Erling Haaland had an incredible first season at Manchester City. His outstanding performance led to him being named the 2023 Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year. The City center forward received overwhelming support from the 400 members of the FWA, with over 80% of the votes going in his favor. This recognition comes after a sensational debut campaign at the Etihad..
Haaland joins a prestigious list of winners, including his teammate Ruben Dias, who won the prize in 2021, and former City star Raheem Sterling, who was awarded in 2019.
It's worth noting that Haaland is only the fourth player to receive the FWA award in their first season playing in England, following the footsteps of Dias (2021), Gianfranco Zola (1997), and Jurgen Klinsmann (1995). In his acceptance speech, Haaland graciously acknowledged the important role played by his teammates, as well as the support and guidance provided by Pep and the coaching staff, which greatly contributed to his seamless adaptation 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.”
The impact of Haaland since joining City from Borussia Dortmund last summer cannot be overstated. He has become a central figure in a highly talented City squad, aiming for a third consecutive Premier League title. They have also reached the historic all-Manchester FA Cup final and are set to face Real Madrid in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals next Wednesday.
Throughout this journey, Haaland has formed a special bond with the Etihad fans and has achieved extraordinary goal-scoring records, constantly rewriting history. So far, he has scored an impressive 35 goals in 34 league appearances, surpassing Alan Shearer and Andrew Cole's previous record of 34 goals in a single Premier League season. With a total of 51 goals, Haaland has also broken the record for the most goals scored in one season in all competitions by a Premier League player. This surpasses the achievements of Mo Salah in 2017/18 and Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002/03, who both scored 44 goals.
Moreover, earlier this season, Haaland became City's all-time top scorer in a single season, surpassing Tommy Johnson's long-standing record of 38 goals set in the 1928-29 campaign.
In addition to these remarkable feats, Haaland holds the titles of the quickest and youngest player to reach 30 career goals in the UEFA Champions League. He achieved this milestone during our last-16 second leg match against RB Leipzig, where he scored five goals and secured his sixth hat-trick of the campaign.