Kevin De Bruyne believes Erling Haaland could end his career rubbing shoulders with the greatest the game has seen if he continues scoring goals at his current rate. Haaland, who has 24 goals for City following his £51million move from Borussia Dortmund has already notched 224 times for club and country aged just 23.
But De Bruyne sees no reason why he cannot finish his career with as many as 800 career goals which would put him up amongst the GOATS Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best ever.
“It is very hard to compare different strikers because they are all totally different,” said De Bruyne. “They play in the same position, but some are physical players, some are speed demons and they can all score goals for fun.
“Erling hasn’t because of his age, but they have all scored 300 or 400 goals. Erling is so obsessed with goals he can maybe go beyond that.
“He already has about 200 goals, so he can probably go to 600, 700 or 800 if he stays fit and does the things that he does.
“For the rest [I have played with], I don’t really compare them because that is not the way I look at football. Erling is a top-level striker. I don’t think it is fair to compare or rank them because some are at the start of their career and some are at the end or the middle of their careers, so I don’t like to rank them.
“Erling is a normal football player like everybody else and he doesn’t take himself too seriously. But when you talk about professional footballers or professional athletes, I think everybody has that little edge.
“I don’t think you can become a professional player if you don’t have that little something to become the best version you can be. He is still a young boy enjoying his life and he takes his football very seriously. He loves scoring goals, so I think that is the most unique thing he has.”
Just one man, Ronaldo, has scored more than 800 career goals and just five – including Messi, Pele, Romario and Ferenc Puskas – sit above the 700 mark.
To put both De Bruyne’s praise and Haaland’s potential in perspective still current footballers like Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have 563 and 560 respectively.
De Bruyne believes City have an embarrassment of riches in the striking department having landed what now looks like one of the bargains of the decade in Julian Alvarez.
The 22 year old, a £14.1m capture from River Plate in January is already a World Cup winner having played a key role in Argentina’s run to victory in Qatar.
And De Bruyne believes he can be a huge asset for City in the coming years.
“In the beginning we saw that he was a really talented player but he can now call himself a World Champion so he will feel great
“He has settled in really well and maybe he felt he could have played a little bit more, but the more the season has gone on, the more and more he has played.
“He has actually scored quite a few goals and he has adapted really well.”