Perfect 10s: Haaland, Messi, Mbappe & the 14 players to have earned rare 10/10 rating from L’Equipe

Kylian Mbappe Erling Haaland Lionel MessiGetty/GOAL

Erling Haaland’s Manchester derby masterclass saw him smash more records while also joining an elite group of players to have earned a rare 10/10 rating from the notoriously harsh critics at L’Equipe.

The French news outlet is famed for its no-nonsense approach to performance scoring, and it's rare for anybody to impress them enough that a perfect mark is handed out.

Sometimes, though, the mask slips and they are left with no choice but to recognise the exploits of those that put in faultless displays, with GOAL on hand to run you through the 14 players that have seen that ultimate accolade bestowed upon them.

  • Lucas Moura Ajax Tottenham UCL 05082019Getty Images

    Lucas Moura - Ajax 2-3 Tottenham, 2019

    If dragging your team back from the brink and into the Champions League final isn't worthy of a 10/10, then nothing is.

    After a quiet first half leading the line, Lucas Moura burst into life after the break - scoring twice in quick succession to put Spurs within a goal of a date with destiny. Then, with seconds left to play in second-half stoppage time, he struck again.

    It would end in tears for Spurs in the final, but Lucas' third goal is one of the most effective reminders of why football is the best sport in the world.

  • Erling Haaland Man City 2022-23 [3]Getty Images

    Erling Haaland, Manchester City 6-3 Manchester United, 2022

    The second 10/10 of 2022 was dished out to Haaland after a thoroughly one-sided Manchester derby.

    Haaland registered a third successive home hat-trick against United - becoming the first player to do so in Premier League history - and even laid on an assist for good measure. Don't be surprised if he's honoured with a few more 100 per cent gradings before too long.

  • Franck Sauzee & Bruno Martini - France U21s 3-0 Greece U21s, 1988

    The first players to record perfect 10s were French starlets Sauzee and Martini. After a goalless first-leg draw with Greece in the European Under-21 Championship final, Les Bleus welcomed their opponents to Besancon and secured a famous victory.

    Sauzee was instrumental, netting a fine brace, while Martini made a string of great saves to keep his side in front.

    The pair would go on to have storied careers, with the former racking up over 500 league appearances and scoring 102 goals from defence and midfield. Martini would become a club legend at Auxerre and progress to senior football at international level before becoming France's goalkeeping coach.

  • Oleg Salenko Roger Milla 1994Getty Images

    Oleg Salenko - Russia 6-1 Cameroon, 1994

    Even the Scrooges at L'Equipe could not deprive Salenko of their highest honour after he put in a five-star performance at USA 94.

    Salenko remains the only player to score five in a World Cup match, and his earlier strike against Sweden saw him share the Golden Boot with Hristo Stoichkov - despite the fact that Russia did not progress past the group stages.

  • LafontGetty Images

    Alban Lafont - Nantes 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain, 2022

    PSG rarely lose Ligue 1 games, and if they do the opposition goalkeeper usually has to play a blinder.

    Lafont did exactly that here, helping Nantes preserve their shock three-goal lead at half time and record a historic three points. PSG racked up 3.93 xG in the contest, yet Lafont only conceded once thanks to some odds-defying heroics between the sticks.

  • Lars Windfeld - Aarhus 1-0 Nantes, 1997

    Few gave Danish side Aarhus much hope when they were drawn against Nantes in the UEFA Cup first round in 1997/98.

    However, in Denmark they held the favourites to a 2-2 draw and they then nicked a 1-0 victory in the second leg. Torben Piechnik got the goal, but the real hero was Windfeld, who produced an outrageous array of saves to keep the French side at bay.

    Sadly, Windfeld was never capped by his country. Damn you Peter Schmeichel!

  • Lionel Messi Arsenal 2010Getty

    Lionel Messi - Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal, 2010

    It took a ridiculous 13 years until L'Equipe felt comfortable handing out another 10/10, with a floppy-haired kid from Argentina breaking the drought.

    This was one of the many times that Messi was unplayable in a huge game while the peak of his powers, and his team needed it after drawing 2-2 in the first leg at the Emirates.

  • Lionel Messi Barcelona Leverkusen 2012Getty Images

    Lionel Messi - Barcelona 7-1 Bayer Leverkusen, 2012

    Hello again old friend. This time Messi scored a record five Champions League goals in a single game, as Barcelona humiliated a Leverkusen side featuring a bemused Bernd Leno in goal.

    Leno would be chipped twice by La Pulga during the rout and also parried the ball straight into his path for his fourth goal.

  • Lewandowski Borussia Dortmund Real Madrid 2013Getty Images

    Robert Lewandowski - Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid, 2013

    The 2013 Champions League semi-finals signified a shifting of power in European football away from Spain and towards Germany, with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund blowing Barcelona and Real Madrid away respectively.

    One of the vanguards of this revolution was Lewandowski, who shocked Los Blancos with a four-goal haul at Signal Iduna Park. The remarkable feat foreshadowed the Poland international's transformation into the record-breaking, relentless goal-getter we know and love today.

  • Carlos Eduardo Guingamp Nice 2014 Getty Images

    Carlos Eduardo - Guingamp 2-7 Nice, 2014

    Carlos Eduardo netted 10 goals for Nice during the 2014/15 season - and half of them came in this 7-2 mauling of Guingamp.

    The pick of the bunch was his first - a beautiful, 30-yard free-kick hit with his side foot that dipped just in time to creep under the crossbar. Lovely stuff.

  • Neymar-PSG-2018Getty

    Neymar - Paris Saint-Germain 8-0 Dijon, 2018

    After a flurry of 10s at the beginning of the 2010s, L'Equipe made us wait four years after Carlos Eduardo's display before handing out top marks again.

    Neymar broke the streak by scoring half of PSG's goals in their famous 8-0 victory over Dijon. It took just four minutes for Les Parisiens to open the scoring, which set the tone for an unbelievably bleak night for the visitors who, rather ironically, just didn't cut the mustard.

  • Serge Gnabry Bayern Munich Tottenham 2019Getty Images

    Serge Gnabry - Bayern Munich 7-2 Tottenham, 2019

    From one of the greatest days in Tottenham's history to one of the worst...

    Nobody likes losing 7-2, but the fact that former Arsenal academy prospect Gnabry netted a hat-trick and grabbed an assist made the embarrassment sting that much more.

    The performance also marked the German's arrival as a global superstar. Not bad for a guy who couldn't get in Tony Pulis' West Brom side a few years prior.

  • Kylian Mbappe Kazakhstan 2021Getty Images

    Kylian Mbappe - France 8-0 Kazakhstan, 2021

    Mbappe has dropped a string of world-class displays in his relatively-short career so far, but only one has been worthy of the ultimate praise from L'Equipe.

    It wasn't the most glamorous occasion, with the forward's perfect performance coming in a World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan at Parc de Princes. Still, Mbappe became the first France player to net four times in a single game, so he probably deserved that 10/10.