, at a rate of one every 64 minutes. Despite missing the first two Matchdays due to injury, the August Player of the Month has a direct hand in 13 of Dortmund’s 22 league goals during Matchdays 1-8. That is, by the way, a league-leading contribution at this point in the season.
Haaland’s scoring run in the Bundesliga has continued in the UEFA Champions League. With a characteristic brace against Sevilla in the 2020/21 Champions League last 16, he became the first player to score in four consecutive Champions League games, and the fastest to achieve 20 goals – in just 14 appearances. Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur had previously set the record with 24 games. Cristiano Ronaldo required 56 matches to reach the final.
Haaland also surpassed Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – his former coach at Molde – as the highest-scoring Norwegian in the league, surpassing Kylian Mbappe’s record of most Champions League goals before the age of 21. Since the 10-goal leading marksman and UEFA Forward of the Season for the 2020/21 season made his tournament debut for Salzburg in September 2019, no one has struck with such regularity. In the 2021/22 groupings, he’s one of a kind.
The DFB Cup record of Haaland is also not bad. He’s scored seven goals in six games, including two in the 2020/21 final victory over RB Leipzig. With his one goal in two DFL Supercups, Die Schwarzgelben has scored 70 goals in 68 competitive appearances. Lewandowski had scored 24 goals in his BVB career at the time, and he was three years older.
“If he keeps working at it, Haaland has the potential to be the best striker in the world,” added Lewandowski, who currently holds the title. “Although he is still young, he has already amassed a large number of goals. You can see how hungry he is to score goals in his eyes. He has a lot of potentials.”
The year’s best understatement. Haaland has 131 senior goals in 176 games for club and country at the age of 21. On European soil, no player has ever scored 100 goals in a career at a younger age. Only Neymar, albeit for Santos in Brazil, has scored a treble digit number of goals earlier in contemporary times.
The Haalandator, a physical specimen that combines the brute force of Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 with the speed of the T-1000 Advanced Prototype – Haaland has been timed running a Bundesliga fifth-fastest 22.39 mph – will still be only 22 when the 2022 FIFA World Cup arrives.
We could be talking about a Golden Boot winner, not to mention a future world’s top striker if he can replicate his Dortmund average of 1.01 goals per competitive game. As per Bundesliga.