Erling Haaland’s magnificent, record-breaking first season at Manchester City has seen the striker named as the 2023 Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.
The City centre forward overwhelmingly topped the prestigious poll of the 400-strong FWA membership, garnering more than 80 per cent of all the votes cast, in the wake of what has been a sensational maiden campaign at the Etihad.
Haaland follows in the illustrious footsteps of Club colleague Ruben Dias who won the coveted prize in 2021 and former City star Raheem Sterling who took the award in 2019.
The Norwegian international also becomes only the fourth player to receive the FWA award in their first season playing in England, following Dias (2021), Gianfranco Zola (1997) and Jurgen Klinsmann (1995).
And, in gratefully accepting the award, Erling was typically quick to highlight and praise the major role played by his team-mates along with Pep and his coaching staff in helping him so seamlessly adapt to life at City.
“To win the Football Writers’ Award in my first season in English football is an honour,” Haaland said. “I try every single day to be the best I can be, and to be recognised like this means a lot to me.
“I have loved my time at City so far – my teammates are incredible, and they provide me with the chances to score goals. I want to thank all of them, because I could not have won this award without them.
“I also owe so much to Pep and the team behind the team here at City. Everybody has been so good to me since I joined and I have never worked with such top professionals.
“Thank you to everyone who voted for me. It’s a real honour to have won this award. I am now focused on ensuring I finish the season as strongly as possible and helping City win trophies.”
It’s impossible to overstate the seismic impact made by Haaland since joining City from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
Haaland has emerged as one of the central focal points of a supremely talented City squad that is seeking to claim a third successive Premier League title, is through to a historic all-Manchester FA Cup final and set to lock horns with Real Madrid in next Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg.
Along the way, Haaland has cemented a special rapport with the Etihad fans while establishing a host of quite extraordinary goal-scoring records that have seen him constantly rewrite the history books.
To date, Erling has plundered a haul of 35 goals from 34 league appearances seeing him break the long-standing record of 34 previously held by Alan Shearer and Andrew Cole for most goals scored in a single Premier League campaign.
With 51 goals overall, Haaland has also broken the record for most strikes in one season in all competitions by a Premier League player, surpassing Mo Salah in 2017/18 and Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002/03 who both claimed 44.
Earlier on this season, Haaland also became City’s all-time top scorer in a single season, breaking the long-standing record of 38 goals established by Tommy Johnson way back in the 1928-29 campaign.
Haaland also became both the quickest and youngest player to reach 30 career goals in the UEFA Champions League in the course of our last-16 second leg 7-0 win against RB Leipzig where he plundered five goals – registering what was his sixth hat-trick of the campaign.
A commanding, athletic figure on the pitch, armed with supreme skill, prodigious strength and superb vision to boot, Haaland has also epitomised the collective hunger and desire that has characterised Pep Guardiola’s squad in what is shaping up to be another quite extraordinary campaign.
Everyone at Manchester City congratulates Erling on this special accolade