Erling Haaland: 16 things you might not know about Man City target

  • Rob Swan
16 things you might not know about Erling Haaland as Man City ‘agree £500k-a-week deal’

Erling Haaland could be on his way to Manchester City this summer after the Premier League side agreed personal terms with the player’s representatives.

The Borussia Dortmund striker, who turns 22 in July, will earn in the region of a staggering £500,000-a-week if he opts for a move to the Etihad Stadium after a deal was agreed, per the Daily Mail.

City are desperate to secure Haaland’s services after missing out on Tottenham’s Harry Kane last summer and are ready to trigger the forward’s £62 million release clause, according to Sky Sports.

One of the world’s most sought-after young footballers, Haaland has exceeded all expectations at Dortmund following his €20 million move from Red Bull Salzburg in December 2019.

In 85 appearances, the prolific Norway international has scored an astonishing 82 goals. He also has 15 goals in 17 games at international level.

Haaland possesses all the tools required to become one of the greatest forwards of all time and looks set to begin the next chapter of his career in the Premier League with City, the club his father Alf-Inge played for between 2000-2003.

erling haaland etihad
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 06: Phil Foden of Manchester City and Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund interact following the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at Etihad Stadium on April 06, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

16 things you might not know about Erling Haaland

But how much do you know about the young starlet?

Here are 16 facts that you may not have heard:

1. Haaland was born in Leeds – and is a fan of the team

One month before Haaland was born, his dad left Leeds United for Manchester City in a deal worth £2.5 million.

But Erling was born in Leeds and that’s the club he’s supported since childhood. He was even spotted wearing a pair of Leeds shorts in 2021.

Four years earlier, Haaland revealed: “The dream is to win the Premier League with Leeds.”

However, it looks like he’ll be achieving that dream with Man City instead.

2. Haaland was five years old when he broke a world record

This crazy fact sounds strange but it’s absolutely true.

Haaland broke the world record for the longest standing jump for five-year olds (1.63m) on 22 January 2006.

“It was before he started playing football,” Alf-Inge told Dagbladet. “We used to take him to athletics so he could test himself. Erling played handball, athletics and cross-country skiing til he turned 14. Norway’s handball manager wanted him to play handball.”

It seems he was always destined to become a sporting icon.

Haaland world record

3. Haaland’s mum was a national champion

We’ve all heard of Alf-Inge Haaland but did you know that Erling’s mother, Gry Marita, used to be a national champion in heptathlon?

No wonder people think he was grown in a laboratory!

4. Haaland made his senior debut aged 15

It was clear from a young age that Haaland was a special talent. He joined his hometown club Bryne at the age of five and made his debut for the Norwegian side 10 years later.

5. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave Haaland his big break

Haaland joined Molde in February 2017, aged 16, and continued his development under 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.”

Manchester United fans can be forgiven for wondering why Haaland wasn’t brought to Old Trafford in December 2019, when Solskjaer was in charge at Old Trafford.

6. Haaland’s nickname at Molde was ‘Manchild’

The nickname ‘Manchild’ isn’t always complimentary but it was assigned to Haaland because he possessed the physique of a fully-grown man during his teenage years.

Now 6ft 4in (1.94m), the powerful striker will certainly be able to handle himself against the Premier League’s toughest defenders.

7. Haaland is also absolutely rapid

Haaland isn’t just strong and deadly inside the box, he’s also one of the world’s fastest footballers.

In February 2020, aged 19, the Norwegian covered 60 metres in just 6.64 seconds during a Champions League tie between Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain. This is so quick that it would have put him in 2018’s World Indoor Championship 60m final.

Haaland also broke the 2020/21 Bundesliga speed record, clocking a top speed of 36.04 km/h against Stuttgart.

8. Haaland’s rap name was ‘Flow Kingz’

Yes, you read that right. Haaland really did have a rap name.

But after watching the following footage, you’ll understand why he set his sights on becoming the next Cristiano Ronaldo instead of the next Eminem.

9. Haaland has a crazy side

Not only can Haaland rap, but he can also dance! Well, sort of…

A potential goal celebration for his first Man City goal?

10. Haaland isn’t a big fan of interviews

Haaland might be a natural in front of the camera in some respects but he’s not a huge fan of interviews.

Good luck, Geoff Shreeves!

11. Haaland has already broken multiple records

Haaland became the youngster player to score 20 Champions League goals (20y 231d), the fastest player to score 20 Champions League goals (14 games), the youngest player to score in six consecutive Champions League appearances, the first teenager to score 10 goals in a Champions League campaign, the first player to score 25 goals in his first 25 Bundesliga appearances and so on.

He also won a Bundesliga Player of the Month award despite only playing 59 minutes.

The man’s a machine.

Haaland Dortmund
BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 13: Erling Håland of Borussia Dortmund celebrates with the trophy after winning the DFB Cup final match between RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund at Olympic Stadium on May 13, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Sporting stadiums around Germany remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

12. Haaland’s favourite song is the Champions League anthem

We all love the Champions League anthem, but not as much as Erling.

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

After a hat-trick against Genk, Haaland’s former teammate Maximilian Wöber said: “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. Haaland’s idol is Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Unlike a lot of players his age, Haaland’s biggest idol in football is neither Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi. It’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“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!”

14. Haaland has copied Cristiano Ronaldo’s diet

If you want to become the best, it makes sense to emulate the best.

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most professional footballers of all time and so Haaland changed his diet following a chat with Patrice Evra.

“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.”

Haaland Ronaldo diet

15. Haaland scored nine goals in a single game

Imagine scoring not just one but three hat-tricks in a single match.

Haaland achieved this incredible feat in May 2019 when Norway hammered Honduras 12-0 at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

16. Haaland thinks the Etihad Stadium is beautiful

While training at the Etihad Stadium, Haaland was heard describing the Etihad Stadium as “beautiful” to his Dortmund teammate Jude Bellingham.

Now he’s expected to be playing his football there week-in, week-out from the start of next season.

QUIZ: Now test your knowledge on Erling Haaland

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