According to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Erling Haaland’s insatiable goal hunger is a trait he shares with Lionel Messi. The new signing scored two goals against West Ham on Sunday in their Premier League debut, leading the reigning champions to a 2-0 victory.
The Norwegian international scored the goal from the penalty spot in the first half of the match in London. He turned Kevin De Bruyne’s pass into a goal in the second half.
Despite a determined start to the top in England, Haaland was not happy with the situation and said it was “shit” that he couldn’t score a hat-trick.
What did Guardiola say about Haaland’s similarity to Messi?
Guardiola was delighted to hear the 22-year-old’s desire to continue scoring goals and said it reminded him of his days at Barcelona with the iconic forward Messi, who now plays for Paris Saint-Germain.
The Spanish coach made the following comment at the press conference after the match:
“That’s good, I like it. As a coach, I was lucky to be with Messi and he wanted three goals when he scored two goals, and four goals when he scored three goals.
“The best scorers are never satisfied, they are always hungry and hungry and want more.”
Haaland’s performance did well for him after he missed a clear goal in the Community Shield match in their 3-1 loss to Liverpool.
“I know how he handled a lot of criticism this week. He was really calm, he trained really well. I like the way he took the penalty.
“He plays very directly and if someone picks up the ball, he punches him in the face, even if it’s his own friend. That’s a pretty good sign. I like that he’s so confident.”
Haaland is ‘another weapon’ for Man City
Much is expected of Haaland at City after impressive successes with Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
The Norwegian scored 22 goals in 24 games in the Bundesliga last season, and 27 goals in 28 games the previous season.
While Guardiola is confident Haaland can continue to score, he insists the team cannot rely solely on the forward for goals.
“It’s important for Erling to score two goals for himself, for the team and for us. It’s another weapon we have right now.
“But it’s also not going to solve all our problems, it’s going to add something to us as a team. That’s what we’re looking for.
“He scored two goals today and we felt he could score even more.”