Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has compared the goal-scoring prowess of Erling Haaland to that of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The Norwegian striker, who recently scored a stunning overhead kick in City’s 4-1 victory over Southampton, has already become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer in a single season.
Haaland has scored an impressive 30 goals in 27 Premier League appearances this season and could potentially add another 10 goals in the remaining nine matches of the campaign.
However, Guardiola has made it clear that while Haaland is a remarkable talent, Lionel Messi remains the most complete player in the game.
While comparisons between Haaland and Ronaldo are certainly high praise, it’s clear that Guardiola still regards Messi as the ultimate standard-bearer in football.
With the season entering its crucial final stretch, all eyes will be on Haaland and his ability to maintain his incredible goal-scoring form.
As Manchester City continues to dominate in the Premier League, the performance of their star striker will be vital to their success.
While Messi may still be regarded as the most complete player in the game, there is no denying that Haaland has emerged as one of the most exciting young talents in football today.
he Norwegian could still play in up to nine further Premier League games and, scoring at the same rate as he has done so far, could add another 10 goals before the campaign wraps.
That would put Haaland on 40, which would smash the existing single season Premier League record of 34, jointly held by Andy Cole (1993/94) and Alan Shearer (1994/95). Those record tallies happened when it was a 42-game season. The record for a 38-game season is Mohamed Salah’s 32.
“In terms of the thesis of scoring goals. He’s quite similar in terms of Cristiano but Messi is the more complete player,” Guardiola explained.
“Messi can play wherever while Cristano and Erling are machines. Erling knows those two guys dominated over two decades not just one or two seasons, winning titles and doing everything. Football is a better place for Cristano and Messi for what they have done for our business, the traction of these two guys competing at the big clubs.
“Erling is arriving in the toughest league in the world. I can talk as I’ve been in other leagues and doing what he has done is remarkable.”
Reigning Premier League champions City remain five points behind leaders Arsenal, who face Liverpool today and will end the weekend having played one game more than their closest competitors.
Guardiola’s team are determined to win a third successive title, which has only been achieved on five occasions in more than 130 years of English league football – twice by Manchester United in the Premier League era, as well as Liverpool in the 1980s, Arsenal in the 1930s and Huddersfield in the 1920s.