PEP GUARDIOLA believes new striker Erling Haaland can help Manchester City finally crack the Champions League.
The £51.4million Norwegian has flourished in Europe’s top competition – the best of any player his age so far with 23 goals in 19 games.
And manager Guardiola, who has seen his team come agonizingly close over the past two seasons, would like to think Haaland, 22, could be the final piece in the puzzle.
Ahead of Tuesday’s opener here in Spain, he said: “Erling has a special quality and maybe he can solve some of our problems – definitely.
“We hope that all six new players can make us better – otherwise there is no point in signing them.
“But we also have to play well as a team.
“All new players have to settle in. If we only rely on Erling’s shoulders, we won’t win.
“We don’t just win because of Erling and we don’t just lose because of him.”
City were beaten in the final in 2021 and last season they fell out of the semi-finals in devastating fashion as Real Madrid scored twice in the 90th minute before scoring a winner in extra time.
But Rodri also believes the arrival of Haaland, who has scored TEN goals in his first six Prem games, could be crucial.
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The Spain midfielder said: “We all know the player he is – and not just in the Champions League.
“It’s a competition where you need these types of players that you can pass the ball to and they can score a goal out of nowhere.
“He can make a big difference.
“The way he’s playing… he’s great and improving a lot.
“He’s still trying to fit into the team but he wants to improve every day.”
Guardiola is making his seventh attempt to win this competition with City – and is now getting used to being asked if his team could finally win it.
City start their 12th straight season in the Champions League and Guardiola said: “Are we going to win or not? I do not know.
“But sport – not just football – always gives you a new chance.
“The club are proud to be back and we will try again.
“If we don’t do it, we will be punished by our fans and the media and try again.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6155602/pep-guardiola-man-city-erling-haaland-champions-league-hoodoo/ Pep Guardiola hopes Erling Haaland – and his CRAZY Champions League goalscoring record – can finally end Man City’s Euro hoodoo