Guardiola prepared to label Haaland 'genius' as striker eyes Premier League record

By Sports Desk October 23, 2022

Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland will be a "genius" if he can break the Premier League scoring record, and hailed the impact of Borussia Dortmund on the striker's development.

The Norway international has scored 17 top-flight goals in 11 outings since his move from Dortmund, managing a brace in Saturday's 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Haaland also became the first City player to score in seven consecutive home games in all competitions since Sergio Aguero in the 2017-18 season.

Alan Shearer and Andy Cole both scored 34 goals in a single campaign, sharing the English top-flight record, with Guardiola expecting Haaland to surpass that mark if he can continue his impressive form.

"If he continues to score with this rhythm, he will be a genius, with the average every game, he's going to break the record," the City manager said.

"But football, maybe you score then a few days later you stop scoring, I don't know.

"All the strikers I have ever seen, [Samuel] Eto'o, [Lionel] Messi, [Robert] Lewandowski, [Thomas] Muller, [Sergio] Aguero, their ambitions to score goals, goals and more goals is normal, it has to be like that."

While the 22-year-old forward will eye breaking more Premier League records, Haaland's attention must first turn to a reunion at Dortmund in the Champions League.

City have already qualified for the knockout stages of UEFA's flagship club competition but will progress as Group G winners with victory at Signal Iduna Park.

Tuesday will mark a memorable return for Haaland, who scored 86 goals in 89 appearances during his two-and-a-half-year spell at BVB, and Guardiola credited the influence of the Bundesliga side on the striker's progression.

"It will be good [the reception he gets]. Salzburg in Austria, then Dortmund, he scored a lot of goals as well," the Spaniard added.

"At Dortmund, that period helped, the managers he had, the team-mates he had. In a few years, he will be a better player again from the [City] team-mates he plays with, definitely."

With a goal against his former side, Haaland would become just the sixth player to score in five or more consecutive Champions League outings on as many as three separate occasions, joining Cristiano Ronaldo (5), Messi (3), Lewandowski (3), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (3) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (3). 

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