Manchester City striker, Erling Haaland acknowledged when he received the FWA Footballer of the Year award that his record-breaking debut season in English football exceeded his expectations.
The striker collected the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year award in London on Thursday night, May 25.
Prior to Sunday’s Premier League finale against Brentford, Haaland has 52 goals in 51 games for City since his £51 million transfer from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
City will face Inter Milan in Istanbul in the Champions League final on June 10, a week after they play Manchester United in the FA Cup final, having already won the Premier League. They are aiming to emulate their city rivals’ achievement of 1999.
“There are two finals left, we have to stay focused even though we won the Premier League.
“We have to stay focused to achieve what we can achieve in the next two finals. I will do everything I can to achieve good things in the finals and hopefully win both.
“It’s a good thing being favourites (against Inter Milan) because it means we have qualities, we have to attack the game in our way, play our football and in the end we’ll see who wins it.”
Haaland earned 82 per cent of the votes ahead of Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard to win the FWA award, 75 years after Sir Stanley Matthews won the first trophy.
“I feel good, it’s a special moment,’ he added.
Speaking to the FWA, “I expected to do good things but, to do this, I didn’t expect.”
He has broken the record for the most Premier League goals in a season with 36 as Manchester City wrapped up a third straight title with three games to spare, having trailed Arsenal by eight points at one stage.
“It’s really just about taking it game-by-game, to be honest, and to focus on what we can focus about,” said the 22-year-old.
“I don’t like to focus on the future or the past. I like to live in moment and I like to take it game-by-game – exactly what he (Pep Guardiola) said we were going to do and that’s what we did.
“We focused and we achieved exactly what we wanted to achieve. In then end it’s unreal what we did, being behind all season and we came like a unit together. It was amazing and an amazing feeling.”
Sam Kerr of Chelsea won the title for women, making the Australian the first player to do so in back-to-back years.
Kerr scored the winning goal in Chelsea’s 1-0 FA Cup victory over Manchester United earlier this month.