Erling Haaland speaks out on Kylian Mbappe rivalry amid Messi vs Ronaldo comparison

by duceditor

Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe are seen by many as being football’s next great superstar rivalry, but the Manchester City striker has moved to play that suggestion down

Erling Haaland has insisted he is not paying any attention to comparisons with fellow superstar Kylian Mbappe.

The duo are seen as being football’s next great rivalry, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo entering the twilight of their careers. Messi and Ronaldo have been battling each other for honours for more than a decade, dominating the Ballon d’Or award.

Now, it appears that Haaland and Mbappe will be the duo who will dominate football for at least the next 10 years. Haaland has quickly settled into life in the Premier League, scoring an astonishing 18 goals in just 12 games.

Mbappe meanwhile became only the second man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final on Sunday, though France ultimately lost on penalties to Argentina. But Haaland has now insisted that despite the comparisons between the duo, he is not giving the rivalry any attention.

“It’s impossible to say. I don’t like to compare myself with others. I think you need to be your own player when it comes to that so I don’t like to compare or anything with that,” the Manchester City star told Viaplay.

“I think the media has been doing that with Ronaldo and Messi for the last 10 years and I think they’ve been pushing each other as well. I think it’s been a positive thing.

Haaland saw Mbappe score a hat-trick in the World Cup final on Sunday
Haaland saw Mbappe score a hat-trick in the World Cup final on Sunday ( Image: Offside via Getty Images)

“Barcelona and Madrid against each other. It’s been the perfect rivalry. But I don’t think about this, honestly.”

Former World Cup winner Marcel Desailly is confident that Haaland and Mbappe will form football’s next great rivalry. And the Frenchman believes they are the leaders of the next generation.

“What is great is that he’s a different player. He’s a different style to Ronaldo and Messi and he’s going into a different generation. You can’t compare him to these two crazy players when you look at the stats,” Desailly told talkSPORT.

“The hat-tricks, the numbers at international and club level, it’s just crazy. He can match it. He has a different style. When you see the speed, the kilometres per hour that he flashes during the matches, it’s just amazing the agility that he shows and the character.

“With Haaland, they are probably the two top players of this new generation. We thought Neymar, he still has some good potential, but unfortunately for him I think it’ll be Mbappe’s time to shine.”

Haaland will finally be back in action on Thursday night, having failed to qualify for the World Cup with Norway. The striker is likely to feature as City travel to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, though boss Pep Guardiola revealed he had some concerns about fitness.

“We will see. I have a feeling the players in the World Cup are a better condition than we were here. Sergio [Gomez], Erling [Haaland], Riyad [Mahrez], Cole [Palmer], they miss a little bit,” he said.

“Compared to Manu [Akanji], Rodri, Aymeric [Laporte]. The players who come back competed and trained every day, while we had a holiday. That’s why tomorrow is important. To keep the rhythm and for the players who were not at the World Cup, to gain that rhythm.”

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