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Soccer

Guardiola reveals Haaland’s World Cup plans

Pep Guardiola was full of praise for the striker’s abilities and explained how the Norwegian player plans to spend time during the World Cup.

Update:
Guardiola reveals Haaland’s World Cup plans
PHIL NOBLEREUTERS

Once again the name of Erling Haaland dominated Manchester City’s press conference as the Premier League side face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday. The Norwegian striker made the move to Manchester from Dortmund last summer and returns to his former home with journalists asking Pep Guardiola a multitude of questions about the Norwegian striker.

Erling Haaland of Manchester City
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Erling Haaland of Manchester City Robbie Jay Barratt - AMAGetty

How will it benefit Haaland to rest while the rest of the players are at the World Cup?

He will be in Marbella and Norway and I’m pretty sure he would have loved to be at the World Cup, but he will spend most of the tournament at his house in Marbella. He plans to spend plenty of time playing golf and hopefully he doesn’t drink or eat too much and we hope he gets back in good shape.

It’s the first time in our lives that something like this has happened, so we don’t know how the World Cup players will return. If six come back as champions, they will come back happy, or maybe depressed. I fear a lot of players will miss the World Cup because of the crazy schedule we have.

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola
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Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola LINDSEY PARNABYAFP

Are there any of Haaland’s abilities that you were unaware of that particularly surprised you?

I didn’t know he could move in tight spaces inside the box, he scores a lot of goals from inside the box. His movement to get closer to the goal is incredible. Aside from his work ethic, he is one of the first to arrive at training and one of the last to leave. He takes care of his body and is well educated on how to behave as a professional and intends to improve. Last season he had some problems with injuries but this year, thanks to our doctors and physios, he can play every three days.

What makes Dortmund such a tough opponent?

They are a good team and the fact that we are Manchester City does not make it any easier. I know that in the big games against Bayern they play at the highest level and we have a lot of respect for them.