Erling Haaland is the best player in the world right now, and he has transformed Manchester City from a great team into one that is capable of blowing everyone else away this season. Haaland has enjoyed a dream start to life at City, scoring a remarkable 17 goals in his first 11 appearances for the Premier League champions.
The 22-year-old netted a hat-trick against Manchester United and subsequently became the first player to score three consecutive hat-tricks at home in the Premier League history.
Speaking to the media after Manchester City’s thumping 6-3 win over Manchester United in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola hailed hat-trick hero Erling Haaland and compared the Norwegian to another of his former protege Lionel Messi.
Messi was one of the chief driving forces in Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona that laid waste to opposition relentlessly. And in Haaland, the Catalan tactician seems to have found another weapon of mass destruction as witnessed by the 22-year-old’s form this season.
After the game, Guardiola was asked if he expected Haaland to score in each game like he once did with Messi during their time at Barcelona. In response, the Manchester City manager replied (h/t SPORT): “Yes, the difference is that Haaland needs all his teammates, Messi did it alone.”
Guardiola said, “I say it many times and I will say again – what Erling (Haaland) is doing he did in Norway, Austria and Germany. The quality we have alongside him helps him score, but what he is doing I didn’t teach him. He has incredible instincts. It comes from his mum and dad. He was born with that.”
Guardiola was also asked if Haaland is the best striker he has managed. He replied, “I have had incredible centre-forwards in my career. What I liked was in the last period of the game, he was involved. I want him to be involved. He became a player to score goals, but I want him in contact with the ball. I like him being part of those situations.”
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