The Champions League Round of 16 saw two of the most highly-rated young attackers face off against each other. The Paris Saint-Germain vs Borussia Dortmund saw a mini-player battle where Kylian Mbappe went up against Erling Haaland, and fans were already weighing up this clash as the new Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi rivalry. While, both Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe are still young and have a career ahead of them, they are potentially marked as the successors of the Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate by Twitterati.
Obviously the Ronaldo v Messi rivalry will never be matched not just in football but in all sport, but I think what we’re about to witness is the Erling Haaland v Kylian Mbappe rivalry over the next decade. And boy, I’m ready for it! pic.twitter.com/9H6OmnFn57— RJ (@nwoye_chike) February 19, 2020
Just a quick reminder for CL stats:— 🇰🇷 💛 (@MrAco09) February 19, 2020
Messi: 10 goals after 22 games
Mbappe: 10 goals after 17 games
CR7: 10 goals after 21 games
Neymar: 10 goals after 18 games
Suarez: 10 goals after 18 games
HAALAND: 10 GOALS AFTER 7 GAMES
These stats are unreal, this is my striker 😲 pic.twitter.com/IngCe8iJkG
The Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi rivalry is a once-in-a-lifetime rivalry where two of the all-time greats go head-to-head, but the Mbappe vs Haaland rivalry has already started drawing comparisons. Kylian Mbappe, who at 21 is already a World Cup winner, was widely regarded as the next great goal scorer of his generation, before Erling Haaland, who scored an incredible 28 goals for RB Salzburg this season, added 11 more in just seven games since his transfer to Borussia Dortmund. Haaland showed his class against PSG, scoring both goals to help Dortmund win, while Kylian Mbappe played a crucial role in PSG's solitary goal, assisting Neymar.
Football fans on Twitter are already excited to find a potential successor to the evergreen debate of Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi, but the Kylian Mbappe vs Erling Haaland rivalry is yet to become as obsessive as the former one for now. Many fans have pointed out that Haaland already has an incredible 60 goals in his first 100 club games, while ‘competitor’ Mbappe has scored only 27.
However, like Ronaldo, Mbappe hasn’t always played as an out and out striker, unlike his Norwegian opponent. Like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, there's an age difference of just a couple of years between the Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe. While a comparing Mbappe vs Haaland to the Ronaldo vs Messi rivalry is setting the bar quite high for the young forwards, it is quite difficult not to be excited to see how this rivalry shapes up.