Erling Haaland ‘wishes’ he was at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but says he will use his time off to physically and mentally recharge after his impressive start to life at Manchester City

Haaland – who hopes Norway will qualify for the World Cup at some point in his career – says England are one of the favourites for Qatar but admits they fact stiff competition from Brazil, Argentina and France.

The 22-year-old striker discussed the upcoming tournament after taking part in a reactions challenge with his Manchester City team-mates John Stones and Stefan Ortega. 

Man City star Erling Haaland 'wishes' he was at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with Norway

Man City star Erling Haaland ‘wishes’ he was at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with Norway

Haaland ‘wishes’ he was playing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. However, he says he will use the enforced break to physically and mentally recharge.

Haaland said: ‘First of all, I wish I was playing in the World Cup of course. But, that’s reality now. I don’t do.’

He went on to say: ‘I will relax my body and my mind a lot and then I will train. What I will train on? Nothing special.

‘I think, it’s been going quite well I think, my first months in City so I don’t need to do so much things, or so many changes to be honest. 

‘So yeah, it’s about preparing myself for the next half of the season and being ready when the next game kicks in after the break.’ 

Haaland has named England as one of the favourites for the tournament later this month

Haaland has named England as one of the favourites for the tournament later this month

However, he says Gareth Southgate's side must fend off Brazil, Argentina and France to win

However, he says Gareth Southgate’s side must fend off Brazil, Argentina and France to win

City’s senior players not involved in the World Cup will take part in a short warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi with the club’s youngsters on December 5. 

However, Haaland – who has been encouraged by Pep Guardiola to go on holiday – will enjoy three weeks away from football before joining his City team-mates on the plane. 

Despite missing out on the 2022 World Cup, Haaland said he has not given up on reaching the showpiece tournament in the future.

He said: ‘I hope I play for Norway and our dream and reality, the biggest thing we can do is to get to either a World Cup or Euros.

‘That’s of course my goal with the national team to do. We know it’s difficult, but hopefully in the future one day I’ll be able to play them.’ 

When asked who he thought would win the World Cup in Qatar, Haaland said England were one of the favourites but admitted they fact stiff competition from Brazil, Argentina and France.

Nissan Formula E driver Norman Nato (C) took on Manchester City stars John Stones (L), Stefan Ortega (second from left) and Haaland (R) on the Batak wall

Nissan Formula E driver Norman Nato (C) took on Manchester City stars John Stones (L), Stefan Ortega (second from left) and Haaland (R) on the Batak wall

Stones came first from the City participants while Ortega came second

Haaland had the slowest reactions out of all the City players and came last - which is surprising!

 Stones came first from the City participants while Ortega came second and Haaland third

He said: ‘Favourites… I think the favourites should be Brazil, Argentina, France and maybe England. I cannot only say one, because there are so many good teams, so yeah, these four.’

Haaland is Manchester City’s top scorer, having scored 23 goals in all competitions already. The 22-year-old credit his reaction time for his success on the pitch.   

He said: ‘For me it’s about, trying to, if you can call it, react or think or whatever to think a bit quicker than my opponents. 

‘So that’s usually centre-backs or whatever. So for me it’s about thinking a bit quicker than them and things like that. 

‘So, how I train on that, it’s not something specific but it’s about being focused, it’s about knowing what to do, then you can be on alert and ready, for me, to put the ball in the back of the net.’

The Manchester City players had a good laugh taking part in the challenge earlier this week

The Manchester City players had a good laugh taking part in the challenge earlier this week

Therefore, Haaland decided to put has skills to the test and challenge himself on the Batak wall – which is a piece of equipment specifically designed to improve reaction, hand eye co-ordination and stamina.

Nissan Formula E driver Norman Nato took on Manchester City stars John Stones, Stefan Ortega and Haaland. It was surprising to see the 22-year-old finished in last place. 

While Stones finished first out of the Premier League participants. He said: ‘I was pleased to be fair, would have liked to have got one more, but no it’s not easy. We had a little practice go and did better than that. I beat Stef (Stefan Ortega), so I’m happy!’.

Meanwhile, Ortega said Haaland struggled due to his height. He said: ‘I think the smaller players, for them it’s a bit easier because, for example, Erling (Haaland) is so tall, for him it’s a big space to see the light, down of him, I think Bernado (Silva) or Ilkay (Gundogan) would be really quick at this.’ 



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