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Haaland’s Italian secret: He’s never been in better shape

Not many people doubted that Erling Haaland would prove an incredible signing for Manchester City, but the Norwegian has surpassed even the high expectations that preceded him since arriving in the Premier League.

Haaland has 14 goals in 10 games for Pep Guardiola‘s side and physically he has never looked in better shape. That’s no accident, of course, as the club have a special plan for the striker.

In fact, that plan goes so far as to involve sending their own man to Norway’s training camp to work with Haaland during the international break. That man is Italian sports therapist Mario Pafundi.

El papel de Mario Pafundi

Prafundi has been with the English club since 2016, having previously worked in cycling with Team Sky. He has been working closely with Haaland since his arrival in the summer, focusing on getting him into the best shape possible.

The player himself has responded well to this and it was his own idea to invite Prafundi to the Norway camp. The idea is that while away he will maintain his usual daily routine in order to stay in peak condition.

Haaland shares his ‘secret’

Luckily for all involved, Norway head coach Stale Solbakken was also open to the idea and also decided to take it a step further by suggesting that the City employee shared his wisdom with the rest of the squad.

Mario Pafundi, con Pep Guardiola.

Mario Pafundi, con Pep Guardiola.

“We call up 26-27 players and that’s a lot for just two physios. Erling [Haaland] had the brilliant suggestion that he has a very good therapist,” said Solbakken.

“I’ve spoken a lot with him in the last week. That’s why we now have the support of a third name, at least on a temporary basis.

“It’s not a coincidence that he’s coming from Manchester City and Erling is there, but he’ll work with all the players. He’s not just Erling’s man here.”

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