The Citizens boss admits that the Norwegian is an exceptional talent as they prepare to host Borussia Dortmund in the 1st leg of the Champions League.
Haaland has been heavily linked with a move away from the German side as majority of Europe’s elite teams including Manchester City are battling it out for his signature. The Norwegian has scored 33 goals in 32 appearances for Dortmund in all competitions this season – 10 of those goals coming in six appearances for the German side.
No wonder he has become one of the hostest propects in Europe and City, in fact are considering the 20-year old as a replacement for the out going Kun Aguero.
City host the Bundesliga side on Tuesday in a crunch quarter final encounter and Guardiola believes that the Norwegian that the best chances they have is to starve Haaland of chances.
“He’s fantastic, everyone knows it. A blind guy can realise he’s fantastic, it’s not necessary to be a manager to realise it,” Guardiola said of Haaland ahead of Tuesday’s first leg encounter at the Etihad stadium.
“The strikers who score goals are going to score more goals when they are in our box. When they have more minutes as far as away from our box, they have less chances.
Guardiola admits Haaland is fantastic
“Not just Haaland – Vardy, Salah, Gabriel [Jesus], Aguero – all the strikers around the world they want to be there as much as possible. So the best way is avoid them being there as much as possible.” Guardiola replied when poised on how he would stop him.
With City holding a 14 point lead at the top of the Premier League, chances of a quadruple remains realistic but the Champions League seems to be the toughest for them.
Guardiola won the competition twice with Barcelona but has never gone beyond the quarter-final stages of the competition with City. This would be the fifth attempt after previously been eliminated by Lyon at this same stage last season.
Meanwhile, Dortmund’s chances of qualifying for the competition next season remains slim. They sit 5th in the Bundesliga standings with 43 points – 7 points adrift of the Champions League spots.