Erling Haaland: 14 things you may not know about the world’s best teenager

  • Rob Swan

Erling Haaland is the name on everyone’s lips following his match-winning performance for Borussia Dortmund against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Norwegian striker, who is only 19 years old, scored both goals in Dortmund’s 2-1 victory at the Westfalenstadion.

His first was a close-range tap-in - a proper centre-forward’s goal, some would say - while his second was a left-footed thunderbolt from outside the box.

This was Haaland’s 11th goal for Dortmund in just his seventh appearance. His stats this season are nothing short of ridiculous.

Thirty-nine goals, six hat-tricks, ten goals in seven Champions League games for Red Bull Salzburg, his former club, and Dortmund. The guy is a phenomenon.

If you don’t know that much about Haaland then you’re in the right place.

We’ve created a list of 14 things you might not know about the world’s best teenager. Let’s begin…

1. He was born in Leeds - and supports the team

Yes, Haaland - son of former Leeds United and Man City defender Alf-Inge - was born in England in July 2000.

In an interview in February 2017, Haaland revealed that “The dream is to win the Premier League with Leeds."

Maybe one day, Leeds fans!


2. He broke a world record aged five

How about this for a fact: Haaland still holds the world record for the longest standing jump for five-year olds.

His 1.63m record, recorded on 22 January, 2006, still stands today!

3. His mum was a national champion

We're all aware of who Haaland's father is, but did you know that his mother used to be a national champion in heptathlon?

No wonder football fans reckon he was grown in some sort of laboratory. 

4. He made his senior debut aged 15

Bryne FK, Haaland’s hometown club in Norway, knew they had a special talent in their ranks and handed the striker his senior debut at the tender age of 15.


5. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave him his big break

Haaland joined Molde in 2017 where he worked under Manchester United’s current manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"Ole had a very big impact on my life and he taught me a lot," Haaland revealed in an interview with Red Bull. “He's one of the reasons I'm the player I am today. He's a good person and a good coach."

Solskjaer must be saying to himself ‘Well, why didn’t you sign for me last month!?’ right now.


6. He was nicknamed ‘Manchild’ at Molde

Haaland, who is 6ft 4in tall and powerfully built, spent many hours in the gym to become the physical specimen that he is today.

He was nicknamed ‘Manchild’ at Molde because, despite his tender age, he already possessed the physique of a fully-grown man.

Molde FK Photocall - Elite Serien Norway 2017

7. He fancied himself as a rapper early on

His rap name was ‘Flow Kingz’. Yep, he really did have a rap name.

Check out this video…

It’s probably for the best that he stuck to football, in fairness.

8. And he isn’t afraid to let loose in front of the camera

If you thought the previous video was good, check this out…

9. Haaland scored NINE goals in a single game

Haaland first made international headlines at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in May 2019 by scoring an incredible nine goals - a hat-trick of hat-tricks - as Norway’s youngsters thumped their Honduran counterparts 12-0.

The teenager now holds the record as the player with the most goals in a single Under-20 World Cup match.

10. Zlatan is his idol

Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn’t getting any younger and is likely to retire within the next couple of years.

But he has the perfect successor in Haaland, who has grown up idolising the Swedish legend.

"I had a lot of role models and looked up to many footballers, but Zlatan is the biggest one," he admitted. "The way he became so good, the way he plays. He's also Scandinavian, so someone has to take over from him!"


11. He holds several Champions League records already

Following his exploits against PSG, Haaland has reached 10 goals in the Champions League four games faster than anyone in the competition’s history.

His ninth and 10th Champions League goals of the season is also a record for a footballer playing their first season in Europe’s premier competition.

Haaland also became the youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick before half-time when he netted three times in RB Salzburg’s 6-2 win over Genk earlier this season.


12. And his favourite song is the Champions League anthem

Everyone loves the Champions League anthem - but nobody loves it more than Haaland.

"I've been listening to the Champions League theme since I was a little kid, and it's maybe my favourite song," he explained. "Hearing it in the stadium was amazing."

After his hat-trick against Genk, Haaland’s former teammate Maximilian Wöber revealed: "Erling is crazy.

"Last night our captain was out having a walk with his daughter, when a car pulled up next to him. The driver rolled down the window, and there was Erling, listening to the Champions League anthem!"


13. But he isn't very chatty in interviews

Haaland is a man of few words, as this memorable interview proves…

14. He has copied Cristiano Ronaldo’s diet

You don’t reach the very top unless you’re ultra professional, and they don’t come any more professional than Cristiano Ronaldo.

In order to become the best, Haaland decided to copy Ronaldo’s diet - and it’s working like a treat right now.

"I had to be determined to make it in the game. But Erling made all the sacrifices, leaving home at 16 to move to Molde, and he is a lot more professional than I was," Haaland’s father told ESPN in October 2019.

"He was told a story by Patrice Evra about a lunch he had with Ronaldo and Cristiano had fish, nothing else.


"Erling now tries to do the same things because Ronaldo is 34 and still at the top of the game, so it shows the value of doing the right things."

It’s scary to think how good in a few years’ time.

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