Haaland: Seeing Mbappe get hat-trick motivated me to score

Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe lit up the Champions League this week, and it appears the pair – heralded as the two players who will take over from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the defining megastars of their era – are already pushing one another to dizzying heights.

Mbappe, 22, torched Barcelona on Tuesday, scoring a hat-trick in Paris Saint-Germain’s 4-1 victory at the Camp Nou. Naturally, Haaland had to respond; the towering Norwegian striker bagged a brace and set up another tally in Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 win over Sevilla on Wednesday, and he credited his French counterpart for inspiring him.

“When I saw Mbappe scored a hat-trick yesterday, I got free motivation. So, thanks to him,” the 20-year-old told reporters after the match, according to ESPN.

The two forwards have combined for an absurd 42 goals in just 52 Champions League appearances between them during their young careers. Taking assists into account, they’ve been directly involved in 60 total goals in Europe’s premier club competition.

The future is now.

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