Revealed: Haaland getting more autograph requests than Messi
Revealed: Erling Haaland generating more signature requests than prime Lionel Messi at Man City – as ‘sweet’ striker endears himself to club staff
According to a new book, Manchester City striker Erling Haaland receives more autograph requests than Lionel Messi did during his prime at Barcelona.
According to an updated version of the book Pep’s City: The Making of a Superteam, by Pol Ballus and Lu Martin, Haaland has been bombarded with requests to autograph shirts and souvenirs since joining Pep Guardiola’s side in 2022 and is always ready to oblige. Staff members who have worked with Guardiola at Barcelona and City report that the Norwegian receives more requests to sign things than Messi did when he was with the Catalans and in his prime.
THE LARGER IMAGE
City paid roughly €100 million in transfer fees and commissions to buy Haaland from Borussia Dortmund in 2022, but he has shown to be well worth the money, leading the Blues to the treble last season while scoring a club record 52 goals in 53 games in all competitions. The Norwegian, who has already scored 14 Premier League goals this season, could be forgiven for developing a bit of an ego, but Pep’s City says that he is widely regarded by staff and team-mates.
“He’s always in a good mood and has a kind word for everyone,” a coworker told the writers. “He’s made such a difference to the team, and it’s amazing that despite his celebrity, he’s still such a nice guy.” A player of Erling’s stature and physical stature would be expected to be arrogant and demanding – a bit of a diva. But he always has a smile for everyone and is eager to talk. He’ll take the piss, too, but more significantly, he can laugh at himself.”
WHAT DID YOU KNOW?
Haaland’s closest buddy at City is Jack Grealish, and the two are characterized as “inseparable” because they live in the same block of apartments in Manchester’s city center as Ruben Dias, Julian Alvarez, and Sergio Gomez.
Last year, Haaland endeared himself to his new teammates by attending a Halloween party hosted by Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez dressed as a Viking and baring his chest in the chilly Manchester weather.
WHAT COMES NEXT FOR HAALAND?
After being the fastest player in Premier League history to reach 50 Premier League goals and 40 Champions League goals in the same week, Haaland will be looking to add to his tally when City meet title rivals Tottenham on Sunday.