Kevin De Bruyne believes Erling Haaland is so obsessed with scoring that the Manchester City striker can register 800 goals in his career.
The Norwegian’s opener in Thursday’s 3-2 Carabao Cup win over Liverpool was his 24th strike in 19 appearances in all competitions this season. His total career tally is approaching 200.
De Bruyne said: “Erling is so obsessed with goals. He already has about 200 goals, so he can probably go to 600, 700 or 800 if he stays fit and does the things that he does. Erling is a top-level striker. I don’t see Erling as different to a lot of people. He is a normal football player like everybody else and he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
“When you talk about professional footballers or professional athletes, everybody has that little edge. I don’t think you can become a professional player if you don’t have that little something to become the best version you can be.
“He is still a young boy enjoying his life and he takes his football very seriously. He loves scoring goals, so I think that is the most unique thing he has.”
De Bruyne is highly admired by Pep Guardiola, the manager describing him as one of the greatest ever City players after the Liverpool victory. The Belgian offered a similar sentiment, stating that his manager is a genius.
“I have been with him for so long, so I can understand when he changes things [in a game],” the midfielder said. “It is just the way that he sees football, his football philosophy, which is to get the ball as much as possible and play good football with it. He wants to achieve that as much as possible in the game. He will be a genius in one sort of way because otherwise he wouldn’t have changed football as much as he did. The way that he plays football, a lot of people do it now because of him and the Barcelona way, [Johan] Cruyff etc. It is like a chain.
“He evolved it in a way that is important in football and a lot of teams are now pressing from the front, playing from the back, playing good football. He changed it in a lot of senses.”
De Bruyne also described Phil Foden as having a high potential. “He is probably one of the biggest talents that I have played with and his ceiling can be so high. He has already won four Premier Leagues and he is 22,” De Bruyne said.
“He is very smart as a player. Where there are a lot of tactics, you still have that guy who has that little bit of magic and he is one of these guys who has that magic so he can just do a lot of different stuff. [He can achieve] whatever he wants.”