Soccer's hottest young striker scored the 8th hat-trick of his career to put him in touching distance of some of the game's greats
- Erling Braut Haaland scored the eighth hat-trick of his fledgling career as Norway spent aside Romania on Sunday night.
- Just four more hat-tricks, and the 20-year-old will enter an elite group of only nine players to have hit 12 or more career hat-tricks.
- "It's unfair to compare players, but I've never had a striker who has been as far ahead as him," Norway coach Lars Lagerback said, according to Goal.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Erling Braut Haaland scored the eighth hat-trick of his fledgling career on Sunday night as Norway spent aside Romania in the UEFA Nations League.
The 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund star put his country ahead after just 13 minutes when he slid Martin Odegaard's beautiful through ball under the legs of Romania keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.
Alexander Sorloth doubled Norway's advantage just before half time, before Haaland sealed the emphatic win with a second half brace.
Norway, who were eliminated from Euro 2020 at the hands of Serbia on Thursday, now sit top of Nations League Group B1 and next face Northern Ireland on October 14.
While the hat-trick might have been the first of Haaland's international career, the Dortmund striker has already managed seven during his professional club career – one with Molde FK, five with RB Salzsurg, and one with Dortmund.
Just four more, and Haaland will enter an elite group of only nine modern players to have hit 12 or more career hat-tricks.
Both Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Galatasaray's Radamel Falcao have managed 12, while new Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani has hit 15.
Sergio Aguero, Robert Lewandowski, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have scored 17, 22, and 26 respectively, while Atletico Madrid's Luis Suarez has scored 29.
Unsurprisingly, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo take the crown as the hat-trick kings of Europe, having managed 53 and 54 each.
Norway coach Lars Lagerback said of Haaland after his side's win, according to Goal: "He is still very young. It's unfair to compare players, but I've never had a striker who has been as far ahead as him.
"He holds a high international class. But if you wait a little longer, I will compare with other players."
Haaland has now scored 51 goals in his last 48 games for club and country.
Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.
Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- All the strict new Covid rules for SA companies
- Will PPC survive? The 128-year-old cement maker is drowning in debt
- Telkom is launching its own 'Netflix' - and it's looking for cellphone soap operas from SA
- TAKE A LOOK | This giant South African 'vacuum cleaner' leaves beaches microplastic-free
- Working from home? You can still be fired for drinking on the job
- Sell the dollar, buy rand and other currencies, says Goldman Sachs