Former Manchester City star Micah Richards celebrated Erling Haaland’s majestic winner vs. Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League but did admit he would take Kylian Mbappe in a hypothetical soccer pick ’em.
Both Mbappe and Haaland scored on an action-packed matchday two of the Champions League as PSG and Manchester City completed comeback wins.
During CBS Sports’ postgame coverage, Richards was asked which of the strikers he would pick.
Naturally, with such an ambiguous question, the Englishman sought clarification.
Micah Richards was in fine form following Manchester City’s dramatic victory over Dortmund
He asked: ‘What are we talking about? All-round game?’
Rebuffed and asked to simply pick one or the other, Richards settled for the homegrown Paris Saint-Germain striker.
‘I would still take Mbappe,’ Richards admitted. ‘Because I love Mbappe, I love the way he moves.’
Instantly, fellow pundit Jamie Carragher jumped in, asking: ‘So you don’t like Manchester City’s Erling Haaland?’
Richards picked Kylian Mbappe (right) over Erling Haaland (left) when pressed to choose
‘I didn’t say that,’ Richards rebuked. ‘I just said I prefer Mbappe.’
Richards stopped short of taking Mbappe over Haaland in every circumstance, admitting the former Borussia Dortmund star is a far better fit for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Carragher posed the question: ‘So, you’d rather Mbappe play Man City than Haaland?’
‘No, not in this system,’ Richards replied. ‘Not in this system.’
Haaland has produced a freakish start to life with the reigning Premier League champions
‘As a number nine, Haaland in Man City’s team I would prefer him, but all-round game, Mbappe.’
Haaland was the talk of the studio following his 84th-minute winner against the Bundesliga club but Richards pumped the breaks on him continuing at his current scoring rate.
He added: ‘Let’s not talk him up too much. I think he can be that superstar but he’s had his injury problems as well. It’s not realistic, is it?
Richards played 179 times for the reigning Premier League champions between 2005-15, scoring six goals for the Etihad Stadium club.
He is also an ambassador for the club, and has been in that role for several years.
Carragher continued to troll his sparring partner once off-air, tweeting that his position may not be so safe following his comments.
Carragher joked his CBS co-pundit had ‘jeopardized’ his ambassadorial role at Man City with a pick
‘Micah Richards putting his #ManCity ambassador role in jeopardy!’
Haaland’s wondergoal was born out of his ability to launch himself almost parallel to the sky, sticking out a lunging foot to poke the ball home.
‘I’ve always wondered what he’s doing,’ Carragher told CBS of Haaland’s acrobatic attempts.
Lionel Messi (L), Mbappe (C) and Neymar (R) all scored as the Parisians left Israel with a win
The Norwegian refused to celebrate in a sign of respect to his former employers in Dortmund
‘But that’s why he’s doing it because he’s got a brilliant ability, you know, great spring when he’s in the air, very acrobatic and a special goal by a special player.’
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry weighed in with his expert thoughts on the unique approach, only rivaled by a fellow Nordic giant.
‘On this particular occasion, he had to do it but sometimes he doesn’t have to jump,’ he said.
‘Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] used to do it, also and still does it. They go with their feet in the air and try to finish but the ball is off [Joao] Cancelo please let’s talk about it.’
Carragher, playing the jokester again, piped up: ‘Do you think Mbappe could’ve scored it?’
Henry answered emphatically and factually: ‘No, but he created and scored tonight.’
Richards was a great servant to the Manchester club during a decade-long spell from 2005-15