Pep Guardiola sent a reminder to any Erling Haaland doubters that he’s on track to eclipse Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for Champions League goals.
A spectacular first season at Manchester City saw Haaland bang in a whopping 52 goals in 53 appearances and break countless records.
This term hasn’t been so fruitful for the Norwegian forward on a personal level with just 21 goals thus far.
He scored his first goal since November 25 during City’s victory over Everton last Saturday, netting both their goals in the 2-0 triumph.
For over a month of that dry patch Haaland was injured, however, four games where he was playing without a goal is unexpected by his very high standards.
But Guardiola isn’t fazed by a perceived lack of goals by Haaland.
READ MORE ON ERLING HAALAND
“We never put pressure on Erling like ‘you have to score for us’,” Guardiola said ahead of City’s Champions League clash at FC Copenhagen on Tuesday night, live on talkSPORT.
“He adapted really well. I have an incredible group of players who embrace new players. I think Erling felt that.”
With 140 goals and 129 strikes respectively in the Champions League, Ronaldo and Messi are a long way ahead of Haaland, who has scored 40 times in Europe’s premier club competition.
Most read in Champions League
But at 23 years old Haaland has time on his side and the numbers firmly suggest he could get past the iconic players.
Before turning 24 in June 2011, Messi had three less than Haaland with 37 goals in the competition, while Ronaldo had just 16 Champions League strikes to his name at the end of the 2008/09 season when he had already turned 24.
Haaland’s 24th birthday isn’t until July so should City go all the way to a second successive European final then that will be ample opportunity for him to boost his stunning average.