“Always smiling” – Pep Guardiola explains difference between Erling Haaland and PSG superstar Lionel Messi
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has explained the key difference between Cityzens hitman Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi.
The Norwegian continued his fine run of form with a spectacular brace in Manchester City’s 4-1 win against Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday (April 8). He now has 30 goals in just 27 league games.
Haaland is only the ninth player to score 30 or more goals in a 38-game Premier League season. The striker is also just two short of matching Mohamed Salah’s record for most goals by a player in a single Premier League campaign.
Speaking after the rout against Southampton, Guardiola pointed out the key difference between Haaland and his former pupil Messi. He explained that the Manchester City frontman is always in a good mood, while the PSG superstar could be upset about not doing better, saying (h/t the Manchester Evening News):
“Haaland is always happy, always smiling. Lionel Messi scored two but not three and was a bit sad because he didn’t score the third! Erling is all the time in an incredible mood.”
“Even in the bad moments in the beginning of this season when people said he couldn’t adapt, he arrived at training with a big smile and said hi to everyone. He has had an incredible impact, not just on the pitch.”
“Every day in training sessions, in the locker room. I have the feeling that he is so happy with us. He never complains about (being taken off). He respects me a lot. After Burnley, he was injured and couldn’t play against Liverpool, so we know him and have to take care of him. He can score important goals and win games.”
“He is going to play 90 minutes but with this amount of games every three days, and you have another weapon in Julian (Alvarez), who is always ready. That’s why it is a big boost for us.”
With nine more games left to play in the Premier League, Haaland is on course to knock Salah’s record out of the park.
PSG superstar Lionel Messi played under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona
Lionel Messi currently plies his trade at PSG, but played for Barcelona until 2021. The Argentinian played under Pep Guardiola for four years between 2008 and 2012 at the Camp Nou.
Messi bagged 211 goals and 94 assists in 219 games under the Spanish tactician. The manager-player duo won 14 trophies with the Blaugrana, including two UEFA Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles.