Pep Guardiola has said ‘even Lionel Messi’ cannot match the goalscoring numbers of Erling Haaland at this stage of his career.
Haaland scored twice in the 2-0 win over Everton at the weekend to continue his remarkable record in a Manchester City shirt, with the Norwegian having scored 73 goals in 78 games since signing for the club from Borussia Dortmund.
The 23-year-old is the top scorer in both the Premier League and Champions League, as the European champions prepare to continue the defence of their crown against Copenhagen this evening.
Haaland has scored 40 goals in 35 career appearances in the Champions League, entering the all-time top 20 goalscorers and boasting the best goal-per-game ratio in the competition’s history.
Guardiola discussed Haaland’s goal return and admits even Messi can not match the early career numbers of Manchester City’s number nine.
“We don’t put pressure on him and say you have to score goals for us. No. We said get involved with what we do and the rest will come naturally,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.
“He is so strong mentally after one goal, he wants a second one and then a third.
“You see his numbers at his age – in the Champions League even Messi does not have these numbers art his age. It’s unbelievable.
“He has scored goals everywhere all the time. He has a special mentality and attributes and skills.
“We are delighted to have him. And we are delighted he is back after two months out. It’s a long time, like Kevin [De Bruyne] who was out for five months. Now they are back, and we are really, really pleased.”
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