The Champions League is Erling Haaland's stage! Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are gone and the Man City striker is set to rule the competition for years to come

Erling Haaland Champions League GFXGetty

With Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both having left European football, there is a gaping hole on the Champions League stage. Luckily for everyone at UEFA, Erling Haaland has already filled it.

The Portuguese and the Argentine have defined Europe's competition for more than 15 years. As well as lifting the trophy a total of nine times between them and scoring a combined 269 goals, they have been the competition's biggest pull, two insatiable winners who revelled in playing on Europe's biggest stage.

But Haaland has the same hunger to perform when the world is watching. He has spoken at length about his love for the competition and has displayed it in other ways, such as having the anthem as the ringtone on his phone.

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Haaland loves the Champions League and it sure loves him back. Some of his best performances have come on European nights, for RB Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.

On Saturday at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, he will play in his first final at the age of 22. It is unlikely to be his last and if he continues at his current rate of scoring, he could even eventually unseat Ronaldo and Messi as the competition's highest scorer and biggest star.