Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has named the seven current strikers he ranks above himself in world football.
The 20-year-old phenomenon has been breaking records and raced to 20 Champions League goals in only 14 games. But in an interview with Norwegian outlet, VG, he said there’s still seven centre-forwards he’d rate above himself (for now).
No surprise to see Bayern Munich’s prolific Robert Lewandowski- widely viewed as the best pure No 9 in world football there – alongside Juventus and Portugal icon Cristiano Ronaldo.
However each of the other five strikers Haaland ranks above himself currently play in the Premier League.
They are Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Tottenham ace Harry Kane, Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero, Liverpool frontman Roberto Firmino and – perhaps surprisingly – Chelsea’s Timo Werner.
German international Werner has struggled to find the net this season, scoring just five Premier League goals since his £47.5 million move last summer. But Haaland saw him at his best, during his last RB Leipzig season when Werner netted 28 Bundesliga goals in 34 games.
So it’s clear the Borussia striker still rate’s Werner’s skills. Haaland did emphasise that he’d back himself to lead the line in a big match above any player – we’d expect nothing less – but that these seven deserve to be above him for now.
Among the list of notable absentees is the man set up as Haaland’s rival for the next great player, Kylian Mbappe – despite Haaland admitting that he was fired up by Mbappe’s hat-trick against Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain this season.
Perhaps it could be argued that the 22-year-old PSG forward and World Cup winner is more of an all-round attacker than a central striker.
Presumably that’s why Barcelona genius Lionel Messi is also missing, despite his incredible goalscoring record.
However Inter Milan ace Romelu Lukaku, Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez, Real Madrid No 9 Karim Benzema and AC Milan’s ageless Zlatan Ibrahimovic also fail to get a mention despite pretty clearly being centre-forwards.
Oh well, it’s Haaland’s list and we’re not going to argue with the big man.
In the same interview, Haaland explained that the chance to play in front of Borussia Dortmund’s famous ‘yellow wall’ was a key reason why he chose to join them from Red Bull Salzburg in 2020, despite interest from Europe’s biggest clubs.
“There were of course a couple of clubs involved, but at the same time I did not know too much about this,” he told VG, per The Sun. “But it was I who first mentioned Dortmund to my father [Alf Inge Haaland].
“We were sitting at home in Salzburg and watching a game Dortmund played, and I said to him, ‘Oh, look at that wall behind the goal. There had been something to play there.’
“I think he was half asleep on the sofa, but suddenly it became a reality. When I talked to them, I got a good vibe. I felt a little sold after that.
“What I liked so much about them was how direct they were. They said exactly how it was right for me. I liked that.”