After Erling Haaland scored his 30th Premier League goal of the season, Pep Guardiola compared him to Cristiano Ronaldo but stated that Lionel Messi remains the more complete player.
Haaland returned from injury and scored two goals in Manchester City’s 4-1 victory over Southampton, including a stunning acrobatic finish to take his total for the season to 30 Premier League goals and 44 in all competitions. He is only five goals away from breaking the Premier League record of 34 goals in a single season set by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer.
When asked if Haaland is on the same level as Ronaldo and Messi, Guardiola said: “Regarding scoring goals, he is quite similar to Cristiano, but Messi is the more versatile player. Messi can play anywhere on the pitch, while Cristiano and Erling are more like machines. Erling knows that those two guys dominated for over two decades, winning titles and achieving everything.”
Guardiola praised Haaland for his impressive achievements, especially since he is playing in the toughest league in the world. However, he admitted that Haaland still has a lot of work to do to be compared to the two modern greats due to his unusual physique, which may hinder his ability to stay fit for long periods.
“He is a highly competitive player, but reaching the levels of Cristiano and Messi requires a lot of effort. They rarely get injured, whereas Erling is a tall and massive player who needs a lot of attention from physios and other staff members,” Guardiola added.
Despite his physical attributes, Guardiola praised Haaland’s incredible mindset and professionalism, stating that he only gets frustrated for a brief period when he misses a goal. The pressure on him is the same as that on Messi and Ronaldo, with people questioning their form if they go a few games without scoring. Guardiola lauded Haaland’s remarkable achievements at his young age, saying that his numbers are unbelievable.
Kevin De Bruyne also expressed his admiration for Haaland, describing him as “insane.”
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