Since it became evident that Erling Haaland had what it took to become one of football’s most iconic figures in the post-Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo era, Manchester City supporters have taken great joy in internet images that appear to show Erling Haaland among them. The Premier League winners completed Haaland’s move from Borussia Dortmund on June 13, but that was only the start of his relationship with City. A photograph of Erling at Wembley for City’s 2014 Carabao Cup victory against Sunderland, as well as one of him donning the team’s 2008–09 home jersey, have been joyously circulated around message boards and social media.
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Haaland is perhaps the first signing similar to Robinho despite the hundreds of millions of dollars invested since then to make City a contemporary superpower and the trophies won as a consequence by Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini, and Pep Guardiola. He is the first “Galactico” for Manchester City, a rising star whose entrance will get more attention than that of any of his predecessors. In very basic terms, many people anticipate that Kylian Mbappe and Haaland will take over for Messi and Ronaldo in football in the ensuing 2020s. One of the key men is presently in the city.
The biggest players that City signs are often rising stars with many more years of peak performance ahead of them. Although Haaland possesses all of these qualities, he is already unquestionably seated at the absolute top of the game. The absurd scoring record alone explains this: 20 goals in 21 international appearances for Norway, 114 goals in 115 club matches since his 2019 transfer from Molde to Red Bull Salzburg. Haaland will only be deemed successful if he can compete with players like Aguero, Silva, Kompany, Toure, De Bruyne, and City legend Colin Bell. The bar is that high, but given his terrifying skill, it must be that high.