Erling Haaland cemented his reputation as world football’s most promising teenager back in February with a scintillating performance for Borussia Dortmund against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League Round of 16.
The Norwegian striker, who moved to Dortmund in January after scoring 28 goals in 22 games for Red Bull Salzburg during the first half of the 2019-20 season, struck both second-half goals to earn his team a 2-1 victory over the Parisians in the first leg.
But despite his best efforts, Haaland was unable to fire Dortmund through to the quarter-finals.
Goals from Neymar and Juan Bernat at the Parc des Princes sent PSG into the last eight - and boy did their players enjoy it.
Neymar and his teammates all seemed particularly keen to rub salt into the wounds of Haaland by mimicking his famous ‘zen’ celebration.
Neymar was filmed copying Haaland’s celebration after making it 1-0 on the night…
And PSG’s players then all did the same thing on the pitch after knocking Dortmund out of the Champions League…
They even did it again inside the dressing room, while Neymar posted the following on his Instagram account alongside the caption: “Paris our city, not yours”
It later transpired that Neymar and his teammates had been fooled into believing that a faked Snapchat post from Haaland, in which he was alleged to have said “My city, not yours”, was real - hence why they were so keen to exact revenge on the Norwegian.
Fast-forward several weeks and Haaland was asked whether or not he was bothered by PSG’s players imitating his pose.
The 19-year-old produced a mature response for someone so young, telling ESPN, per Goal: “No, not really. I think they helped me get meditation out into the world and show the whole world that meditation is an important thing, so I’m thankful they helped me with that.”
Haaland’s reaction has earned widespread praise from football fans, who believe this type of response is typical of a player who possesses the mentality to reach the very top of his profession.
He could have snapped back and caused a further rift between himself and the PSG players - plus additional unwanted media attention - but the youngster is smart enough to realise it wouldn’t be worth the hassle.
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