Erling Haaland on Abu Dhabi, the World Cup and his hopes for Manchester City

Star striker enjoying his warm-weather camp in the UAE

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Manchester City are in Abu Dhabi for a warm-weather training camp ahead of the season starting again with a League Cup tie against Liverpool on December 22

Manager Pep Guardiola and his Premier League champions will then head back to Manchester to meet up with those players who have been involved at the World Cup.

Star striker Erling Haaland, whose national team Norway missed out on qualifying for Qatar, took time out to speak about the trip, the season so far and his hopes for the rest of the campaign.

On having a break in the season

It’s been a good opportunity to reset. Of course every player wants to be at the World Cup. It’s my dream to represent my country there and I’ll work hard to make sure that I do that one day. But the break has been positive. I’ve had the chance to rest, to take my mind off football for a few weeks and put myself in the best possible place to return. I can’t wait for it to start again. I’m raring to go.

On watching the World Cup

The World Cup is great to watch for any football fan. Of course I would prefer to be there playing, but it’s the best teams and the best players competing against each other. There have been some fantastic performances and some that maybe people wouldn’t have expected. Now we’re into the most exciting part of the tournament when one little mistake and you could be out which makes it even more enjoyable to watch.

On Abu Dhabi

It’s a beautiful place. We’re lucky as professionals to go to many beautiful places and travel around the world. To come here before the start of the new season is a great opportunity just to recharge and focus our minds again on club football returning. We have all the facilities we need, the weather is a little warmer than it is in Manchester and we can prepare as a group. Okay not all of our teammates can be out here but for the ones that are it’s a good opportunity to come together in a more relaxed setting and make sure we’re ready for when the rest of the group comes back.

On his first season in England

It’s been positive. I feel like I’ve settled into the team and the league which can always take some adapting to and I’ve been pleased with how it’s started. But it’s not about me. It’s about the team, how we’re performing and the second half of the season is the most important now. We’ve put ourselves in a good position and we’ve had lot of strong performances, but we’re second in the league and that’s not where we want to finish. We have to hit the ground running when we return because we have some tough games across the different competitions and we want to win them all.

On the rest of the season

Our focus is always on the next game. I know it’s cliche and people might not like that, but if you get ahead of yourself then you lose focus. The challenge now is for us to get back up to speed and playing how we know we can. This training camp will be important for a number of us to do that and the rest of the guys will join us when their World Cup ends. The focus will be on getting fit, getting ready and then heading into the game against Liverpool looking to get a positive result and giving our fans something to be excited about as we head into the second half of the season.

Updated: December 08, 2022, 11:51 AM