Lionel Messi vs Erling Haaland: Who Is the Greatest Goalscorer Ever?

messi vs haland

The most talked about football topic for more than a decade was Ronaldo or Messi and who is the better player. That is entirely understandable because both players are of the greatest that ever played football, and we are lucky to witness their magic while on the pitch.

Now, just like these two players differ, and in certain aspects cannot be compared, the same thing happens when you want to compare it to Mbappe or Haaland. The stats, just like the odds when betting on sports, don’t tell the entire story, which is one of the reasons why sports betting on renowned sites like a bet at home is so popular.

But, to make it easier for you, we will try to go through all the details and facts and at least give you a better insight into what to expect from Haaland and whether he can beat certain records that Messy currently possesses.

What does the stat say?

Erling Haaland

Regardless of what some might think about statistics, it can give us a great insight into certain specifics and the player’s performance.

On the other hand, the numbers don’t paint the entire picture as there is much more to the football than just numbers and stat, and this is something that defensive midfielders are well aware of, as they have to run the most, but the main statistic will not mention them.

As for goals so far, Haaland scored 40 goals before he turned twenty, and this definitely is something to keep in mind, especially when we take a look at how many goals Ronaldo (17) and Messi (19) scored when at that age.

But, the best way to show how stats can be deceiving sometimes is when we add one year because, at the age of 21, Haaland scored 42 goals. Even though that is still better than Messi, who netted 41, it isn’t that big of a difference, and the margin got pretty close within just one year.

Besides that, when we look just at numbers, Ronaldo scored more goals than Messi in his career, but we are still talking about whether Haaland or Messi is better. That is because when discussing a true goalscorer, especially the best that ever lived, it is not just about goals, as it’s more about the overall impact on the game that player has.

This is also where talent surpasses physical abilities, as when we age, our speed decreases, but a true talent remains, which is why we will further focus on the specifics of the game for both players.

The impact on the team


There are many aspects to consider when comparing players, and this can get even more tricky when you need to compare two players, the one who played fifty years ago and the one who currently plays. It’s because the style, the tactics, and even the rules of the game changed so much, which simply leaves certain things incomparable.

Luckily, this isn’t something that troubles us as both Haaland and Messi currently play, but that doesn’t mean that comparing and determining who is the best goalscorer is easy. Yes, scoring goals is their primary role, but there is much more a modern striker needs to do.

That “killer instinct” definitely is the key and what separates great players from the rest, but how their movement, physical characteristics, speed, control of the ball, vision, pass, technique, etc., affect how the team plays is also of vast importance.

That is also where these two players differ, as Messi affects every aspect of the game, and the only thing he doesn’t do is defend, which can also be said for Erling Haaland. Now, the fact that in the build-up of the game, Messi is not just involved but one of the players with the most ball speaks volumes about how big of an impact he has on the entire team and their performance.

On the other hand, this is not something that we can say for Haaland, as his speed, movement, technique, and finishing is great, but his vision and involvement in the build-up are far less influential.

Physical abilities

One thing that we must mention is physical abilities and characteristics because it’s something that can tell us a lot about the game of each player. Now, everyone who follows football knows that these two players differ a lot, and while Haaland’s height is 194, Messi’s is 169, which is a huge difference.

That is why Erling scoring headers is nothing unexpected, but when Messi does it, it’s an amazing goal. Of course, this is just the beginning, as the height also affects how these players move and how skilled they are with and without a ball.


Haaland Man City

Both players have great movement and instinct on when and where to move to get a pass or to get behind the defensive line. Another thing they have in common is speed, as they both have great explosiveness, and their quick movement and changing the pace leave most defenders without a clue where they will go next.

On the other hand, when Haaland has the ball in the midfield or on the side, his next move is usually a pass to a more creative player, and only when there is enough space so that he can run past the opponent, he decides to do so. Understandably, this doesn’t mean that he is a bad dribbler, on the contrary, it just means that he is much more productive when in the attack.


messi psg

Messi represents a threat regardless of where he stands and receives the ball on the pitch. That is why you can often see that defenders are marking and following him everywhere he goes so that he doesn’t get the ball.

Once again, that is a huge boost to the side Messi plays for, as it leaves room for other players to do something while attacking, and if he gets the ball, then there are usually two players around him, which once again is a great thing for his teammates.

His presence alone is great, but when we talk about who is better in front of the goal, only the time will tell, as the goals say a lot, but the overall impact an individual has on the team’s performance is what separates the best players and goalscorers ever from the rest.