📊 Haaland or Mbappé? We compare the superstars across nine key categories

📊 Haaland or Mbappé? We compare the superstars across nine key categories

Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé are the two hottest footballing properties across the entire planet.

With both men rumoured to be angling for moves away from Borussia Dortmund and PSG respectively this summer, we assess which of these striking superstars represents better overall value to any potential suitors in key categories.

Here goes, with the winner of each category mentioned in bold.

💰 Market values & purchase price

Haaland might become available for a little as €75m when his rumoured release clause is hypothetically triggered in the summer of 2022. Kylian Mbappé's PSG contract is set to expire in June this year, so the overall price of a deal for Mbappé would have to factor in his inevitably enormous wage demands if he were to walk out of the Paris club on a free transfer. Even then, signing a player of Mbappé's calibre for nothing would have to represent one of the best potential transfer deals in the history of the sport. 

Haaland will turn 22 in July whereas Mbappé will be 24 in December. According to transfermarkt, Mbappé is the most valuable player on the planet at €160m, while Haaland is a close second with an estimated valuation of €150m. Purely from a branding and marketability perspective, Mbappé may well offer more value when all is said and done. 

🇫🇷 WINNER: Mbappé

🎯 Goal-scoring ratios at club level

Haaland has scored 129 goals in 172 club appearances at a rate of 0.75 goals per game. Mbappe's equivalent figure is 179 goals in 261 club matches across stints at Monaco and now PSG, at a rate of 0.69 goals per game. If we go purely on goal-scoring numbers and prowess, the Norwegian is a superior bet and he's 17 months Mbappé's junior.

🇳🇴 WINNER: Haaland 

🗺 International credentials

12 goals in 15 Norway caps for Haaland is a typically freakish scoring ratio of 0.80 goals per game which echoes his prowess at club level. Mbappé has 24 goals in 53 France caps but he's scored them mostly from a wide attacking role, and against more elite opposition.

Mbappé is, of course, a World Cup winner in 2018. There's no reason why both players won't go on to win 100+ caps for their countries, and perhaps even a century of goals. Both are indispensable for their nations, but it's the Frenchman who has already been there, done that and got the t-shirt.

🇫🇷 WINNER: Mbappé 

🏟 Big match temperament

Haaland's goal-scoring record in the Champions League, which we are about to discuss, is absolutely ridiculous and evidence that the big occasions don't faze him. That being said though, we are yet to see how he performs at the business end of that competition. 

We have seen Kylian Mbappé excel at the highest levels as a player who thrives in the big games and on the grandest stages when the whole world is watching. He's now scored in the Champions League on the following grounds:

  • 🌃 Man City's Etihad Stadium
  • 😈 Man United's Old Trafford
  • 🔴 Liverpool's Anfield
  • ⚫️ Juventus' Allianz Stadium
  • 🏆 Bayern's Allianz Arena
  • 🟡 Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park
  • ⚪️ Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu
  • 😳 A hat-trick at Barça's iconic Camp Nou

In 2018 he also became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pelé back in 1958.

🇫🇷 WINNER: Mbappé

💪 Physical prowess

Haaland is an impressive specimen standing at 1.94m tall, or 6'4". He is so much more than a target man though with a decent turn of pace and deceptive agility. Mbappé's major physical asset is his unbelievable pace which frightens defenders before the first whistle has even blown. At just 1.78m tall he won't bully many defenders in the air though, and it remains to be seen when he starts to lose a few yards of that blistering pace. It's difficult to envisage it, but Haaland is probably still going to get a lot stronger.

🇳🇴 WINNER: Haaland

🪜 Ceiling

Purely on gut feel, which one of these players do we believe will go on to achieve more at the highest level? Haaland is extremely unlikely to ever match Mbappé's accolades at the international level, but if he chooses his next club wisely, he could become a serial Champions League and Ballon d'Or winner. All the while, we expect him to carry on hitting the back of the net along the journey at a rate of knots. He's a goal machine. He's also supremely confident and got bags of personality to burn. 

🇳🇴 WINNER: Haaland

🏆 Champions League record

Haaland required just 14 matches to hit 20 Champions League goals, the quickest player to that mark in the competition's history by 10 matches. While he was still only 22, Mbappé could already boast a higher career tally of Champions League goals than the likes of Samuel Eto'o, Kaká and Wayne Rooney. 

After ending on the losing side in the 2019-20 final, Mbappé will be determined to go one better than that, sooner rather than later. The fact that he's already been to a final, although it ended in heartbreak, will stand him in good stead for future challenges in a competition that every player is desperate to win. 

🇫🇷 WINNER: Mbappé

☄️ Breakout seasons

Incidentally, it was on the 18th of January 2020 that Erling Haaland made his Borussia Dortmund debut, and he did so in spectacular style, scoring a 20-minute hat-trick off the bench to secure a come-from-behind 3-5 win at Augsburg. 

He recently became the quickest player to 50 Bundesliga goals in the competition's history (50 matches), an unbelievable scoring ratio in any division. For Dortmund, he now has 78 goals in 77 appearances. Astonishing. 

Mbappé was a menace in the 2016-2017 Champions League round of 16, scoring in both legs against Manchester City as the Principality side advanced on away goals after the sides ended 6-6 on aggregate. He looks a much more mature performer now though than he did as a raw teenager. 

🇳🇴 WINNER: Haaland

🗓 2021 form

Haaland continued to put the ball in the back of the net for the majority of 2021, but he spent a long portion of it on the treatment table with hip flexor issues. That, combined with Mbappé's extra creativity and superior assist stats, meant that it was a better calendar year for the 23-year-old Frenchman. He has become the complete attacking weapon. 

🗓 Mbappé's calendar year 2021 (PSG & France combined):

  • 67 matches
  • 51 goals
  • 22 assists

His tally of 51 goals puts Mbappé in a rarified company. Only he and Robert Lewandowski (69) scored over half a century of goals in 2021. Mbappé also claimed 22 assists in this period, taking his direct goal contributions tally to 73, an average of 1.09 direct goal contributions per game.

🇫🇷 WINNER: Mbappé

It's too early to tell, but the smart money says that these two are the likeliest candidates to hog the limelight for the better part of a decade and be among the frontrunners for the Ballon d'Or in the same timeframe. 

It should be genuinely fascinating to watch as their respective careers unfold. 

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