Pep Guardiola makes hilarious dig on preserving Lionel Messi’s record by subbing off Erling Haaland following FA Cup rout vs Burnley

Pep Guardiola was all jokes when he joked about substituting Erling Braut Haaland to preserve records set by Lionel Messi. 

Manchester managed to rout Burnley  6-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals. Erling Haaland was the main man as he scored another hat trick to extend his goal-scoring run. He has now scored 42 goals this season with 28 goals in the Premier League. He has already matched Cristiano Rinaldo’s best season for Manchester United and will soon pass Mohammed Salah and Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of 44 goals in all competitions for a Premier League club.

Guardiola quickly substituted him after the hat trick. This came after he previously removed him in the UCL clash against RB Leipzig. Haaland scored 5 goals in a 7-1 trashing of the German club. He joined Lionel Messi to be the only player to score five goals in a UCL knockout game. Lionel first Messi set the record against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012 in a 7-1 win. Guardiola coached both players when they made this record.

The Day Lionel Messi Scored 5 Goals vs Bayer Leverkusen in 2012 - YouTube
Lionel Messi was the previous holder of the record

What did Guardiola say about preserving Messi’s record?

Many speculated that Guardiola was protecting Lionel Messi’s legacy by substituting Haaland early. Indeed if he had stayed on the pitch he could have scored more goals to become the player with the most goals in a UCL game. When asked about this after the FA Cup post-game conference he joked,

“I didn’t want him to break the record for Messi in the FA Cup. I try to punish my players – it is my intention!”

He also spoke about the reasons for substituting him early, ‘This guy (Haaland) will have a problem in the future because everyone will expect him to get three or four every game, and that’s not going to happen.”

“But I know him, he doesn’t care about that. He is so positive and optimistic in his life. He never complains and as long as the team plays with this intensity, he will score goals, though the exact target, I don’t know.”

Even Burnley manager and City legend Vincent Kompany had to appreciate Haaland, “I have played against the greats of their time, Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Zidane, Ronaldinho. They are part of a special elite. I think even if the very best try to stop those guys. they will find a way. Someone like Erling will keep finding a way.”

Manchester City and Erling Haaland will next face Liverpool in the Premier League as they look to close the gap with title leaders Arsenal. The game will take place on April 1 after the international break.

What do you think about Guardiola’s comments? Do you think Haaland will break Messi’s records one day? Let us know in the comments down below!

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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