News Matches
E. Haaland

Haaland shares key trait with Messi & is 'another weapon' for Man City, says Guardiola

11:24 BST 08/08/2022
Haaland-Messi
The striker was not happy with just two goals in his Premier League debut and his coach was happy to hear it

Erling Haaland's insatiable hunger for goals is a trait he shares with Lionel Messi, according to Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola. The new signing scored twice on his Premier League debut against West Ham on Sunday to fire the reigning champions to a 2-0 win in their opening game of the season.

The Norway international opened his account with a penalty in the first half of the match in London before latching onto a pass from Kevin De Bruyne and firing in his second just after the hour mark.

Despite his decisive start to life in the English top-flight, Haaland was not satisfied with his double, saying that "it's sh*t" that he did not get a hat-trick.

What did Guardiola say about Haaland's similarities to Messi?

Guardiola was happy to hear of the 22-year-old's desire to keep scoring, saying it reminds him of his days at Barcelona with iconic attacker Messi, who now plays for Paris Saint-Germain.

"That's good, I like it," Guardiola told a post-match press conference.

"I was fortunate as manager to be with Messi and when he scored two, he wanted three, and when scored three, he wants four.

"The top goalscorers are never satisfied, they are always hungry and starving and want more."

Haaland's performance allowed him to recover from his previous outing for City. The Norway international was left embarrassed when he missed a great chance at the end of his side's 3-1 defeat against Liverpool in the Community Shield.

Guardiola added: "I know how he handled a lot of criticism this week. He was really calm, he trained really well but the way he took the ball for the penalty, I said 'I like it'.

"[He's] so direct and I think if someone is taking the ball, he would punch them in the face even though they are his mates. And that is a pretty good sign. To be so confident, I like it."

Haaland 'another weapon' for Man City

Much is expected of Haaland at City following his impressive exploits in Germany with Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland netted 22 times in 24 appearances in the Bundesliga last season and 27 in 28 matches the previous year.

Although Guardiola is confident he can keep scoring, he insists the team cannot be reliant only on the striker for goals.

"Erling scoring the two goals, it's important for him and the team and for us, and it's another weapon we have now," he said.

"But at the same time, he's not going to solve all our problems, he's going to add something to us as a team. That's what we are looking for.

"Today, the two goals, they were balls in front of the centre of defence and we had the feeling we could find him more.

"In the past we didn't have a reference like him and now have to do it again but at the same time, the guys have to put the ball there, especially in transitions."