Thursday, March 30, 2023

Rio Ferdinand Hits Back At ‘Scandalous’ Erling Haaland Doubters After His Historic UCL Performance

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with BT Sport, Rio Ferdinand has hit back at ‘scandalous’ Erling Haaland doubters after his historic UEFA Champions League performance against Red Bull Leipzig. Haaland went on to score five goals against the German opposition in the second leg of Man City’s last 16 tie at the Etihad Stadium.

Ferdinand said,

“What Haaland is doing in football right now is astonishing.

“When he’s playing like this in the team, they are absolutely dominant. He gives the feeling as long as everyone else is a 7/10 and he’s here we win.

“He brings a superpower to the team and this is already a supercharged team with exceptional talent, and there’s a hunger and desire in his play above everything else.

“Scandalously I’ve heard people say he [negatively] impacts the way this team plays. 39 goals in the season… he only makes this team better.”

Ferdinand went on to add,

“It’s the carefree attitude that he just wants to play football and I love the fact he’s very simplistic, he doesn’t overcomplicate things.

“He’s always taking one or two touches and running in behind.

Erling Haaland
Norway’s forward Erling Braut Haaland attends a training session of Norway’s national football team at Arasen Stadium in Lillestroem, Norway on March 23, 2022 ahead of the friendly international football match against Slovakia on March 25. – Norway OUT (Photo by Lise Åserud / NTB / AFP) / Norway OUT (Photo by LISE ASERUD/NTB/AFP via Getty Images)
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“These are old school traits and he’s at his best when he doesn’t have to think. It’s instinctive for him.

“Most players on the pitch when the balls are in those areas are on their heels, but he’s on his toes and ready to pounce.

“This isn’t a coincidence he’s scored so many goals at the age of 22 – he’s just in the right areas again and again. There’s no coach, even Pep, one of the best if not the best in the world that can teach that.”

The Incredible Form Of Erling Haaland At Manchester City This Season

Haaland is currently enjoying the form of his life after bagging a hat trick in the first 60 minutes of the clash against Leipzig. The 22-year-old has banged in 39 goals and picked up five assists in 36 appearances for the Mancunian giants this season across all fronts.

Haaland seems to be getting better with each game under the expert stewardship of Pep Guardiola. When the Norway international is fit and firing on all cylinders, he can be unplayable at times in the final third. He will now focus his attention on helping Man City retain their Premier League crown and lift the UEFA Champions League trophy for the first time later this year.

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