“Hopefully Erling Haaland can be so close like Leo”: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola still considers Lionel Messi as “the most complete player”

Pep Guardiola believes Erling Haaland possesses the same “mentality” as Lionel Messi, but believes such comparisons are unhelpful to the Manchester City player.

When he scored the second goal in City’s 3-0 win over West Ham yesterday, the Norwegian striker already had 50 goals in all competitions for the season. That was also his 35th league goal, creating history as it made him the player with the most Premier League goals in a single season. He broke the previous record of 34 goals set by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole. All of this was achieved in his debut season as well.

Erling Haaland record: Manchester City striker breaks Premier League record  for goals in a season - BBC Sport

Haaland has already been linked to Lionel Messi as a result of his exploits in England, but Guardiola feels that the Paris Saint Germain superstar is above comparison.

Guardiola managed Messi during a four-year period when he won everything with Barcelona. The manager had high praise for Messi when asked about comparisons with Haaland. Guardiola feels Messi’s longevity at the top still distinguishes him, although he recognizes the parallels due to Haaland’s stats this season.

What did Pep Guardiola say?

He previously addressed the comparisons in the post-game conference after City beat Fulham 2-1. According to Fabrizio Romano, the Spaniard said,

“No one can compare with Messi, it will not help Erling, but in terms of goals and mentality, yeah. Messi has done it every season in the last 10 or 15 seasons, but Erling has got to the same level in terms of goals.”

He then reiterated his past belief that Messi is the best player he has ever seen.

“It’s almost every game, he scores a goal. One or two every game, he had the chances to do it but Messi is the most complete player I have seen in terms of vision, dribbles, passes, competitiveness, in many things that are difficult. Hopefully Erling can be so close like [to] Leo, that will be great for us and him.”

Messi vs. Haaland

Previously in the Champions League this season, Haaland put 5 goals past RB Leipzig in the Round of 16. This made him the second player in the competition to score 5 goals in a single knockout game. The first player was Messi starting the beginning of the comparisons.

Pep Guardiola says,Erling Haaland Needs All His Mates, Lionel Messi Had the Ability to do it  by Himself'

Lionel Messi also happens to be the player with the most league goals in a season. He scored 50 goals for Barcelona in La Liga in the 2011-12 campaign. In the same year, he became the player with the most goals in a year with 91 goals. Haaland is said to be the next player who can genuinely break these two records. There is also a debate about whether Haaland could triumph over Messi this season and win a maiden Ballon d’Or award.

However, it remains to be seen whether Haaland manages to break any of these records. He may not achieve these records this season as the season is almost over. But he could still do it in the next seasons as he is only 22 years old. The Norwegian has a bright future ahead of him. For now, Pep Guardiola will consider Messi as his best player. 

Fazal Al Bashar

481 articles

Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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