LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)-Erling Haaland promised to win the Champions League when he joined Manchester City last year, according to the club’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
On the day he signed his contract with the club, the Norwegian striker gave the City chairman a promise that he would assist the team overcome their lengthy drought of Champions League victories.
And he did not disappoint, leading the competition in goals with 12 to help Pep Guardiola’s team win the cup while defeating Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Inter.
“What an addition he has been,” chairman Khaldoon told City’s official media. “Going back to that conversation. So this was my first conversation post him signing the contract. But what amazed me about Erling is the confidence.
“He’s got something special, confidence with respect. And to be having that conversation post signing your contract with your Chairman and saying at the end of that conversation, ‘Mr. Chairman, I’m going to win the Champions League for you.
“I’m here to win the Champions League for Manchester City and we’re going to win it’ a year ago is really a testament to the greatness of this player. And to show you where Erling is going, this is the beginning. And the scary part, this is just the beginning for him.”.
“Haaland scored an astonishing 51 goals in 52 matches in his debut season for City, setting a new record of 36 strikes in a Premier League season.
And in March against RB Leipzig he also equalled Lionel Messi’s record of five goals in a Champions League knockout match. Khaldoon underlined the striker’s hunger and desire.
He said .“Well, that’s the beauty of Erling is that he’s a champion. He’s never satisfied. If it’s one goal, if it’s no goals, if it’s two goals, if it’s five goals, even five goals,”
“And I remember when he scored five after the game, he was telling me, ‘Yeah, but I should have scored another three or four’, genuinely not joking. Like in his mind, he knows ‘I should have probably scored seven that night or even eight that night’.
“That’s that winning mentality. That’s that winning recipe which you know is the intangible. That’s the intangible, the anomaly that makes you great. And in Erling, I think this club now, we have an unbelievable, unbelievable player.”
Khaldoon also said he hoped captain Ilkay Gundogan could be persuaded to stay at the club. The Germany midfielder’s contract expires on June 30 and he has been linked with a move to Barcelona. “Listen, Ilkay has been tremendous, absolutely tremendous. He is, as our captain, to be the captain of this club in this historic Treble – he will go down in the folklore of Manchester City forever.
“He has been the first signing of Pep to Manchester City, he started off, I remember him when he came in always – I know he’s a captain, he is a captain, and he’s a representation of this club in terms of hard work, commitment always, humbleness, winning mentality. And when you need him, when you need him in the big games, he’s always there,” he said.
“And I hope there’s more chapters to that legacy. Obviously, Ilkay has to make big life decisions for him. But in the end, it’s fully understandable, we always have to respect our players, their wishes.”