Erling Haaland has admitted he was at Manchester City to win the Champions League after scoring five goals against RB Leipzig – and warned he could do better.
The Norway striker underscored his determination to finally win Europe’s elite club competition by leading Manchester City to the quarter-finals after a 7-0 win over the Etihad on Tuesday.
“Of course the club wants to win the Champions League, they still want to win trophies,” said Haaland, who has scored a staggering 39 goals in 36 games since joining City from Borussia Dortmund last year.
“They won the Premier League four times in the last five years, so they didn’t let me win the Premier League, they know how to win the Premier League,” he told CBS.
“So you can read between the lines. I’m here to help the club develop further and win the Champions League for the first time.”
Haaland became the third player to score five goals in a single Champions League game at the Etihad Stadium, taking his tally to 33 in 25 appearances.
He is the fastest player to score 30 goals in the game and the youngest at 22 years old.
Haaland also broke Tommy Johnson’s club record of 38 goals for Manchester City in a single season in 1928/29.
But he insists his hunger for goals is far from satisfied and he wants to do better.
“I knew I was going to score because how many goals did City score last season? Probably a hundred.
“Last season when I saw they didn’t have a striker, I thought, when they made the cross, I thought, ‘ah, I want to be there’.
“At the end of the day, this team has a lot of potential and I think we can improve a lot… It’s easy to say, but I could have scored more goals. I missed a lot of chances.”
City’s performance eased concerns following last month’s 1-1 first-leg draw.
Ilkay Gündogan and Kevin De Bruyne also joined the scoring as Pep Guardiola’s side celebrated an 8-1 aggregate victory.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Haaland, who has scored five hat-tricks this season. “First of all, to win 7-0 and make some kind of statement in this Champions League, a competition I love.”
Erling Haaland broke another City record on Tuesday night but has yet to outline his ambitions for the season.
The tight-lipped Haaland admitted he was “easily in the headlines” when asked how he would define City’s Champions League ambitions this year.
The talisman dazzled Haaland’s five goals, including a first-half hat-trick, as City beat RB Leipzig 7-0 on Tuesday night.
The Dane broke another goalscoring record in the process, becoming City’s top scorer in a single season with the game still months away.
In an interview with CBS after the game, Haaland made clear the club’s intention to compete for this year’s Champions League trophy.
He said: “That’s a tough question to answer. I could easily make headlines with that answer. Of course the club want to win the Champions League. They’ve won four of the last five Premier League titles. They didn’t let me Win the Premier League because they already know how to win it. So you can read between the lines.
“I’m here to help the club develop further and win the Champions League for the first time.
“I knew I was going to score because how many goals did they score last season? Probably 100. When I saw they didn’t have a striker and they made crosses, I thought, ‘Ah, I want to be there!
“I knew I was going to score a lot. This team has a lot of potential and I think we can improve a lot. It’s easy to say but I could have scored more. I missed a lot of chances. But the odds are good Keep scoring.”
Despite coming home with five goals, missed chances were on the 22-year-old’s mind after the Champions League break.
Haaland expressed his disappointment at the missed chances of teammates Nathan Ake and Kevin De Bruyne.
He said: “I could have scored more goals in the first half. I had one with the keeper after Nathan’s pass. I could have done it twice in the first half, Kevin had a cross, had chances.
“In my mind, I always have to reach for more and stay hungry. Maybe somebody if they score five goals they are happy… you have to be happy but you have to want more of course.”
It’s FA Cup action next for Pep Guardiola’s side who welcome Championship high-flyers Burnley to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. The Clarets boss and City legend Vincent Kompany will make his first return to the stadium as a manager before the international break arrives.
Fans are debating whether Erling Haaland’s display against RB Leipzig has eclipsed Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi for the greatest UEFA Champions League performance.
Haaland bagged five goals as Manchester City thrashed Leipzig 7-0 (8-1 on aggregate) to advance to the quarterfinals of Europe’s elite club competition. It was a memorable night for the Norweigan who took his tally for overall goals scored in the tournament to 33 in 25 games. Given the striker is just 22 it is some feat as he has moved ahead of iconic players such as Patrick Kluivert, Wayne Rooney, Kaka, and Arjen Robben.
Many fans are touting it as one of the greatest performances in a Champions League game. However, some were quick to remind them about the phenomenal performances produced by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
One fan suggested that Ronaldo’s exploits in Juventus’ 3-2 comeback win over Atletico Madrid in the 2019 campaign is the greatest:
“No UCL performance will ever top this, infact this is one of the greatest performance in the history of football, Ronaldo vs Atletico Madrid was a man on a mission, and he did that while playing with players like Mandzukic, Bernardeschi, Madman.”
The Portuguese great conjured up one of the most remarkable hat-tricks in Champions League history. Los Colchoneros led 2-0 from the first leg of the two sides’ Round of 16 clash. They headed to the Allianz Stadium for the second leg. Ronaldo had long been Atleti’s foe during his time playing for rivals Real Madrid. He was mocked by their fans before the second leg. The former Juve striker evidently took it to heart. He scored a hat-trick sealing a dramatic turnaround and in the progress knocking out one of his biggest rivals.