ERLING Haaland says he was brought to Manchester City to help them win the Champions League because they “already know” how to win the Premier League.
Haaland (22), scored five goals in City’s 7-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig on Tuesday that secured their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
City’s best performance in the competition is finishing runners-up to Chelsea in 2021.
“Of course, the club want to win the Champions League,” said Haaland.
“They’ve won four out of the last five Premier League titles. They didn’t bring me in to win the Premier League because they already know how to win it.
“So, you can read between the lines. I’m here to try to help the club develop even more and to win the Champions League for the first time.”
City’s failure to lift the Champions League is in contrast to their recent domestic success.
They have won 17 trophies since owner Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of the club in 2008, including six Premier League titles — four of which have come since manager Pep Guardiola was appointed in 2016.
He has scored 10 Champions League goals so far this season, the most by a Manchester City player in a single season in the competition.
He is the third player to score five goals in a single Champions League game after Luiz Adriano in October 2014 for Shakhtar Donetsk and Lionel Messi for Barcelona in March 2012.
He has scored 33 goals in 25 Champions League games, reaching the 30-goal milestone in fewer matches than any other player in the competition’s history.
He is the youngest player to reach 30 goals in Champions League history (22 years 236 days).
He is only the second player to score five goals in a Champions League/European Cup game for an English team after Raymond Crawford for Ipswich Town vs Floriana in September 1962.
He needs five more goals to equal Mohamed Salah and Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record for most goals in a season by a Premier League player in all competitions (44).
He is seven goals short of equalling Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for most goals in single Champions League season (17) for Real Madrid.
Despite already breaking a host of records and closing in on several more, Haaland thinks he can get even better.
Speaking to CBS, the Norway striker said: “I knew I was going to score goals because, last season, how many did they [City] score? Probably 100.
“When I saw them without a striker and they were crossing the ball in, I was like ‘ah, I’d love to be there!’
“But there is so much potential in this team and I think we can improve a lot. It’s an easy thing to say, but I could have scored more goals. I missed a lot of chances.
“I can get better in everything. I have to be much better — heading, combining, everything.”
Teammate John Stones added that Haaland “really could do what he wants” because of his “hunger and attitude” to playing football.
“He gets in the right spot at the right time — he is an absolute ball magnet, as I think Jack [Grealish] was calling him in the dressing room after,” said Stones.
“I think he wants to just win — I think if you have that mentality, then the personal accolades just come naturally without chasing them.
“That could be totally wrong but I think Erling is a huge team player and, with that kind of mindset, he’s going to break more records.”
French newspaper L’Equipe gave Haaland a rare perfect 10 in their player ratings and referred to him as ET on their front page. —BBCsport.