Mason Greenwood played his 50th game for Manchester United this week, marking the occasion with another goal as he continues a sensational breakout season.
The 18-year-old now has 17 goals in those 50 appearances, an impressive tally that could increase by the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
Here’s a look at how Greenwood compares to six current superstars and one still-active Manchester United legend at the same stage in their respective careers, at 50 games.
Wayne Rooney was 18 and at Everton when he reached 50 games / Clive Mason / Getty Images
Wayne Rooney is United’s all-time record goalscorer who Greenwood will finally have in his sights if he lives up to the potential he has shown so far in his fledgling career. The former captain achieved this record during his final months at Old Trafford, completing 253.
Rooney was still an Everton player and had just turned 18 when he made his 50th first-team appearance. His clear breakout moment was a stunning winning goal against Arsenal in October 2002, although his first goals came earlier against Wrexham in the League Cup.
Career Goals at 50 Attendance: 9
Erling Holland was still playing in 50 games in Norway / Andrew Halsed-Budd / Getty Images
Erling Holland is one of the best young strikers in the world and has a huge future ahead of him. By the time he had played 50 senior games he was still playing in his native Norway, making his debut in second-tier Brynn aged just 15.
Haaland was just two weeks away from turning 18 when he played his 50th career game and marked it by scoring twice in Molde’s 5-1 win over Valerenga. In his 49th appearance he scored all four goals in a similar 4–0 thrashing of Bran. His numbers really exploded after that.
Career Goals at 50 Attendance: 12
Zlatan Ibrahimovic reaches 50 games since joining Ajax/VI-Images/Getty Images
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still going at the age of 38 and has scored 480 club goals in his career to date, having not become a truly capable striker until his late 20s. Then, when he turned 30, he upped his game considerably in that regard.
As a youth player, Ibrahimovic started out at hometown club Malmö and played 47 times before moving to Ajax in 2001. He marked his 50th game milestone in Amsterdam and actually found the net twice in his first three appearances.
Career Goals at 50 Attendance: twenty
Robert Lewandowski plays for second senior club Lech Poznan/EuroFootball/Getty Images
Robert Lewandowski’s break at first team level came when Polish giants Legia Warsaw sold him to third division club Znicz Pruszkow in 2006 for just €1,250. The scorer in the second.
That form earned the youngster a chance at top-flight Lech Poznan in 2008 and he has been successful for more than a decade since. But by the time he stepped up with Poznan, Lewandowski had already passed 50 senior players, all in lower league football.
Career Goals at 50 Attendance: 28
Lionel Messi plays his 50th Barcelona game in 2006/07 / Etsuo Hara/Getty Images
Lionel Messi became the truly incredible goalscorer he has been known for over a decade – netting over 700 times for Barcelona and Argentina since the age of 21. In his early days at 17 and 18, he was still capable of scoring goals but is also finding his feet.
Messi made his 50th first-team appearance for Barça during the 2006/07 season shortly after suffering a long-term injury with a fractured foot. Soon after that milestone, the goals actually started coming in at a more regular pace.
Career Goals at 50 Attendance: 13
*Barcelona B or C games not included.
Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t develop as a goalscorer until later / Alex Livesi / Getty Images
Despite surpassing Pele in the scoring stakes (not including the Brazilian’s hundreds of unofficial goals), Cristiano Ronaldo was very much a winger when he started out at Sporting CP and then Manchester United.
Goals were relatively rare for Ronaldo at this stage in his career and he did not manage double figures in a season in all competitions until he was 21 years old. Every season for Real Madrid.
Career Goals at 50 Attendance: 6
*Excluding Sporting CPB games
Kylian Mbappe turns 18 during his breakout season with Monaco / Stu Forster / Getty Images
Kylian Mbappe is perhaps the biggest young superstar since Ronaldo – O Fenômeno – in the mid-1990s. The Frenchman was 16 when he made his senior debut for Monaco in December 2015 and was 17 by the time he became a first-team regular the following season.
Before reaching his 50th senior appearance for Monaco, who had secured a €180m move from Paris Saint-Germain not long ago, Mbappe was already adept at finding the net. Fast forward to his 50th game, he scored five times in four Champions League knockout games.
Career Goals at 50 Attendance: 23
*Does not include games for Monaco B.
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