Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe both had impressive performances in the Champions League
By: Emmanuel Mendez
Many football fans around the world are witnessing the final stages of the big ‘rivalry’ between legends Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. For over a decade, these two players have been providing impressive performances for their respective clubs and countries consistently.
Both Messi and Ronaldo have scored so many goals and brought about moments that fans will remember for a lifetime. No one will ever replicate what these two have done over the past years and many are questioning the future of football after these two icons retire.
The 22-year-old French footballer, Kylian Mbappe, is considered as the future of football after some insane stats at such a young age. His debut was in 2015 with AS Monaco when he was just 16 years old. He started to get his name out there in the 2016-17 season when he scored goals for Monaco in the Champions League against teams like Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, and Juventus FC. He was 18 years old at the time and his amazing performances led Monaco to a semifinal in the champions league and won the French league.
In 2017, he went to PSG, where he plays currently, in a massive deal worth up to 180 million euros. There was a lot of hype around him and in 2018, he won the FIFA World Cup with his country France.
Mbappe is on top of the world at such a young age and most fans praise him as the next big thing and soon to become the best player in the world. Mbappe has continued his consistent form by winning French leagues with PSG and he helped them reach their first-ever Champions League final last year.
While Mbappe has been succeeding for three to four years, a new young footballer made a breakout season last year that has gotten many fan’s attention. 20-year-old Norwegian Erling Haaland has been a revelation this past year.
He first played professionally in 2016 and played in Norway for Molde FK and then for Red Bull Salzburg in 2019. He impressed the whole world when he scored nine goals in one game for Norway against Honduras in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
In the same year, he scored 8 goals in the Champions League which led Borussia Dortmund to get him. He scored two goals against PSG in the Round of 16 but it wasn’t enough to get past them.
This season will be his first full season with Dortmund and so far, it has been phenomenal. He has 15 goals in the Bundesliga, the German league, and 8 goals in the Champions League.
He has set records in the Champions League by scoring 18 goals in just 13 games and 42 games for Dortmund; he has 42 goals. These insane numbers have put Haaland up there as one of the next big superstars alongside Mbappe.
These two could be the next two superstars that go toe to toe every week, providing awe-inspiring performances like the ones they had recently.
On February 16th, Mbappe and PSG played FC Barcelona in the first leg of their round of 16 fixture. The final score was a 4-1 win for the Parisians away from home, and Mbappe scored a hattrick.
His three goals have put PSG in a good position for them to advance to the next round. Mbappe scored one goal in the first half that surprised the Barca defense.
His second goal was a great reactional shot that fell to his feet. The third was a spectacular right-footed shot that Barca goalkeeper Marc Ter-Stegen couldn’t stop.
He cemented himself as one of the best players in the world currently after that game.
Haaland and Borussia Dortmund played the next day and they visited Sevilla FC. Dortmund’s poor form in the Bundesliga had many predicting that Sevilla would have an easy game but that wasn’t the case.
Sevilla did start on the front foot when Sevilla`s forward Suso scored a deflected shot. After that, it was the Haaland show.
He assisted the first goal, scored by midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud, which came from outside the box. Then Haaland scored two goals to put Dortmund up and complete the comeback.
Sevilla would then score another one in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to tie the game. The score ended 3-2 in favor of the German team.
After this week’s fixtures, many wonder if these two young talents have what it takes to continue to provide these kinds of performances for five to ten years consistently. Nothing is slowing these young superstars down and have proven to be great on the big stages.
A big transfer move is soon to happen as big clubs like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have their eye on both players. The future of football, it’s safe to say, is in good hands.