Sterling Not Same Level As Messi, Ronaldo Now, Maybe Later – Guardiola

Manchester City's coach Pep Guardiola is wishing that Raheem Starling will equal the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But that could remain as a wish as it's not sure

Manchester City’s coach Pep Guardiola is wishing that Raheem Sterling will equal the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But that could remain as a wish as it’s not sure if there would be any player who can equal the two best football players in the world.

There has been unofficial talks comparing Raheem Starling to the two best footballers who have always had equals in terms of ‘who plays best.’

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England manager Gareth Southgate said Raheem Sterling may someday rank in the same scale as Messi and Ronaldo after being asked how far the Manchester City winger could possibly go if he maintains his powerful form.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said he sees Sterling as a possible winner of the Ballon d’Or award, which have been won by Barcelona superstar Messi and Juventus forward Ronaldo five times each.

City coach Pep Guardiola is amazed at Raheem Sterling’s progressive moves during their three years of working together, but having also coached Messi at Barca, he is quite aware of the high standards that is required at that exalted level where both Messi and Ronaldo.

“Right now, Raheem is not in that level, but maybe in the future I wish. It would be a dream for him and for all of us,” Guardiola said.

“The consistency of these two guys, they are legends, something unique in world of football. If Raheem can target that level –- wow. We will be there to help him and of course he can do it. But right now, nobody, not in the club, or in all the clubs in the world can compare with these two guys and what they have done every single week for ten years. Nobody.”

Raheem Sterling enjoyed his best goal-scoring season last year as he scored 25 times to help City win the domestic treble of Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Sterling has also started the new season in superb form netting eight goals in seven matches for Manchester City and country. He scored in both Euro 2020 qualifiers for England during the international break.

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As Manchester City warm up for the resumption of their Premier League campaign, away to Norwich on Saturday, Guardiola has noticed how the 24-year-old is fast becoming more and more clinical in front of goal.

“Before Raheem made good actions and dribbles, but he didn’t finish too much. Now he is a player who can win games for himself. It is a case of practice, practice, practice –- and mentality. The guy who scores goals is because he arrives in front of goal. If you are not there, it’s impossible.

“In the beginning, he didn’t get there. Now he is always there. I have the sense that he has the desire and commitment to score goals and that’s why he scores more goals and has more assists.”


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