Pep Guardiola says Lionel Messi is still a class above Erling Haaland as Man City sensation ‘needs all his mates’
PEP GUARDIOLA insists Erling Haaland is still not on the level achieved by Lionel Messi because the Manchester City striker “needs all his mates”.
Haaland, 22, scored his third hat-trick in eight Premier League matches in the 6-3 drubbing of Manchester United on Sunday.
It takes his tally since joining the club to a quite astonishing 17 goals in 11 games.
Yet despite his breathtaking start to life in England, Guardiola believes Messi remains a step above Haaland.
Speaking after the Manchester derby, the City boss was asked whether he feels the same way about the Norwegian as he did with Messi in that they are going to score every game.
To which he replied: “The difference is, maybe that Erling needs all his mates to do it. Then when he arrives there it is unbelievable.
“[But] Messi had the ability himself to do it.”
Haaland is currently registering well over a goal a game and is on course to smash the Prem record for most goals in a single campaign – which currently stands at 34 and is held by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole.
Should he keep up his ratio of 1.75 league goals per game, he would finish the campaign with a remarkable 67.
Messi’s best return in a LaLiga season was 50 goals for Barcelona in 2011/12.
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The Argentine also managed 23 more in other competitions – taking his tally for the season to a ludicrous 73.
As well as being a goal monster, Messi is also one of the greatest playmakers of all time – with that same 2011/12 season seeing him provide 32 assists.
Haaland has three assists since arriving at City – two of which came in setting up Phil Foden against United at the weekend.
Next up for the Norwegian giant and the Premier League champions is a home game against Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday.
They then host Southampton in the league on Saturday.