November 28, 2023

Pep’s goal scorer on his stunts and City’s final load

Pep's goal scorer on his stunts and City's final load

Pep’s goal scorer on his stunts and City’s final load

Erling Haaland is urging his team to finish the season with the trophy they covet the most, following a phenomenal debut season with Manchester City.

This article also appears in the official program for the UEFA Champions League final. Here is your copy!

He has tallied more than 50 goals this season, including five against Leipzig in a Champions League match. Erling Haaland does not hesitate to name his favorite goal to date, a spectacular volley against his former club Borussia Dortmund in September of last year.

With both feet off the ground, he deflected a Jao Cancelo cross into the goal with the outside of his near foot. If there were overtones of a Johan Cruyff wonder goal from 1973, Haaland is making his own history – and quickly. He has become Manchester City’s top scorer in a single season, surpassing Tommy Johnson’s 94-year-old record of 38 goals. Here, he reflects on a memorable campaign.

Recall the time when you first arrived in City. Existed any nerves? Excitement? Anticipation? 

I was looking forward to the challenge. I knew I would have numerous opportunities to score goals and make an impact upon joining this team. Fortunately, this has been possible for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first season in Manchester.

Given your familial ties to Manchester, moving there was similar to returning home. Describe the significance of this club to you and your family. 

Obviously, it’s significant. Everyone has seen photographs of me wearing City shirts as a child. I just want to continue to perform well here, work diligently, and make our fans pleased. I have thoroughly relished life in Manchester and city living.

Was there anything about City that surprised you when you joined? 

I’ve always known that this would be a new challenge and something distinct from what I’ve previously encountered, but I’m really enjoying it. I anticipated that this club’s manager, team, personnel, and facilities would all be of the highest caliber, and that is precisely the case. In the Premier League, the competition is so intense that anyone can overcome anyone, and you must be at your best to win matches.

How has Pep Guardiola aided your game development? 

Pep, his coaches, and the entire personnel behind the scenes do everything possible to assist us in bringing our best selves to the field. Pep has already taught me so much, and I’m certain he will continue to do so. I was aware that I would have to adjust to a new coach, staff, teammates, and environment, but I feel like I’ve adapted well and have enjoyed every moment.

You’ve already accomplished so much with City this season. How will it feel to take the field in the Champions League championship game? 

It will be unique. It will be an honor to perform in the Champions League final, which has been a lifelong goal of mine. However, there is work to be done. We’ve had an incredible season, but we must conclude it in the most successful manner conceivable. I am confident that we will all give our all to win this final. We are eager to take the field against Inter because we will need to be at our absolute best.

You average 1.21 goals scored per Champions League match. In historical context, this is unprecedented. Are you occasionally astonished by the number of goals you’re scoring? 

I anticipated having scoring opportunities on this team. When you are surrounded by so many incredible athletes who provide opportunities to score or create space for you, chances will always present themselves. I am so fortunate to have teammates who assist me in placing the ball in the back of the net. It requires so much effort on and off the field to continue scoring goals, and when I do, I immediately shift my attention to scoring the next one.

Is there a Champions League goal from this season that particularly stands out? 

I must admit that I thought the goal scored against Dortmund was a good one. I’d always wanted to score a goal like this, so it was a great sensation to see it go in. Moreover, it was a crucial goal in the group stage against a superb, all-around talented team.

Do you set goals for yourself and monitor statistics? 

By scoring goals, I intend to help the team win trophies at the conclusion of the season. I am aware that if I can produce goals and support the team, it will help everyone reach their season-ending objectives. After scoring a goal, all I can think about is scoring another. I will continue to approach this situation in this manner.


How would you characterize the entire City squad? 

It is absolutely astounding. Every day, we all share the same ambition and drive to succeed. We must be there for one another if we are to achieve accomplishment. It’s not just the players who are special, but also the manager, coaches, and support personnel.

Pep’s goal scorer on his stunts and City’s final load

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