Mbappe vs Haaland - Football Manager 2021 predicts the next 10 years of Goal 50

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For the first time ever, players in Football Manager 2021 (FM21) will be able to win Goal 50 and NxGn awards.

To celebrate their historic inclusions in one of the most popular gaming franchises in the world, Goal has travelled 10 years into the future with the beta version of FM21 to see which players will claim the Goal 50 over the course of the next decade.

Lionel Messi has not won Goal 50 since 2015 but, according to FM21, the Argentine will top our ranking of the world's best players at the end of the 2020-21 season thanks to 17 goals and 18 assists for Barcelona – even though the Blaugrana are beaten to the Liga title by Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo finishes second, just ahead of this year's winner, Robert Lewandowski.

Goal 50

There's a new name on the trophy in 2022, though, as the era of Erling Haaland begins.

FM21 predicts that rather than winning his first Goal 50 award with current club Borussia Dortmund, the prolific Norwegian instead establishes himself as the best player on the planet after moving Manchester City for the 2021-22 season for £69 million ($91m), scoring 19 goals during a historic Champions League triumph for the English outfit.

However, Haaland is forced to settle for third place in 2023, behind runner-up Ciro Immobile and winner Lautaro Martinez.

According to FM21, the Argentine will assume Messi's role as the main man at Camp Nou, after joining Barca from Inter in 2021 for £73m ($96m).

Haaland returns to the summit of world football in 2024, though. While still only 23, the Man City striker claims his second Goal 50 accolade with 28 goals and five assists.

Joining Haaland on the podium are French duo Kylian Mbappe and Amine Gouiri, whose third-placed finish comes just a year after leaving Nice for Real Madrid for £59m ($78m).

In 2025, there is a shock Goal 50 win for Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker scores 37 times in all competitions and plays a pivotal role in Inter winning their first Scudetto since 2010.

Haaland has to make do with second spot, while Goal 50 newcomer Fabio Silva secures third after a fine season following his £92m ($121m) transfer from Wolves to Liverpool.

However, the 2025-26 season is a big one for Haaland, who completes his Goal 50 hat-trick after leaving City for Barca for a whopping £120m ($158m).

Lionel Messi Lautaro Martinez Argentina GFX

The forward scores 25 goals as Barca win La Liga, forcing Mbappe and Lukaku to settle for podium places, after finishing second and third, respectively.

Haaland's dominance and Mbappe's inability to win Goal 50 then starts to become a trend, with the Norway international picking up his fourth title in 2027 and the France forward coming home in third, behind compatriot Gouiri.

The following year, Gouiri breaks Haaland's hold on the trophy by scoring 30 goals in 43 matches during an otherwise frustrating campaign for Real Madrid, who only manage to win the Supercopa de Espana.

Runner-up Mbappe is left feeling hard done by, as he scores 32 times as PSG win a domestic double, the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup!

Haaland, meanwhile, can only manage third place after a relatively disappointing season in which he bags only 16 goals for Barca.

Erling Haaland Dortmund Goal 50 FM21 GFX

Haaland comes roaring back in 2029, though, equalling Cristiano Ronaldo's record of five Goal 50 triumphs after firing Barcelona to Liga glory with 28 goals.

Mbappe is once again consigned to second place, this time ahead of Fabio Silva, who, at this point, is playing for Real Madrid, whom he joined from Liverpool in 2026 for a mind-blowing £133m ($175m).

However, in 2030, Mbappe finally gets his hands on the most prestigious individual honour in football.

Still playing for PSG, the now-aging Frenchman scores 30 goals and creates a further 17 to win his first Goal 50 at the end of a decade dominated by Haaland.