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Paolo Wanchope says Erling Haaland can win Champions League for Manchester City

PAOLO WANCHOPE says Erling Haaland can win the Champions League for Manchester City – because he’s a chip off the old block. 

When the striker was in nappies at just one month old, his dad Alf-Inge Haaland and Wanchope, were tearing it up at the club. 

Paolo Wanchope played alongside Alf Haaland at Manchester City in 2000

In July 2000, Alf-Inge joined City from Leeds in a £2.5million deal.

Wanchope then became a record signing for a club preparing to play top-flight football for the first time in more than four years when he arrived for £3.65m at the start of August.

And the duo enjoyed dream home debuts against Sunderland in May 2000.

Costa Rica forward Wanchope combined with Haaland to complete a hat trick that day and also became the provider for the right-back to score in the 4-2 win at Maine Road. 

Paulo Wanchope, speaking on behalf of 888sport said: “The atmosphere at Maine Road that day was crazy. 

“To score three goals and to set up Alf, made all the fans go crazy. 

“It was a great start for us both at home. I felt that connection with the people and now when I have the chance to go back to see City play the fans always remember me and treat me like I’m still playing.

“Alf was a very competitive guy. I love seeing his son now competing and giving 100 percent like his dad used to give. 

“I remember Alf was a great professional, had a lovely personality to be around and to train with. I have great memories with him.”

Wanchope has rubbed shoulders with some of the Premier League’s finest over the years, including Paolo Di Canio at West Ham and Robbie Fowler at Manchester City. 

He scored 12 goals for the Hammers in a team also featuring the emerging talents of Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Carrick.

But he doesn’t know how Pep Guardiola would have coped if he had both him playing and Erling Haaland at City. 

Wanchope added: “I played alongside great players, Di Canio, Fowler. 

“I don’t know if me and Haaland could play together or not, that depends on the style. At the moment Guardiola could try me or Haaland but of course he would have to start Haaland!

“He is incredible. A big striker and one of the best right now. He will improve even more at City with Guardiola and on the coaching staff.

“They have a good chance to go all the way in the Champions League and play in the final and win it now with a top striker.”

Wanchope has even recommended that Guardiola and his players listen to salsa music before their quarter-final second-leg tie with Bayern Munich to calm any nerves – despite them already being 3-0 ahead. 

Afterall it was salsa music that formed the backdrop of the day that would change Wanchope’s life forever. 

It helped him score a dazzling strike at Old Trafford, on the day he made his bow in English football for Derby County in a famous 3-2 victory.

He cut Manchester United to ribbons, shimmying past Nicky Butt on halfway, dancing infield with the ball glued to his feet.

He glided past  Phil Neville and outmuscled Gary Pallister before rifling a low drive beyond Peter Schmeichel and into the goal.

Wanchope said: “I will never forget what the manager Jim Smith did.

“I was really anxious to play the game. The night before that game I couldn’t sleep. 

“I woke up every two or three hours because I was really anxious. 

“I always say it was really good from Smith when he asked me when we were going to Old Trafford what kind of music I like and I said to him salsa music.

“He put it on the couch and the boss, and everyone was trying to dance salsa so that was really special from Smith. 

“Maybe City should listen to some salsa music to relax before Bayern Munich like I did before my debut.”

Paulo Wanchope, was speaking on behalf of 888sport. Head to 888sport for the latest football odds.