Erling Haaland surpasses Harry Kane for career hat-tricks

Erling Haaland surpasses Harry Kane for career hat-tricks

Football is a wonderful game that can produce historic moments as well as unbelievable records that will take decades to break.

Par for the course, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were masters of the above statement as they led an era of domination at the top level of the sport when they shattered records for fun. Given that both superstars are now away from the limelight of European football, it is time for the current generation to make their mark and a few names stand out as the best of the rest.

Goals win games, and goalscorers will always be seen as the superior players on the pitch. This is why Erling Haaland is widely regarded as the best striker in the world and he is the most valuable player currently at €180 million, alongside Kylian Mbappe, who recently joined Real Madrid, alongside teammate Jude Bellingham.

The giant striker has made his name as a pure goalscorer, a dying breed in the modern game who is obsessed with finding the net with excessive regularity despite the overall limitations in his game. 

It is telling that Haaland entered the limelight when he scored nine goals in the Norway under-20 team’s 12–0 win against Honduras at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland. This remarkable scoreline was the biggest win by any team in the history of the tournament, as well as setting the record for most goals scored by a single player in a match and Haaland won the Golden Boot despite getting knocked out in the group stage. 

The goal-machine has developed into a juggernaut that is sending shockwaves across European football, such that very few are surprised by his goalscoring output these days.

Such is the consistency of his almost robotic impact on club and country. 

Haaland breaks another record

True to his form, Haaland hit a hat-trick as Norway beat Kosovo 3-0 in a friendly in Oslo on Wednesday night to secure their first victory of 2024. Norway failed to qualify for Euro 2024 after finishing six points behind runners-up Scotland in Group A, but the presence of Haaland is an overwhelming strength to build upon. 

In the match against Kosovo, Haaland opened the scoring in the first 15 minutes as he headed in a pinpoint cross from David Moller Wolfe – his first international goal since a 4-0 win over Cyprus in October last year.

Thereafter, Stale Solbakken’s side had to be patient until their second goal came in the 70th minute when Haaland finished off a pass from Antonio Nusa after a rapid counter-attack. The Premier League Golden Boot winner was celebrating his treble just five minutes later by tapping into an empty net following a neat link-up play with Aron Donnum.

This is Haaland’s third hat trick for Norway – and the 22nd of his career – which is now the most of any player for club and country. The 23-year-old has now overtaken Harry Kane (21), Mbappe (whose most famous hat trick came in the 2022 World Cup final) and Sergio Aguero (18).

Meanwhile, Haaland trails Suarez (29) and Robert Lewandowski (31) on the treble list but he has already got so many of them at such a young age. At this current scoring rate, the prolific Norwegian is on track to eclipse Ronaldo’s (65) and Messi’s (57) records for career hat-tricks.

Taking a closer look at the instances when Haaland took home the match ball, nine of those have come for Man City where he is the quickest player to score two, three, four and five hat-tricks in the Premier League. He is also the first in the history of the English top flight to score hat-tricks in three consecutive home games. His goals are among the major reasons fans always want to purchase Man City tickets.

Haaland is also a maniac goalscorer in a Norway shirt, with 30 goals now scored from 32 appearances which is only three strikes behind the country’s top goalscorer, Jorgen Juve, a record that has stood since before World War Two.

At club level, Haaland has found the net 90 times in 98 appearances for City which is an astonishing tally from only two seasons. Furthermore, the three times he scored at least three goals in a match during the 2023/24 season were each notable achievements: 

There was the hat-trick plus an assist against Fulham which made him the fastest-ever player to reach 50 Premier League goal involvements from just 39 appearances in the competition. The four goals in a 5–1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers edged them ever closer to a fourth consecutive league title. Then Haaland also netted five times in a 6–2 victory against Luton Town in the FA Cup making him the first player to do it twice for the club as well as the most goals by an individual in an FA Cup match for City.

One hat-trick, one four-goal haul and a further five-goal glut. Haaland was phenomenal for City despite an injury in the season that just ended as he went on to provide 38 goals and six assists in 45 matches across all competitions

Meanwhile, Haaland won’t be at Euro 2024 after Norway failed to qualify for the tournament and this is a serious let-down for one of the standout strikers in world football

He will regardless take to the pitch in another friendly against Denmark on June 8, with an eye on another hat trick that will tie him with his nation’s record goalscorer before heading for his summer break.

There is no doubting Haaland’s ability to score many times over consecutive games and it will be a milestone achievement less than five years into his international career. 

All in all, his ability to deliver on both domestic and international stages will continue to emphasize what we all know about his status as one of the most formidable strikers in modern football.

The obvious next step is of course to lead his compatriots into an international tournament for the first time since EURO 2000 as it seems his legacy can only be completed by fulfilment on the international scene.

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