Erling Haaland says that the Champions League is his favourite competition and that he wants to help Manchester City improve in the competition.
Manchester City have dominated the domestic league as of recent, winning four of the last five Premier League trophies.
However, despite their best efforts, they have yet to pick up a coveted Champions League in their club history, a feat that signing Erling Haaland is hoping to change.
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In a conversation with Alan Shearer for BBC Sport, Haaland said: “We need to be better in the Champions League and the cups and to maintain [our form] all the time in the Premier League. It's not easy, there are so many good teams. It's about building on what City have had here for many years. I want to bring my own kind of things and hopefully be better.”
Manchester City made it to the final of the competition in 2021, losing to Chelsea 1-0 through a Kai Havertz goal. The hope for the club and its fans is that Haaland can be the difference maker that takes them all the way.
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“I don't want to say too much about this,” said Haaland when asked if he was the final piece in the jigsaw for City winning the Champions League. “It's my favourite competition. I love the anthem and everything. It's a really nice competition, a difficult competition. My dream is to win it.”
Coming from Borussia Dortmund, Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 appearances for the German club, but knows that Manchester City, and the Premier League, will be a whole other test.
“Of course there is pressure. I'm playing for the champions - but in my head it's about trying to go out on the pitch, smiling as much as I can and trying to enjoy the game, because life goes fast and suddenly your career is over.
“It's a really physical league, the tempo is amazing, it's something I like. It's going to be tougher for sure but I feel I'm ready, my body is ready. A good duel is always nice.”
Manchester City played the majority of last season without a pure striker on the pitch, and with the sales of both Raheem Sterling to Chelsea, and Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal, the club’s frontline will look completely different heading into the new season.
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As a pure number nine, Haaland brings an element to the club that they haven’t had in a long while, and while it may seem that finishing comes as second nature to him, he admits that he spends a lot of time perfecting his shot.
“I've always been shooting a lot. Scoring goals is the most fun thing about it. When I came to [Norwegian club] Molde, with [manager] Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he was talking about my heading and said, 'You can't even head'. I agreed with him. Then every single day, we did crosses and headers.
“It's important to do a little bit every day. It doesn't have to be 500 shots, but just a couple, to get it in. In the end, it's about shooting where the keeper is not standing and hitting the goal. But also getting these bits where you just know what to do - when you're here, shoot there.”
Having missed an gilt-edged chance in the Community Shield against Liverpool, Haaland is keen to set the record straight when he gets his Premier League campaign underway.
“When I look back, it's like, 'How can you miss from there?' You know it will probably happen to you again. I never sleep well after games. But it's also motivation to score or do something in the next game after. But of course, it's not a good feeling - it's the worst feeling ever.”
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