Did Pep Guardiola take Haaland out so he wouldn’t break Messi’s record?

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The Spanish coach surprised everyone when he decided to replace the Norwegian striker, who was intractable after scoring five goals in a night in which he equaled Messi’s record.

Erling Haaland continues to make its way into football history. The 22-year-old forward took all the flashes after marking him five goalsin just 35 minutes, to Leipzig in Germany for the round of 16 of the Champions League and equaled Lionel Messi’s record for scoring a re-poker in a knockout match in the largest European continental tournament. Likewise, when he scored the fifth goal and the Norwegian still had around 30 minutes to surpass the milestone for Rosario on a night in which he was intractable, Pep Guardiola he decided to replace him with Julián Álvarez at 17 of the second half. Will he have wanted to take care of the brand of the Argentine star?

Eleven years had to pass for someone to manage to do what seemed difficult to repeat. The Argentine number 10 had scored 5 goals (as they say in Spain) against Bayern Leverkusen in a 7-1 victory for the round of 16 of the 2010/2011 Champions League, in 59 minutes. The difference is that the Norwegian he needed 25 less to equal that mark and took all the numbers to convert at least once more, but he was left with the desire to go down in the history of said competition. The common denominator? Both were directed by Guardiola in their respective party.

When the fourth referee showed number 9 out of the field, surprise invaded each of the fans and viewers. Criticism of the Spanish coach came quickly for not allowing the android continue to stand out and many accused him of having done a maneuver so that his player does not exceed the record of Rosario.

“If he (Haaland) reaches that record at 22, Your life will be very boring. Now you have a goal for the future. Here or anywhere. That’s why I made the change. I didn’t know that with Messi, like he did against Leverkusen, but I made the change because normally when the game is over I want everyone to play. The largest number of players”, declared Pep after the game to argue the reason for the substitution.

And aware of the ability of the goalscorer that he has in his squad, he added: “Erling has incredible talent. If he had played 90 minutes, Who knows how far it would have come?“. However, in his days as DT of Barcelona, ​​Pep had shown devotion to the figure of that night against Leverkusen: “I can always say that I directed Messi. Pelé, Maradona, Di Stéfano and Cruyff had the throne; Now it’s his.”

Haaland celebrating one of his five goals. Photo: Dave Thompson.

Similarly, Haaland also commented on the dialogue he had with his coach after being substituted and going on to have “a boring life” does not seem to worry him, rather his mind only thinks of converting: “My superpower is scoring goals. That’s why when he took me out I told him I would have loved to score a double hat-trick after scoring five goals against Leipzig”.

Even despite having been illuminated on a dream night and that Pep has “prevented” him from continuing to score goals, the striker highlighted the team’s effort and did not want to miss the help of his team so that he can take the ball from the match : “The truth that I love the European Champions League and that’s why scoring five goals to win 7-0 seems incredible to mealthough my interest is not to be on the front page of the newspapers but because the team wins, because the truth is that I don’t even remember how those goals were, because in reality converting them is my superpower, because in reality I don’t think about them, but I simply do them “.

Despite having equaled an unimaginable record to repeat, and even surpassing it in time, Erling still seems to have not reached the ceiling. In just eight months after his arrival in Manchester, It already represents 2% of the goals that City converted in its entire history. Now, the Norwegian is already thinking about Saturday’s duel against Burnley in the Premier League.

Haaland with the match ball after an unforgettable night.  Photo: @cprocuna

Haaland with the match ball after an unforgettable night. Photo: @cprocuna

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