MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The contrast may be stark.
While Erling Haaland bagged his latest hat-trick in a season that threatened to see him break the English Premier League’s goalscoring records, Cristiano Ronaldo sat on the sidelines.
Passing the guard is confirmed here. We have entered the Dutch era, with the reigns of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi waning at times.
He plays for Manchester City, arguably the most talented team in club football, and has a laser-precision provider in Kevin De Bruyne.
Holland hit three goals in Sunday’s 6-3 rout of Ronaldo’s Manchester United to make it 17 in 11 games for the league champions – 10 if the Community Shield is discounted. This is a sign of his destructive threat.
With 14 in the league, he goes past last season’s joint Golden Boot winners, Mo Salah and Son Heung-min, with 23 goals in just six games.
Brentford at the Etihad Stadium on November 12 could be that moment. But given Holland’s accomplishments, it seems like he’ll have to wait that long.
It all just feels too easy for the 22-year-old Norwegian, who towers over most competitors with a towering 1.93 meters (6-foot-4), and weighs 86 kilograms (189 pounds). Any center back can be close to that.
That’s before taking into account his breakaway speed, his aggressive movement that takes him away from opponents with just a few steps, as well as his knack for getting the ball into areas where he can. has no right to do so. Check out his “kung fu” goal against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last month.
This creates a corridor of possibility unlike any striker in the game right now. Holland is playing video games in chat mode. If the ball is close to his perimeter in the final third, the goal is in danger.
It seems impossible to imagine that the record of 34 league goals set by Andy Cole in 1994 and Alan Shearer in 1995 will not be broken this season.
Ronaldo’s best was 31, while Sergio Aguero, City’s all-time leading goalscorer, never got more than 26.
To put Holland’s numbers into context, Messi and Ronaldo still remain the standard.
Messi’s best campaign saw him score an incredible 73 in all competitions for Barcelona in 2011-12, including 50 in the Spanish league. Ronaldo was Real Madrid’s top scorer in 2014-15. , where he scored 61 runs.
The Netherlands is threatening these figures. In the league, he is chasing 66 goals for a 38-game campaign.
A big question mark hangs over his fitness. Various muscular issues forced him to miss long spells for Dortmund, but there were no such concerns in the early stages of his City career.
Guardiola puts it down to the way he managed the city’s medical department.
“Last season, he couldn’t play a lot, he was injured all the time,” Guardiola said. Thanks to them he can play every 90 minutes.
“One of the most important departments is the doctors and the physios and they help, so thanks to them. Last season, Dortmund couldn’t do it but we can.”
Specialist care includes the city’s Dr. Mario Pafondi joining Holland on international duty to maintain his routine.
This was done with the blessing of Norwegian coach Stel Solbakken, who himself manages a player on the verge of becoming an international icon.
Members of the media following the national team have spoken of increased security and the suspension of news conferences, including Holland’s, to avoid the noise of journalists attracted by the lead.
Holland’s profile has only risen since his $63 million move to City, but he’s a player poised for stardom.
‘Tim Holland’, who guides his career closely, has planned his way from rejecting a move to Manchester United in 2019, to opting for City last summer despite interest from Real Madrid.
His father, former Leeds United and City midfielder Alf-Ing, oversees his son’s affairs.
Former Southampton striker Egil Ostenstad, who went into banking after his playing career, is available for financial advice. Incidentally, Ostendstad also scored a hat-trick for Southampton in a 6-3 win against United in 1996.
Al-Ang’s best man, Ivar Igja, is also part of the squad, and accompanied the player to his hometown in the summer.
Raffaella Pimenta, the lawyer who worked with the late super-agent Mino Raiola, is also a prominent figure.
After handing him over to City, where Guardiola hopes he will be the missing piece in the club’s pursuit of a first Champions League title, Tim Holland’s next task is to secure what could be confirmed as football’s biggest boot. become
His deal with Nike has expired – sparking a scramble among sports giants to secure his spot on his feet.
He has been spotted in various brands since joining City, including Nike, Adidas and Puma.
These companies are keen to land Hollande, even though he won’t be around for the World Cup’s biggest showdown.
The Norwegian’s failure to qualify for Qatar means he will be rested, while competing among the world’s best players in what will be a busy season due to disruption in the club’s calendar.
A mid-season break for Haaland means he is even quicker when the Premier League resumes in December.