Lopetegui backs Haaland to challenge Messi and Ronaldo
Julen Lopetegui singled out record-breaking Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland following Sevilla's Champions League exit on Tuesday.
Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui said Erling Haaland "will define a new era in football" after the Borussia Dortmund star made more Champions League history.
Haaland netted a brace as Dortmund drew 2-2 with visitors Sevilla in an absorbing clash on Tuesday but advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals 5-4 on aggregate.
In-demand Dortmund forward Haaland – who has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona and Juventus – became the quickest player to 20 Champions League goals after reaching the milestone in his 14th game in the competition.
Aged 20 years and 231 days, Haaland also became the youngest player to score in six consecutive Champions League matches, while he is the first player in the history of the competition to score at least two goals in four consecutive appearances.
Lopetegui: Dortmund one of the best counter-attacking teams in the world
Lopetegui hailed Haaland – who also scored twice in the first leg – post-match, telling reporters: "In three out of the four halves [of the tie] we were the better team.
"But it was not enough because they punished us strongly in the first one [in Seville] thanks to a player that will define a new era in football and made the difference.
"If we see it from a collective perspective we have played a great game in every aspect today against one the best teams in the world on the counter-attack.
"They are not just Haaland as they have top class players in every single position. But we have played with plenty of personality and pride, so it is a pity because our boys deserved more."
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