Erling Haaland shares two key traits with Lionel Messi, according to Pep Guardiola
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has responded after being asked about Erling Haaland's similarities to seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.
It has been an unforgettable season for Erling Haaland, who equalled the most goals scored in Premier League history when he bagged his 50th goal of the season for Manchester City in their 2-1 win at Fulham.
So far, Haaland has scored 34 in the Premier League, 12 in the Champions League, three in the FA Cup and one in the Carabao Cup – and there is still a handful of games to come.
The Norwegian forward, who is the first player in Premier League history to score hat-tricks in three consecutive matches at home, is already being labelled one of the world's best players alongside the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.
And earlier this week, ahead of City's home clash against West Ham, manager Pep Guardiola was asked if he sees any similarities between Messi and Haaland.
“In terms of goals and mentality, yeah," he said.
"But Messi has done it every season in the last 10 to 15 years. But Erling, since he started at Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, has got to the same level in terms of goals.
"It’s almost every game that he scores a goal. One or two every game, he has the chance 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 close to being like Leo - that will be great for us and him.”
Messi, of course, scored 73 goals in 60 games during Guardiola's final season at Barcelona, an accomplishment that has never been matched since.
Journo: Is Haaland’s hunger for goals up there with Messi?— The Pep (@GuardiolaTweets) May 3, 2023
Pep “I have said many times, you cannot compare any player to Messi.
Leo Messi is the most complete player I have ever seen.
Hopefully Haaland can be so close to Leo, it will be great”.
Haaland could break the Premier League record for most goals scored in a season on Wednesday night.
Guardiola, for one, isn't surprised by his goal tally. “I know him a bit and he's so competitive and positive in his mindset, that’s why," Guardiola added.
"He has this incredible self-confidence. It’s not arrogance, it’s self-confidence to say 'I'm going to score'.
“To arrive in his first season, score 50 already and equal the record of two legends in Andy Cole and Alan Shearer - that’s big. We have the feeling every game he'll score a goal and that helps a lot, but it’s not just about that.
“He gives us many things - he's involved in pressing, defensive work, he’s involved in long balls and before we didn’t have that.”