Lionel Messi: Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe have more goals at the age of 20

Erling Haaland in action for Borussia Dortmund

"Beware, for I am fearless, and therefore powerful," wrote English author Mary Shelley in 1818.

This, of course, is taken from her celebrated work, The Modern Prometheus, a piece of literature unveiling the terrifying tale of a monster created by a certain Victor Frankenstein. 

What does this have to do with football, though, I hear you ask? Well, it bears huge relevance to Erling Haaland.

The Norwegian striker is a freak of nature, a monster in front of goal, someone who looks as though they were created in a laboratory using the finest ingredients of some of the most notable footballers to ever play the game. 

He is programmed to bully defenders, to beat goalkeepers and he does that all in a strangely hypnotic way. The Norway international borders on robotic in his press conferences too.

Haaland is ruthless, though, not just in the press but also on the field. As he dashes past the centre-backs before firing a rasping shot beyond the 'keeper, they must be able to feel the remarkably powerful nature of his play. 

Very quickly, he has become one of the best footballers in the world, one that could threaten the greatest ever if his trajectory continues. 

Erling Haaland celebrates scoring for Dortmund

Born in Leeds in 2000 to former United player Alf-Inge Haaland, the striker speaks perfect English and incredibly, wants to win the Premier League with the city of his birth.

That is an unlikely dream, but trophies will fall in abundance for a young man who is bound to achieve lofty heights in the game.

At the age of 20, Haaland's record speaks for itself and he has already broken a whole heap of records. 

He is the first Borussia Dortmund player to score on his debut in the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal and the Champions League.

Erling Haaland trademark celebration

He is the first teenager to score ten goals in a single Champions League campaign, while that tally also makes him the quickest to reach that landmark in the competition's illustrious history. 

Coincidentally, the only other teen to score double figures in the tournament is Kylian Mbappe. That being said, he did it over the course of two seasons.

The Frenchman also happens to be mind-blowingly good at football. Only a few years ago, he was in Haaland's shoes. Mbappe was hailed as the best thing since sliced bread and has moved to the next level after a transfer costing PSG a mouthwatering sum of £165.7m

Kylian Mbappe with the World Cup

The winger has already won the World Cup as a teenager and is now the second most expensive player to ever kick a football. He is outstanding, a breath of fresh air and a fabulous personality.

Thus, it's easy to see why Haaland and Mbappe will dominate football for the next decade or so.

If you look at their dumbfounding stats, the evidence becomes even greater. 

At the age of 20 years and 74 days, both of them have more goals combined than two of the greatest players we've ever seen; Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Mbappe and Haaland goal comparison at the age of 20

Now, we're not suggesting they'll surpass their status anytime soon, but we're beginning to see a changing of the guard.

At 33 and 35 respectively, the duo are still phenomenal footballers. However, there will come a time where they have to hang up their boots.

For the neutral, we hope this won't be anytime soon, but once they do, we can marvel even more at the fabulous nature of Mbappe and Haaland. 

The term generational talent is thrown around too much nowadays, but the pair are very much deserving of that assessment.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

There might be an argument to suggest that Ronaldo and Messi weren't goalscorers when they were younger and we hear this.

The Portuguese didn't surpass the 30 goal mark until his sixth full season of senior football. As for the diminutive Argentine, it took him seven years in the first-team to hit 30.

However, this is what makes the likes of Mbappe and Haaland stand out.

The former has been playing at a high level in France and coincidentally, didn't hit 30 goals until his seventh season, either. At the age of 21, it's crazy to think he's been around that long but he was playing for Monaco's B side in the depths of French football when he broke through.

Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring for Monaco

As for Haaland, a player valued at £72m, he was once playing in the lower echelons of Norway for Bryne's reserve team. However, the powerful striker rose through the ranks impeccably and after scoring 20 for Molde, earnt a switch to Salzburg in Austria. 

A year later, he had racked up 28 goals in 22 outings for them - he then scored a further 16 in 18 during the same season following a move to Dortmund. 

Accounting for all the years the 20-year-old has been in senior football, it took him five years to break that 30 goal barrier - hitting 44 in 40 last season.

That's an obscene record and points to a forward who could well surpass some of the very best we've ever seen.

Erling Haaland celebrates scoring for RB Salzburg at Anfield

Touchwood, Haaland's fitness will prevail as it has with Ronaldo and Messi and we'll get to witness him at the top for another 15 years. Only then, we will be able to put him and Mbappe in the same boat as the greatest ever. 

To reference the monster from Frankenstein again, Messi and Ronaldo need to be wary. Haaland is fearless, and therefore powerful. There is simply no stopping him. 

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