By Nehru Odeh
Manchester city striker Erling Haaland is over the moon. Yet he can’t stop scoring. Not only is he the most talked-about footballer on the planet today, he is well on his way to becoming the greatest. And he is only 22.
And his laurels are legion. The Norwegian superstar has broken the Premier League record for most goals In a season with 36 goals. And overall he has scored 52 goals.
Haaland has also been named the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) men’s footballer of the year. He is the first player to win the Premier League player and young player of the year awards in the same season.
The goal magician who is well on his way to help his club win its first treble in 24 years and the UEFA Champions League for the first time this season has opened up on the secret to his superlative performance and success as a footballer.
In an interview with the BBC at his club’s training ground, Haaland, who said he would do everything possible to help Man City win the Champions League this season, attributed his goal scoring prowess and success as a footballer to keeping his confidence.
“For me I think Its about keeping the confidence. And I try to never overthink. That’s the greatest think in the world …. I am a simple guy, When I do something and I like it. I want to do it normal,” he said.
Haaland also said his life has changed tremendously because he can’t live a normal life anymore.
“My life has changed of course I cant live normal any more. That’s something I just have to admit That’s how my life is. I cant complain. I try to enjoy every single moment of it and that’s how it is.
“I like to do a bit crazy kind of stuff on and off the pitch,” he maintained.
City has yet to win the Champions League, despite it’s domestic dominance, and he hopes to help the club win it this season.
“This is why they bought me of course, to get this, we don’t have to hide that.
“It would mean everything. I will do everything I possibly can to try to make it happen. It’s my biggest dream and hopefully dreams do come true.”
He added: “But as well it’s not easy – it’s two finals against two good teams that will do everything they can to try to destroy that.
“They will be motivated, they will be ready and we have to play at our best, because if we play at our best we have a really good chance of achieving exactly that, Halland averred.
Asked why he was always in pyjamas, an outfit that has become his trademark, the goal poacher said:
I love to be comfortable wherever I go. And I think it looks really good. That’s why I use it basically. And I am 196cm tall and have got long blonde hair.
“So wherever I go, people gonna see me. So that’s how my life is. But what can I do? There’s nothing I can do. That’s my life. I just have to try and enjoy it as much as I can” Haaland said.
The striker also said when he was young he wanted to be not just a professional footballer but the best in the world. But, according to him, a price goes with it.
“When I wa young I wanted to become a professional fotballer, the best in the world. And a price goes with that. If you gonna be that, there are certain things you have to do differebtly. You have to live differently. You have to do this and that And that is what how it is is. And I am not complaining.
Asked if he had achieved his dream of becoming the greatest footballer in the world through the amazing feats he achieved this season, Haaland noted:
“That’s a good question. But I don’t want to answer that. I think someone else should answer that. But I scored more goal this season I think.”
Any room for improvement? The ever-smiling goal poacher was modest. He believes he has improved “a lot” this season but that he can get better.
“From my right foot to my left foot to my heading, from the build-up play – everything.
“I’ve been developing in a really positive way and that’s really important for me because I’m still really young.
“I’m 22, I’ve got a long career ahead of me and I still have to develop. That’s also something I was thinking of over one year ago when I was thinking about my next move,” he maintained.