UEFA Champions League: 5 Players Who Have Scored The Most Goals Before Turning 21
The UEFA Champions League is the perfect stage for an up-and-coming soccer player to prove their worth. Not only does the tournament feature the continent’s best players, but is also the most broadcast cup competition in the world. Starting strong and early is key to becoming a household name.
Below, we will take a look at a few starlets who have led by example, showing their contemporaries how to hit the ground running in the UEFA Champions League. Now without further ado, let’s check out the top five players who have scored the most Champions League goals before turning 21.
#5 Patrick Kluivert – 9 Goals
Netherlands legend Patrik Kluivert scored nine goals in 22 Champions League matches before turning 21. All of Kluivert’s strikes came for Dutch outfit and his boyhood club Ajax.
Kluivert, who also played for Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League, played a total of 71 Champions League matches before retiring in July 2008, scoring 29 times and providing 14 assists. Kluivert’s only Champions League triumph came at Ajax in the 1994-95 season.
#4 Jude Bellingham – 10 Goals
Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham has become the latest player to join the list, with the 20-year-old scoring 10 Champions League goals in 27 matches. The former Borussia Dortmund star also has seven assists to his name.
Bellingham, who has recently won the Kopa Trophy and the Golden Boy Award, has been in otherworldly form since joining Real Madrid in the summer. He has scored 15 goals for the club in 17 games, four of which have come in four Champions League matches. No player had previously scored in their first four Champions League games for Real Madrid.
#3 Karim Benzema – 12 Goals
Former Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema scored 12 Champions League goals in 17 games before turning 21. The French striker scored all said goals as a Lyon player.
Currently playing for Al-Ittihad, Benzema scored an astonishing 90 goals and provided 30 assists in 152 Champions League games before leaving Europe in July. He has won the competition an astonishing five times (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) over the years.
#2 Kylian Mbappe – 19 Goals
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) ace Kylian Mbappe scored 19 goals in 30 Champions League matches before turning 21. The French superstar scored six goals for Monaco and the remaining 13 for PSG.
One of the best players in the world, Mbappe has so far played 66 matches in the Champions League, scoring 43 goals and providing 26 assists. Mbappe has yet to win the Champions League, with his only appearance in the final coming in the 2019-20 season when the Parisians lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.
#1 Erling Haaland – 20 Goals
At the summit sits the formidable Erling Haaland, having scored a whopping 20 goals in only 16 matches before turning 21. The Norwegian, who is currently 22 years old, scored those goals for Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
The Manchester City ace has not slowed down since his breathtaking start at Salzburg, enjoying a formidable spell for the Treble winners as well. The 2022-23 Champions League winner has played a total of 35 Champions League games so far, scoring a staggering 40 times. No player in the history of the competition has reached the 40-goal milestone in so few matches.