“Not even Messi or Ronaldo had these numbers at his age” – Guardiola highlights ‘unbelievable’ Erling Haaland achievement 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola highlighted Erling Haaland’s incredible goalscoring record, comparing the Norwegian to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 23-year-old striker recently bagged a brace in the Cityzens’ 2-0 win against Everton on Saturday (February 10). The Manchester outfit are now gearing up for a Champions League round of 16 clash against Copenhagen in midweek (February 13).

Haaland, who has already scored an impressive 40 goals in just 35 appearances in Europe’s highest club competition, will surely start the match for his side. Highlighting the striker’s incredible goalscoring ability, Guardiola said (via Manchester Evening News):

“You see his numbers at his age; in the Champions League not even [Leo] Messi or Cristiano [Ronaldo] had these numbers at his age. The numbers are unbelievable and that happens because he scored goals with us, Salzburg, BVB – he scores goals everywhere.”

The 36-year-old Argentina captain has scored 129 goals in the Champions League throughout his career while Ronaldo has bagged 140. Guardiola continued:

“He scores everywhere all the time. That helps him have a special mentality as a football player and attributes and skills and we are delighted to have him. We are delighted that he is back. Two months is a long time like Kevin [De Bruyne] for five months and they are back and we are really pleased.”

The former Borussia Dortmund man missed 12 matches across December and January due to injury. However, it looks as though Haaland will continue to add to the 73 goals he’s already notched in 78 matches across competitions for Manchester City.

When Erling Haaland settled the GOAT debate between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

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Erling Haaland

Manchester City superstar Erling Haaland chose Lionel Messi over his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo when asked to settle this never-ending debate. He said during an interview in 2023 (via Managing Barca)

“I don’t know why you ask me this every time. You’ll always get the same answer: Leo Messi.”

The Barcelona icon has scored 715 senior club career goals and won the Ballon d’Or eight times. He’s lifted La Liga on 10 occasions and claimed the UEFA Champions League trophy thrice.

Meanwhile, the 39-year-old Al-Nassr striker has notched up 739 goals in his senior club career and received the Ballon d’Or award five times. Ronaldo is also a five-time Champions League and three-time Premier League winner.

Edited by Ritwik Kumar

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