It has been almost exactly a year since Erling Haaland made his debut for Borussia Dortmund, and in these wild 12 months he has more than fulfilled his promise as one of the best young talents in Europe.
And the 20-year-old set another major milestone in his victory on Saturday at Bundesliga competitor RB Leipzig when he broke a record that was previously held by Uwe Seeler, one of the most famous strikers in the history of German football.
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With his brace in the 3-1 win in Dortmund (Stream it on ESPN + in the US.) Haaland set a new Bundesliga record by scoring a phenomenal 25 goals in his first 25 league games in the top German league.
The long-term record of the Hamburg legend Seeler of 23 goals in the same number of games goes back to the opening season of the Bundesliga 1963-64. Marek Mintal is third on the all-time list after scoring 21 goals in his first 25 Bundesliga games for Nuremberg in 2005. Roy Maakay is fourth (20 goals in 25 games), Paco Alcacer, a predecessor of Haaland in Dortmund, is eighth after screaming out of the blocks with 18 goals in his first 25 league games when he joined the club in 2018/19.
Haaland’s record-breaking 25 goals for Dortmund came from just 73 shots, which gave him a barely credible conversion rate of 34.24%. He also scores a league goal every 75 minutes, which is a better ratio than any other player in Bundesliga history to score 10 or more goals.
To brand Haaland, a bargain purchase undercuts its value for money by several orders of magnitude. In all previous competitions, the 20-year-old striker has scored 35 goals in 34 competitive games since Dortmund signed Manchester United’s goal from FC Salzburg in January 2020 for an entry fee of just 20 million euros.
It didn’t take long to get up and running either – about 180 seconds in fact – after falling off the bench in the 56th minute to make his debut against Augsburg on January 18 last year and before the final whistle he had scored three goals in a dramatic 5-3 comeback win (although that wasn’t the case for the Germans technically a hat trick).
These goals triggered five goals in his first two games and seven goals in his first three games (both performances set records in the Bundesliga).
Since then, Haaland has been the first Dortmund player to score a goal in his debuts in the Bundesliga, the German Cup, the Champions League and the German Super Cup.
The Leeds-born Norwegian international also broke new ground this season as he became the youngest Bundesliga player to ever score four goals in a single game.
At the tender age of 20 years and 123 days and on the day he won the Golden Boy Award for Europe’s best young player, Haaland shoveled four goals past Hertha Berlin in November.
The Dortmund poacher has scored at least twice in eight of his 25 games so far in the German top league – three double packs, a hat trick and an extravaganza with four goals.
Ling Erling Braut Haaland 🚀🤯
– UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 22, 2020
Such is his style, Haaland entered the Champions League scene with enthusiasm and helped mark his first competitive appearance A hat trick in Salzburg’s 6-2 win against Genk. Amazingly, it was the fourth hat trick of the season for the then 19-year-old striker.
It wasn’t a coincidence either, as Haaland has maintained his impressive continental form since moving to Dortmund where, in just seven appearances, he was the fastest player to ever hit the 10-goal mark in Champions League history ( four less than anyone else).
This milestone came in February 2020 when the Dortmund star scored both goals in his team’s 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16.
Haaland named his second goal of the evening (an unstoppable left foot missile from outside the area) the “best goal he has ever scored” and it’s not hard to see why.
The Dortmund striker was so impressed by his own handicraft that he reached a zen state and decided to celebrate with a short meditation sitting cross-legged at Signal Iduna Park.
Unfortunately, Haaland’s calm pose soon came back to haunt him PSG fought back to win the second leg 2-0 and advance to the quarter-finals.
– ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 11, 2020
Given his Mercury calendar year at Dortmund, his first in one of Europe’s five major leagues, it should come as no surprise that Haaland is one of the most valuable players in world football today.
According to the latest CIES Football Observatoy transfer value list, Haaland has seen a greater increase in its estimated market value than any other player in Europe’s top divisions, having jumped 13 rungs in the past six months.
While Marcus Rashford can top the list with an estimated transfer value of 165 million euros ($ 204 million), Haaland is right behind the Manchester United man in second place, down from his 107.3 value since last June Million euros has risen to 152 million euros. He catapults him from 15th place upwards.
The way Haaland is doing right now, it’s hard to see its stock rising anything but higher in 2021.
ESPN’s German correspondent Stephan Uersfeld contributed to this report