Champions League QFs: Pep Guardiola hails ‘incredible’ Haaland forward of Manchester Metropolis-Borussia Dortmund

Picture Supply : AP

Erling Haaland

Manchester Metropolis supervisor Pep Guardiola has praised Erling Haaland because the epitome of an all-round goal-scorer and believes the 20-year-old striker is setting requirements few have ever reached at his age.

Haaland would be the greatest risk to Metropolis when Borussia Dortmund arrives at Etihad Stadium for the primary leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday, having scored a competition-high 10 objectives this season.

He’s additionally the youngest participant to achieve 20 objectives within the Champions League — at 20 years, 231 days — and he acquired to that milestone in simply 14 video games, additionally a document.

Haaland has been closely linked with a transfer to Metropolis, which wants to switch departing striker Sergio Aguero on the finish of the season, and Guardiola is clearly a fan of the Norway worldwide.

“At that age, to attain this quantity of objectives will not be simple to seek out prior to now, actually,” Guardiola stated Monday. “The numbers, they converse for themselves. When that occurs, it’s as a result of he can rating proper, left, on the counterattack, within the field, whenever you dominate, whenever you make counterattacks, within the headers.

“He’s a incredible striker. All people is aware of it. A blind man realizes he is an efficient striker. It’s not essential to be a supervisor to understand (that) about him.”

Guardiola has refused to debate a possible transfer for Haaland within the offseason out of respect for the participant and Dortmund, and stated final week that Metropolis may not even signal a alternative for Aguero as a result of the membership can not afford a top-class striker.

Metropolis’s document signing in kilos is Ruben Dias, a middle again who joined from Benfica for 64 million kilos ($78 million) final yr, and the membership’s coverage to this point has been to veer away from recruiting ready-made superstars.

Guardiola stated the membership is open to the potential of altering that strategy however doesn’t imagine it will be a game-changer for Metropolis, which has by no means gained the Champions League.

“It’s not that spending on one participant some huge cash offers you a bonus to win,” he stated. “Soccer is a group sport. Everybody makes his contribution — the fellows who don’t play, the backroom workers, everybody. This competitors is not going to be gained by one participant, it’s for completely everybody.

“To date, the membership has determined to spend not near 100 million (kilos) for a participant. Possibly sooner or later it’ll occur if the membership decides it’s needed to enhance the group for the subsequent 5-10 years, for a lot of causes. However to this point, the membership, the group, the CEO, the sporting director, decides, ‘Don’t do it.’”

Metropolis has been eradicated on the quarterfinal stage for the previous three seasons — by Liverpool, Tottenham and Lyon — and has solely ever reached the semifinals as soon as, beneath Manuel Pellegrini within the 2015-16 season.

That could be a big underperformance for a membership that has spent closely beneath its Abu Dhabi possession since 2008 and has been the dominant pressure within the Premier League for the previous decade. Metropolis leads the Premier League by 14 factors and is in sight of a fifth title since 2012.

“We’re already a giant membership. Not (a giant) group, however a giant membership, a giant group. We’re already,” Guardiola stated. “However everybody right here — myself, the gamers — need to attempt to do higher than we have now finished on this competitors via the historical past of Manchester Metropolis, particularly since we have now been collectively.

“After all, we need to do it however for the truth that we need to, need to, need to, need to, we’re not going to do if we don’t play good. We analyze Borussia Dortmund, who they’re as people, as a gaggle, as a group, the totally different methods they play, the identical as we have now finished Leicester final sport (within the Premier League on Saturday). After, guys, the soccer belongs to you.”

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