In an exclusive interview with ESPNthe defender Manuel Akanji said the attacker Erling Haaland is more interested in lifting trophies for Manchester City than winning the “Gold ball“.
The Norwegian did 52 goals in 53 matches for citizens last season, winning the historic “Triple Crown” for the club. However, he placed 2nd in the individual prize of France Footballwhat was beaten by Lionel Messi.
In conversation with the reporter, Akanji opined that Haaland will “eventually” be awarded the “Gold ball“, but highlighted that the killer’s preference is for collective cups.
“He did everything he could last year,” he said.
“He scored over 50 goals and won the Triple Crown. Of course it would be cool if he has won (a’Gold ball‘), but that’s not all… I think he cares more about the team’s success than about his individual success. I hope he can win one day (a’Gold ball‘)”, he pointed out.
The defender knows Haaland like few others, having spent two and a half years with the striker at Borussia Dortmund before moving to City at the same time as his friend.
In the current season, the relentless goalscorer has 15 balls in the net 17 matches, occupying the artillery of the Premier League.
“You can see that in every match we play he scores important goals. He is a great player, and I love him as a person too”, he said.
“We spent a lot of time together at Dortmund, and when he came here, we reconnected. In training, he’s a guy who works hard to improve. He never takes things lightly,” he said.
“In training, whether shooting from distance or close up, he wants to score all the goals. That’s why, when the weekend game comes, he manages to score so many,” he reported.
“Sometimes he wastes one chance or another and gets that frustrated look on his face, but then the next opportunity he goes and scores. That’s why he’s so important for our team,” he concluded.
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