Man City record-setting Haaland drove mad by World Cup miss

Erling Haaland said missing out on the World Cup was an “irritation and motivation” that made him “a bit mad” after he became the first player to score 20 Premier League goals before January by netting twice at Manchester City’s 3-1 win against Leeds at Elland Road.

The summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, who failed to qualify for Qatar 2022 with Norway, has scored three goals in two games for City since club football resumed after the six-week World Cup shutdown.

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By scoring his 20th Premier League goal in just his 14th league appearance for City, Haaland became the fastest player to reach 20 goals in Premier League history.

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And after the win against Leeds – the city of his birth – Haaland said that watching the World Cup from home had motivated him to perform even better for City.

“I was at home, a bit mad that I wasn’t at the World Cup,” said Haaland. “I recharged my batteries.

“Watching other people score to win games in the World Cup triggered, motivated and irritated me. I am more hungry and more ready than ever.

“To be honest, I’m really p—-d.” [when I miss a chance]- Holland said – this is the truth. But when I miss, I want to score even more. That’s the funny thing – when I score one, it’s such a good feeling I want to score another goal, so it’s positive.”

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No player has ever scored 40 goals in a Premier League season – Alan Shearer and Andy Cole shared the record with 34 goals in a season – but Haaland is now on course to break the barrier. He added that he has a goal for the season, but insisted he will keep it private until he achieves it.

“I have a goal but I can’t say it,” said Haaland. “I just said in the dressing room that I could have scored five, but the most important thing is that we won.

“For me, as a striker, I have to score more. I could have scored a couple more, but this is life and I have to train more.”

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Haaland refused to celebrate every time he scored at Elland Road. The 22-year-old was born in Leeds when his father, Alfie, played for the team and Erling said the club holds a special place in his affections.

“My father and mother were in the stands today,” Haaland said. “It’s special, I’m happy – it’s a special moment in my career.

“When I was young, I had an Erik Bakke shirt in my room and a jersey from my dad. In my wildest imagination, I couldn’t think of being at Elland Road and scoring for Manchester City against Leeds.”


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