Football News

Pep Guardiola names the player who was better than Erling Haaland at his age

By Ben Green

Pep Guardiola names the player who was better than Erling Haaland at his age

Published: 10:08, 13 August 2022

Pep Guardiola has waxed lyrical about Erling Haaland, but the Manchester City boss says Lionel Messi was a better player than him at 22.

Haaland announced himself to the Premier League in style on Sunday as his well-executed brace put West Ham to the sword in a 2-0 away triumph, handing the defending champions three opening-day points.

It took just 36 minutes for the Norwegian sensation to open his account in England after being felled by West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola in the penalty box, netting the resultant spot kick to break the deadlock.

Midnite Offer: Bet £10, get £20 in free bets + 50 free spins

Looking for some free bets to boost your betting fund? New bookmaker Midnite are offering customers the chance to get a £20 bet bonus  and 50 free spins when they sign up and place a £10 accumulator bet.

  1. Sign up at Midnite using this link
  2. Use code BETGETSPORTS on signing up
  3. Place a £10 bet on 4+ legs, min odds 4.0 bet
  4. Claim your £20 bonus + 50 Free Spins
18+ New UK Customers. Must bet £10 in total on accas with 4+ legs, min odds 3/1 (4.0). £20 credited as 4x £5 Free Bets and 50 Free Spins, valid for 7 days on selected bets and games only, stakes not returned. Restrictions & T&Cs apply.

West Ham looked to up the ante after a demoralising first half in which City hogged the ball with authority, but Haaland soon silenced a confident-growing London Stadium just 20 minutes after the restart, tucking home with precision.

The £51.5m striker came under the spotlight in the Community Shield a week prior after firing a blank and being outshone by Liverpool’s new marksman Darwin Nunez, but he firmly put that 3-1 defeat to bed on Sunday, and Guardiola believes he still has plenty of room to grow, a frightening prospect.

“Erling like Julian [Alvarez], Phil [Foden] or Cole Palmer] have a lot of margin to improve,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference for Saturday’s Bournemouth clash.

Despite Haaland being heralded as a generational talent and tipped as a future Ballon d’Or winner, Guardiola believes a certain Messi was superior at his age, having already scooped his first Ballon d’Or at 22 in 2009.

Kwiff betting offer: Bet £10 Get £20

Eligible readers* interested in Kwiff's new customer betting offer can follow these simple steps:

  1. Follow THIS LINK or click the image below to create your account.
  2. Place a qualifying bet (min odds 1.50, min stake £10)
  3. Get a £20 'surprise bet'

*New Customers Only. The Promotion operates as a £20 Surprise Bet when you place a bet of at least £10 on any market with odds greater than or equal to 1.50 as your first bet. The Promotion runs from 29/12/2021 12:00 (UTC) until 31/12/2023 12:00 (UTC) (the “Promotional Period”). 18+ only. Please play responsibly. For more information, visit Be Gamble Aware.

Guardiola added: “He can be a better player, he can have the will do do it. He likes football, I never see a player who is 21 or 22 years old – maybe Messi he was already advanced, the rest is never finished and always you can improve.

“We will try this season, next season for him to be a better player than when he arrived. [He has an] incredible instinct he has but has to ready the situations better and we’re here as staff and coaches to help them.”