- Grealish partied hard after UCL win
- Solbakken happy that Haaland did not follow him
- Striker may be in action on Saturday
WHAT HAPPENED? Manchester City players let their hair down after winning the Champions League against Inter as they completed a historic treble. Grealish was the protagonist during the title celebrations as he dominated City's bus parade with his shirt off and was subsequently covered in champagne by Haaland. He looked exhausted even after joining England camp which forced manager Gareth Southgate to fire a warning to the midfielder and suggested that all Manchester City players might be rested against Malta. However, Solbakken took it easy after he saw Haaland in the Norway camp and believes that the striker will be ready to take on Scotland on Saturday in a Euro 2024 qualifier.
WHAT THEY SAID: “I think everyone understands that and I also think it’s a good idea to do that. I don’t think you can postpone a celebration like that. You can’t say ‘let’s meet up in the summer when these national games are over and we party’. It’s not the same because the excitement is a little bit out of your body and you have to do it then. When he (Haaland) came here, he didn’t look like he had gone the Grealish way. If Grealish managed to train for England the first time, he should also manage to do it for us," he told reporters.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Although Haaland had been in incredible form in the 2022-23 season scoring 53 times across all competitions the striker has managed just one goal on the international stage. However, Solbakken is not concerned with that and believes that the home crowd will spur him to achieve glory with Norway even if he is not at 100 per cent.
“The biggest gift in that is the love the crowd will give him because it’s a long time since he has played in Norway and he didn’t participate in the two internationals earlier this year. Obviously the Norwegian people have seen him on telly for a long time without seeing him live. I think he has had one game here in a year.
“So that will probably pump him up and give him the five to 10 per cent he probably lacks due to the programme he has been through and all the feelings and emotions he has been through as well,"
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty/GOAL/IG:jackgrealishGetty Images
WHAT NEXT? Haaland will shift his focus to two Euro 2024 qualifiers against Scotland and Cyprus on Saturday and Tuesday respectively before heading off to a break.