Erling Braut Haaland is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City and the Norway national team. Considered one of the best young forwards in the world, Haaland is known for his athleticism, speed, finishing, and ability to score goals consistently.
Haaland was born in Leeds, England on July 21, 2000 to former Leeds United and Manchester City player Alf-Inge Haaland and his wife Gry Marita Braut. He began his professional career in his home country with Bryne and Molde, before transferring to Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg in 2018.
After a prolific season and a half in Austria, Haaland signed for German club Borussia Dortmund in December 2019. His goalscoring exploits for Dortmund, including becoming the quickest and youngest player to score 20 Champions League goals, led to a high-profile transfer to Manchester City in 2022.
Early Life and Family Background
Erling Haaland was born in Leeds while his father Alf-Inge was playing for Leeds United. Alf-Inge is a former Norwegian professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder for Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, and Manchester City.
Erling spent his early years living in England but moved to Bryne, Norway with his family when he was three years old after his father’s retirement from football.
Haaland comes from an athletic family. His mother Gry Marita Braut was a heptathlete who represented Norway.
His paternal grandfather Gunder Bengt Haaland and maternal grandfather Leif Kristian Braut were also footballers who played in Norway. Haaland’s father Alf-Inge earned 34 caps for Norway between 1992 and 2000.
Growing up, Erling competed in various track and field events and was a standout talent in both football and handball. But he chose to focus on football full-time when he was teenager. His father Alf-Inge has been credited with actively supporting and developing Erling’s football skills from a young age.
Early Club Career
Here is an overview of Erling Haaland’s early club career:
|15 years old
|Senior team debut
|1 goal in 18 appearances
|16 years old
|Signed first professional contract
|20 goals in 50 appearances across all competitions
|18 years old
|Won Eliteserien League Title
|16 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions
|19 years old
|Red Bull Salzburg
|Transferred for €9 million
|29 goals in 27 appearances across all competitions
Haaland made his senior debut for his local club Bryne FK at age 15 in the Norwegian second division in 2016. The following year, he signed his first professional contract with top-flight club Molde FK.
At Molde, Haaland established himself as an exciting young talent, helping the club win the Eliteserien league title in 2018. His goalscoring exploits caught the attention of Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg, who signed him in January 2019 for a reported €9 million fee.
Breakthrough at Red Bull Salzburg
The transfer to Austrian Bundesliga side Red Bull Salzburg marked a major breakthrough in Erling Haaland’s career. He enjoyed phenomenal success playing under American manager Jesse Marsch, scoring prolifically and quickly adapting to a higher level of competition.
In the 2019-20 season, Haaland notched a remarkable 44 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions for Salzburg. Some key stats:
- Scored 29 goals in 27 Austrian Bundesliga matches
- 8 goals in 6 UEFA Champions League group stage matches
- 4 goals in 2 Austrian Cup matches
- Hat-tricks against Wolfsberger, Parndorf, and Hartberg
- Scored 9 goals in a single UEFA Youth League match against Honduras U20s
Haaland’s productivity in front of goal was off the charts. He averaged a goal every 58 minutes in the Austrian Bundesliga – one of the best scoring rates in Europe. His unique blend of speed, power, height, and finishing ability made him a feared striker.
Champions League Breakout
It was in the UEFA Champions League that Haaland truly announced himself on the big stage. In his debut Champions League campaign, he scored 8 goals in 6 matches – a record haul.
Some of his Champions League highlights for Salzburg:
- Became the first teenager to score in 5 consecutive UCL matches
- Scored hat-trick on UCL debut against Genk
- Brace against Liverpool at Anfield
- Game-winning goal against Napoli
Haaland’s goalscoring exploits attracted attention from top European clubs. In December 2019, he transferred to German club Borussia Dortmund for a reported €22.5 million fee.
Sensational Form at Borussia Dortmund
The next stop in Erling Haaland’s rapid rise to stardom was Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga. His time at Dortmund was highlighted by more ridiculous goalscoring numbers, individual awards, and his emergence as one of the most exciting young players in world football.
In 88 total appearances for Dortmund, Haaland notched a superb 86 goals and 23 assists.
His numbers in the Bundesliga were incredible:
- 68 games, 68 goals, 19 assists
- Averaged 1.0 goal per game in the Bundesliga
- Won Bundesliga Player of the Season in 2020-21
At just 20 years old in his first full season (2020-21), Haaland was the Bundesliga’s top scorer with 27 goals. He followed this up with 22 goals in 24 matches in an injury-affected 2021-22 season.
Champions League Records
Haaland continued to deliver phenomenal numbers in the Champions League for Dortmund:
- 18 goals in 13 appearances
- Became the fastest player in history to score 20 Champions League goals (14 matches)
- First player ever to score in each of his first 6 Champions League matches
- Youngest player to reach 25 Champions League goals
His two-and-a-half seasons at Dortmund cemented his reputation as one of the most lethal strikers in the world. Haaland combined athleticism, technical ability, intelligent movement, and clinical finishing to tear apart defenses.
Manchester City Transfer & Premier League Opportunity
In May 2022, the English club Manchester City activated Haaland’s €60 million release clause to sign him on a five-year deal. City beat out interest from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and other top clubs who were keen to sign the Norwegian superstar.
The move to Manchester City means Erling Haaland will play in the Premier League – widely considered the most competitive league in the world. He also gets to play for Pep Guardiola, regarded by many as the best manager in the world.
Reasons for Transfer
There were several compelling reasons behind Haaland’s decision to sign with Manchester City:
- Play with Kevin De Bruyne – Opportunity to play alongside De Bruyne, possibly the best playmaker in football currently. Their combination could be prolific.
- League Titles – City have won 4 Premier League titles in the last 5 seasons. Haaland wants to win and compete for major trophies.
- Champions League Push – City are desperate to win the Champions League. Haaland’s goalscoring could help them achieve European glory.
- Guardiola Factor – Chance to play under a legendary manager in Pep Guardiola and develop his game.
- Premier League Proving Ground – The intensely competitive Premier League will test himself against the best.
Expectations at City
Given his prolific goalscoring at past clubs, Haaland will be expected to make an immediate impact at Manchester City. Key expectations:
- Score 25+ goals in his debut Premier League season
- Lead the line and add firepower to City’s fluid attack
- Deliver in big games against top Premier League clubs
- Help City win Premier League and make a deep Champions League run
- Win individual awards like Premier League Golden Boot
At just 22 years old, Erling Haaland’s future appears incredibly bright. He has a massive opportunity at Manchester City to cement his status as the one of the best strikers on the planet.
International Career with Norway
In addition to his club career, Erling Haaland is also an important player for the Norwegian national team. He made his senior international debut in 2019 and has quickly become Norway’s main attacking threat.
Norway National Team Stats
Here is a summary of Haaland’s international career so far with Norway:
- Debut: vs Malta in September 2019
- 23 caps, 20 goals as of January 2023
- Norway’s all-time leading goalscorer before age 22
- Scored 9 goals in FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying
- Double braces vs Romania, Armenia in 2022
Norway National Team Stats (continued)
- Hat-trick vs Gibraltar in March 2021
- Scored Norway’s only goal as they narrowly missed qualification for the FIFA World Cup 2022
Haaland has shown he can translate his goalscoring form at the club level to the international stage with Norway. He earned praise from Norway manager Ståle Solbakken for his “incredible” work ethic and determination to improve.
Norway narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after losing to the Netherlands and Turkey in their qualifying playoff matches. But with Haaland leading the attack, Norway hopes to qualify for the 2024 UEFA European Championship and 2026 World Cup tournaments.
At just 22, Erling Haaland is already Norway’s all-time leading goalscorer among players under the age of 23. If he can stay fit and healthy, Haaland could potentially break Norway’s overall national team goalscoring record held by Jørgen Juve (33 goals in 45 matches from 1928 to 1939).
Playing Style and Attributes
Erling Haaland’s playing style and attributes make him such a dominant striker at a young age. Here is an overview of his skills:
- Size – 1.95m (6’5″), provides a huge aerial threat in the box
- Speed – Reportedly clocked running 20m in 2.7 seconds. Terrifying in open space.
- Power – Extreme levels of speed, strength and athleticism. Can overpower defenders.
- Finishing – Two-footed striker. Composed and clinical finisher in box.
- Movement – Excellent attacking runs and ability to get in behind defenses.
- Link-up play – Underrated hold-up and link play. Intelligent use of his body.
- Work ethic – Known for his tireless work ethic and intensity in training. Wants to be the best.
- Aggression – Plays with controlled aggression. Determined to win balls and dominate in the box.
- Maturity – Shows maturity beyond his years in interviews. Humble personality despite massive fame.
Still just 22, Haaland has room to improve his combination play and creativity. But his refined skillset already makes him a potentially generational talent capable of dominating at the highest level.
Career Statistics and Awards
Despite being just 22 years old, Erling Haaland’s career statistics and individual honors are hugely impressive. Here is an overview:
|Red Bull Salzburg
Awards and Honors
- Austrian Bundesliga Player of the Year: 2019
- Austrian Bundesliga Top Goalscorer: 2019
- UEFA Champions League Breakthrough XI: 2019
- Golden Boy Award: 2019, 2020
- Bundesliga Player of the Season: 2020-21
- UEFA Champions League Top Goalscorer: 2021-22
In conclusion, Erling Haaland is already one of the best strikers in world football despite being just 22 years old. His rare blend of athletic gifts, technical brilliance, and elite goalscoring ability has made him a dominant force at every club he has played for.
After phenomenal success in Austria and Germany, Haaland now faces a new challenge leading the attack for Premier League giants Manchester City. Expectations are sky-high for the Norwegian superstar to translate his prolific goalscoring form from past clubs.
With his prime years still ahead of him, Erling Haaland has the potential to shatter goalscoring records and achieve massive success at both the club and international level with Norway. If he can stay healthy, Haaland could become the undisputed top striker in the world and eventually be regarded among the all-time greats of the game.
Frequently Asked Questions about Erling Haaland
When and where was Erling Haaland born?
Erling Haaland was born on July 21, 2000 in Leeds, England. His father Alf-Inge was playing for Leeds United at the time.
What is Erling Haaland’s current club?
Haaland currently plays club football for Premier League side Manchester City, having signed for them from Borussia Dortmund in May 2022.
How much did Manchester City pay to sign Erling Haaland?
Manchester City activated the €60 million release clause in Haaland’s Dortmund contract to sign him. The total cost including agent fees and bonuses could rise to €100 million.
What trophies has Erling Haaland won in his career so far?
Haaland has won the Austrian Bundesliga (2019), Austrian Cup (2019), DFL-Supercup (2020) and was part of the Manchester City squad that won the 2023 League Cup.
How many Champions League goals has Haaland scored?
Erling Haaland has scored 23 goals in 19 Champions League appearances in his short career so far. He is the fastest player to reach 20 Champions League goals.
Who did Erling Haaland score his first international goal against?
Haaland scored his first international goal for Norway in a UEFA Nations League match against Northern Ireland in September 2020. He scored four goals in the match.
What number shirt does Erling Haaland wear for Manchester City?
Haaland wears the number 9 shirt for Manchester City, the traditional number worn by strikers and goalscorers.
What is Erling Haaland’s market value and salary at Manchester City?
Haaland’s market value is estimated to be €170 million. His weekly salary at Manchester City is reportedly £375,000, one of the highest in the Premier League.
How many social media followers does Erling Haaland have?
As of January 2023, Haaland has over 15 million followers on Instagram and over 900,000 followers on Twitter. His fame and following has grown massively over the past two years.