Erling Haaland felt angry watching the World Cup at home on TV, and seeing other superstar forwards like Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe score goals made him hungry for more.
Haaland’s Norway side failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, affording the Premier League’s leading scorer some time off over the past six weeks.
But he returned to action with a bang, scoring in Manchester City’s Carabao Cup win over Liverpool last week before adding two more in a 3-1 win at Leeds to move his Premier League tally to 20 goals from only 14 games this season.
Asked what he did during the World Cup, Haaland told Amazon Prime: “Being home, being a bit mad that I don’t play at the World Cup.
“I was kind of a commentator for the World Cup in my own home where no one listens to me. I kind of recharged my batteries and to watch other people score and win games in the World Cup kind of triggers me and motivates me and also irritates me. I’m more hungry and more ready than ever.”
Haaland’s brace at Elland Road, the place where his father Alf Inge spent much of his career, brought City’s gap to league leaders Arsenal back to five points.
“We win, that’s the most important thing,” Haaland said. “You see Arsenal at the top, now we have to hunt them, so that we win, I’m really happy.
“I just said it inside (the dressing room), I could have scored five, it’s the truth. For me, as a striker, I could have scored a couple more but that’s life, what can I do? I have to practice more.”