Blowing Haaland’s trumpet ahead of the meeting between Man City and Bayern Munich, veteran Spanish manager Guardiola said the young striker is on par with the goal machines of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo and Messi are often called the two greatest players in the history of the beautiful game, and they have dominated world soccer for more than a decade.
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While former Ballon d’Or winners Messi and Ronaldo have scored more than 800 goals in their storied careers, Haaland is the latest member to score 200 goals. After Guardiola presented his heated opinion on Haaland, former Premier League star David James argued that Barcelona forward Robert Lewandowski should also have received an honorable mention when Pep discussed the top scorers of the beautiful game.
Lewandowski has historically been a monster
This is a really good question. Isn’t it a little too soon? Interesting that he mentioned Messi and Ronaldo and didn’t mention Lewandowski. Since we are talking about the Champions League, I would say Lewandowski has historically been a monster. I think he scored 60 goals in a calendar year last season or the season before. I did a study on Haaland and Lewandowski a while back that included Mbappe. If you look at the goal spread, Haaland is a homegrown player. Most of his goals are scored at home. The hat-tricks he has scored, especially in the Premier League, are 30 goals. What he does is just phenomenal, don’t get me wrong – it’s not a criticism at all, James told the Hindustan Times during the Champions League press conference.
Developing a knack for breaking records in all competitions, Haaland scored Man City’s third goal against Bayern in the 76th minute, accomplishing a monumental feat in competitive soccer. The Norwegian forward holds the record for the most goals (45) scored by a Premier League player in a single season. Building on Haaland’s record-breaking strike, hosts Man City scored an unforgettable 3-0 victory over Bayern in Game 1 of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals at the Etihad.
This is just an interesting observation. Haaland is at home here, this guy has the confidence to score a hat trick. If you take him away from home, he can score – I know he scored a couple of times. But the thing is, Lewandowski scores equally consistently at home and away. Even in this series.Haaland scored in fewer Premier League games than Harry Kane. Kane scored 23 goals, but he scored in more games than Haaland. Thus, if you consider Haaland in the same rank as Messi, Ronaldo or, as I said, Lewandowski. Then he would have to start changing his goal scoring model, start scoring at home and away, making hat tricks at home and away – whatever it is. And I think he’s more than capable of doing that, James added.
The clear favorite to win the Golden Boot this season, Man City striker Haaland has scored 34 goals in 26 UEFA Champions League games. Interestingly, former Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo did not even open his Champions League scoring account in his first 25 games. The Manchester United icon and former Juventus star is the top scorer of all time with 140 goals in Europe’s biggest competition at club level. Ronaldo is followed in the exclusive Champions League list by Messi (129) and Lewandowski (91).
As I said, he has 93 shots in the Premier League this season, and he’s scored 30 goals – that’s one in three goals, which is ridiculously good. If you can find improvements in a 23-year-old player, and I’m sure there are, I think in a year or two we’ll be saying those numbers are already on par with those of Messi and Ronaldo. And we have a new Ballon d’Or winner, someone his age (assuming no injuries), who will continue to break records from season to season. I think it’s a little early (Haaland on Ronaldo-Messi level) because he’s very young. Let’s not forget that this is a guy who was 17 or 18 when he scored 9 goals for his U-21 team. He’s used to scoring goals, expect him to score goals. I can’t wait to see him develop and get even better than he is now, the former Man City goalkeeper concluded.