Erling Haaland has opened up on why Manchester City fought so hard to secure his signing last summer.
The Norwegian striker opted to join the Premier League champions from Borussia Dortmund at the end of the 2021/22 season after years of speculation regarding his next move.
Haaland has been phenomenal in his debut season at the Etihad Stadium. Speaking to CBS Sports after scoring five of Man City’s goals in a 7-0 win against RB Leipzig in the last 16 of the Champions League, he was asked whether he felt pressure to be the man to deliver the club a first European crown.
“It’s a difficult question because I can easily make headlines with this answer!” Haaland replied.
“But of course, the club wants to win the Champions League. They want to still win trophies. They won the Premier League four times out of the last five years. So they didn’t bring me to win the Premier League, they know how to win the Premier League.
“So you can read between the lines but I’m here to try to help the club develop even more, to try to win the Champions League for the first time.”
Regarding the sensation of becoming the first player since Lionel Messi to score five goals in a Champions League knockout game, Haaland said: “The feeling is amazing. First of all to win 7-0, and then to give a ‘statement’ in this tournament, in the Champions League, which is a tournament I love. To give a kind of statement that we can actually score seven goals because it’s not easy to score seven goals. So it’s an amazing feeling, yeah.
“In the first half I could have scored more, I had a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. It’s true! I had the goalkeeper with the pass from Nath [Ake], I had the rebound from Gundo [Ilkay Gundogan], I thought he was going to play the ball and that’s why I went a bit more, and if I dropped down two metres I would have scored because he shot at the keeper.
“So I could have had two more goals in the first half. And there were also crosses from Kevin [De Bruyne] I could have been at. So there was possibilities, but if I stayed on the pitch, no one knows what will happen.
“But in my mind, I think I always have to look for the next one and try to always reach more to stay hungry because maybe if someone scored five goals they would be happy. You have to be happy but you have to want more, of course.
“I knew I was going to score goals, because how many did City score last season? Maybe 100? So to be a striker in this team, when I saw them last season without a striker, I was thinking when they were crossing the ball in, ‘oh I’d love to be there’!” Haaland added.
“So I kind of knew I would score a lot of goals. In the end, there’s so much potential in this team. I think we can still improve a lot, in the game and how we play. It’s an easy thing to say but I could have scored more goals. I missed a lot of chances, but the most important thing is to come to chances because if you come to chances that’s what you want as a striker.”