Erling Haaland has stated he was bought by Manchester City to help them win a first Champions League after his five goals in Tuesday’s 7-0 victory over Leipzig swept Pep Guardiola’s side into the quarter-finals.
The 22-year-old’s quintet at Etihad Stadium took him to a City season record of 39 goals and Haaland is conscious that the push for a first triumph in Europe’s premier club tournament is why Guardiola signed him last summer.
“Of course the club want to win the Champions League, they want to still win trophies,” he said. “They won the Premier League four times out of the last five years so they didn’t bring me in 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.”
Despite his 33 Champions League goals in 25 appearances making him the youngest to reach 30 in the competition, Haaland believes he can become better.
“There is so much potential in this team and I think still we can improve a lot in the game, how we play,” he told CBS Sports Golazo. “It’s an easy thing to say but I could’ve scored more goals. I missed a lot of chances. But the most important thing is the chances [coming] because that is what you want as a striker.
“I think I can get better at everything. I’ve been missing a lot of chances with my left foot. I had one with the goalkeeper in the first half that I should have scored, so left foot, right foot – I have to be much better at heading, combining, everything. But if I had to take one, maybe to help the other players get better. This is something I would love. To put people in better positions.”
Haaland scored 86 times in 89 appearances for his previous club, Borussia Dortmund, and never doubted he would continue in a similar vein. “I knew I was going to score goals because last season how many goals did City score ? 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: ‘Ah, I’d love to be there!’ I knew I would score a lot of goals.”
He described the win over Leipzig as a “kind of statement” in the Champions League but is far from satisfied and attention next turns to Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at home to Burnley. “I think I always have to look for the next thing and try to always reach for more and stay hungry, because maybe someone if they scored five goals would be happy; you have to be happy but you have to want more.”