Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, differentiated how Messi and Haaland differ. Following his spectacular ascent at Borussia Dortmund, the Norwegian striker has made a name for himself as one of the best players in world football over the past several years. At Manchester City, he has so far been unstoppable. Meanwhile, Messi was widely regarded as the world’s top player for more than ten years, and many football fans still believe he is the greatest player in history.
Leaving aside last season, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner appears to have improved this year and has already contributed to 15 goals in all competitions in just 12 games for the PSG, dispelling any concerns that he wouldn’t be able to continue playing at the elite level. The season has gotten off to an excellent start for Messi, but Haaland has been on another level.
His scoring stats speak for themselves. The striker has 17 goals and three assists in just 11 games across all competitions this season. Based on these statistics, there is a strong case for Haaland to be the world’s top player right now.
Pep Guardiola speaks about Messi and Haaland
Guardiola has been a massive Messi fan. He has never shied away from appreciating the little magician from Rosario. If not for Pep, Messi wouldn’t have reached the limit he has displayed for over a decade.
After the derby win against Manchester United in a 6-3 bashing, he was asked if Haaland is as good as Messi was when he was 22 years old. As he relies more on his teammates than the Argentine legend, Pep claimed that Erling Haaland is still not at Lionel Messi’s level.
“The difference is, maybe, that Erling needs all his mates to do it. It is unbelievable. [But] Messi had the ability himself to do it.”
This is primarily true since Haaland plays as a target man. While Messi, as explained by Pep himself, is the complete footballer he has ever trained.
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