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Borussia Dortmund

Pep Guardiola praises “fantastic” Erling Haaland despite Man City transfer stance

Pep Guardiola said even a blind person could tell Erling Haaland is a great striker.

Guardiola must try to stop Haaland – a player Manchester City want this summer – when they face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday night.

Although Guardiola has refused to be drawn on City’s interest in Haaland, who has 49 goals in as many games for Dortmund, he lavished praise on the 20-year-old sensation.

“A blind guy could realise he’s a good striker,” said Guardiola. “It’s not necessary to be a manager to realise that of him.

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“He’s exceptional for his age, the numbers speak for themselves and he’s a fantastic player – that’s all.

Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund celebrates scoring his goal to the 0:1 during the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Koeln and Borussia Dortmund at the RheinEnergieStadion on March 20, 2021 in Cologne, Germany.
Erling Haaland scored twice as Borussia Dortmund drew with Koln

To score that many goals at this age, it’s not easy to find a player like that.

“He’s only 20, the numbers speak for themselves, he can score with the right foot, left, on counter attacks, headers.

“He’s fantastic, everyone knows it.”

CIty have fallen at the quarter-final stage of the tournament for the last three years and Guardiola admitted last season’s exit to Lyon was hard to get over.

“Of course, it remained in my head for weeks and it was painful, I cannot deny,” said Guardiola.

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“It was the last game of the season, we wanted to go through and we accept we didn’t do it well, didn’t deserve to go through.

“Yes it was painful, but the short time, 10 days later we were preparing for the next season, and here we are again, to try again.

“Going out to Lyon, it was different. We went out, said goodbye and went on our holidays. It was a disappointment but we are here again, with a chance.”

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