Erling Haaland has thanked Kylian Mbappe for the “free motivation” he got from watching the Paris Saint-Germain striker score a hat-trick in the Champions League this week.
Mbappe, 22, netted three times as PSG thrashed Barcelona 4-1 in the first leg of the teams’ last-16 tie at the Nou Camp, one night before Haaland scored twice and recorded an assist for Borussia Dortmund in the competition.
The 20-year-old’s contributions on Wednesday evening saw Dortmund defeat Sevilla 3-2 in Spain, and after the match Haaland admitted that Mbappe’s fine showing had spurred him on.
READ MORE: Champions League win shows best and worst of Borussia Dortmund
“It was good to score goals, I love the Champions League,” the Norway striker said after the final whistle.
“And when I saw Mbappe scored a hat-trick yesterday, I got free motivation. So, thanks to him. It was a nice evening.”
Haaland denied being in a “challenge” against the young World Cup winner, but added: “He scored some nice goals and I got a free boost from him, so it was nice.”
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Having put on stunning performances within one day of each other, Mbappe and Haaland are currently the subject of comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo and Messi have been the standout players of their generation, but the former failed to impact the game for Juventus as they fell to a first-leg defeat by Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday, one night after Messi’s penalty proved the peak of Barcelona’s worrying display against PSG.
Whether or not Mbappe and Haaland will produce a rivalry to match Messi and Ronaldo’s remains to be seen – and would take some doing, given the numerous goalscoring and title-winning records held by the Argentina and Portugal captains – but the young forwards are certainly suggesting they can be the defining players of the next generation.
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