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E. Haaland

Guardiola explains why Haaland isn't at Messi level yet despite 17 goals in 11 games for Man City

8:44 AM EDT 10/3/22
Erling Haaland Lionel Messi
Pep Guardiola has explained why Erling Haaland, with 17 goals in 11 games for Manchester City, is not yet at Lionel Messi’s level.
  • Blues boss has worked with legends
  • Coached an Argentine icon at Barcelona
  • Now moulding a Norwegian striker

WHAT HAPPENED? The man calling the shots at the Etihad Stadium has been fortunate enough to work with many world-class talents over the course of a distinguished coaching career. He helped to turn seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi into a global superstar at Barcelona, while Norwegian striking sensation Haaland is currently earning plenty of plaudits with the Premier League champions.

WHAT THEY SAID: While Haaland has been making history in England with his exploits this season, Guardiola has told beIN Sports when asked if the 22-year-old sits in the same category as Messi when it comes to scoring in every game he plays: “The difference is, maybe that Erling needs all his mates to do it. It is unbelievable. Messi had the ability himself to do it.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Haaland hit another hat-trick for City in his latest outing for the Blues – which was a 6-3 derby demolition of Manchester United – and set a new Premier League record by claiming match balls in his last three domestic outings on home soil.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Haaland and Phil Foden became the third and fourth Manchester City players respectively to score a hat-trick versus Manchester United after Francis Lee in December 1970 and Horace Barnes in October 1921.

WHAT NEXT FOR HAALAND? Time is still on his side when it comes to matching Messi, with his efforts for City in 2022-23 suggesting that he is going to take some stopping when it comes to the pursuit of major individual and collective honours.