Haaland and Bellingham Shine as Records Tumble in UEFA Champions League
The latest UEFA Champions League fixtures brought forth a beautiful blend of triumphs and draws, with English powerhouses Manchester City and Arsenal securing their spots at the top of their groups.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Barcelona secured their places in the knockout rounds, while PSG, AC Milan, and Inter Milan still have work to do. Here are the standout records and achievements from this week’s Champions League action.
Erling Haaland’s Record-Breaking Feat
Manchester City’s Erling Haaland added another feather to his cap by breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy‘s record for the fewest games needed to score 40 Champions League goals. Haaland achieved this milestone in 35 matches, outshining van Nistelrooy‘s 45-game record.
Additionally, Haaland joined an elite group of players, including Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Agüero, Didier Drogba, and Mohamed Salah, with at least 50 Premier League goals and 40 Champions League goals. His 12 goals against RB Leipzig mark his highest tally against any opponent.
Jude Bellingham’s Youthful Brilliance
Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham showcased his brilliance at a tender age, becoming the third youngest player to score 10 UEFA Champions League goals at 20 years and 153 days. In achieving this feat, he follows Kylian Mbappe‘s (18y, 350d) and Haaland‘s (19y, 212d) footsteps.
Bellingham‘s goal and assist against Napoli also earned him a place alongside Haaland for the second-most goal contributions (11) over the last two UCL group stages. He became the first Real Madrid player to score in his four Champions League matches.
Nico Paz’s Historic Moment
Real Madrid’s Nico Paz made history at 19 years and 82 days, becoming the second youngest Argentine player to score in the UEFA Champions League, trailing only Lionel Messi. This achievement adds another layer to Paz’s burgeoning career and hints at a promising future.
Other Notable Highlights
- Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal secured a unique record, becoming the first player in the last 14 Champions League seasons to score in four straight matches for an English team.
- Bukayo Saka of Arsenal joined an exclusive club by becoming the second player from Europe’s big five leagues to reach 10 assists in all competitions this season, after Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz.
- Sergio Ramos of Sevilla scored the 10,000th goal in UEFA Champions League history against PSV, excluding pre-group games and qualifiers.
- PSG’s struggles continued with their lowest points tallying in the group stage since 2004/05, while AC Milan maintained a strong record against the German side.
- Inter Milan’s Marko Arnautović ended a decade-long goal drought in the UEFA Champions League, showcasing perseverance and resilience.
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