12 Fun Facts About Norway’s Erling Haaland

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Erling Haaland, a striking phenomenon in modern football, has quickly ascended to prominence with his extraordinary goal-scoring ability. Here's some fun facts about the Norwegian striker that everyone wants on their team.

Born in Leeds, England, and raised in Norway, Haaland's blend of speed, strength, and clinical finishing has made him one of the most sought-after talents in the history of football.

Erling Haaland with the Champions League trophy in 2023. Photo: Gevorg Ghazaryan / Shutterstock.com.
Erling Haaland with the Champions League trophy in 2023. Photo: Gevorg Ghazaryan / Shutterstock.com.

Every now and then, a footballer comes along from one of the smaller footballing nations who really gets people talking. Not long ago there was a young Norwegian by the name of Martin Odegaard, a player who promised so much at a young age.

Soon after Ødegaard, another Norwegian came along. A player called Erling Braut Haaland burst onto the scene in Norway. He scored goals galore in Norway, Austria, and Germany, before his big money move to the Premier League.

Not only has the Manchester City star become one of the most famous Norwegian footballers, he's become one of the most famous sports stars in the world.

Quick Erling Haaland Facts

Full Name: Erling Braut Haaland
Date of Birth: 21 July, 2000
Place of Birth: Leeds, England
Citizenship: Norwegian
Height: 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)
Position: Striker
Current Club: Manchester City
Previous Clubs: Bryne FK, Molde FK, Red Bull Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund

Haaland is a sturdy, powerful striker. He is strong in the air, frequently out-muscling opponents to power home headers. In addition, the Norwegian is equally adept with the ball at his feet, possessing explosive pace.

Let's dive into his fascinating story with these 12 fun facts about the Norwegian superstar.

1. He once scored nine goals in one match for Norway

As well as his club career, Haaland has been a regular face for his country. He has represented Norway from under 15 level all the way up to the senior national team.

His most notable performance came at under-20 level, in the 2019 FIFA World Cup. In a single game against Honduras, he netted nine goals.

An illustration of Erling Haaland. Photo: ArtWeSell / Shutterstock.com.
An illustration of Erling Haaland. Photo: ArtWeSell / Shutterstock.com.

Despite the fact that this game was the only one in which Haaland scored at the tournament, and the fact that Norway didn't make it past the group stages, the Norwegian was the tournament's top goalscorer.

2. Erling Haaland has a footballing Dad

Erling Haaland's ascent in the world of football isn't just a stroke of luck or raw talent. It also runs in the family.

Born to Alf-Inge Haaland, a notable figure in the footballing world for his robust performances as a defender and midfielder for clubs like Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, and Manchester City, Erling has football in his DNA.

Alf-Inge's career in the 1990s and early 2000s, marked by resilience and versatility on the field, laid a foundation of sportsmanship and professional ethos that Erling seems to have inherited.

3. Although Norwegian, he was actually born in England

As his father was playing in England at the time, Erling was actually born in England. Although born in Leeds in the year 2000, Erling earned Norwegian citizenship as both his parents were Norwegian.

When he was just three years old, he moved with his parents to Bryne, a small town 25 km south of Stavanger.

4. He is beloved in Bryne

It was this provincial setting that formed the foundation of his footballing career. He intially joined the Bryne FK academy, before stepping up to Bryne 2, the club’s reserve team.

Haaland went on to score 18 goals in 14 matches for Bryne 2 across the 2015 and 2016 season. Before long, he was thrust into first team action.

Erling Haaland's Manchester City shirt. Photo: charnsitr / Shutterstock.com.
Erling Haaland's Manchester City shirt is a top seller in the Bryne club shop. Photo: charnsitr / Shutterstock.com.

At the age 15, he made his debut for the struggling Bryne first team. Although he failed to find the back of the net in 16 appearances, his talent was obvious and he was soon snapped up by Molde.

Despite his lack of goals for Bryne's first team, the small Norwegian club claim Haaland as their own. It was after all the first senior team he played for.

Today, Haaland fever is a real thing in Bryne. The club shop sells Manchester City shirts featuring Haaland's name, and they outsell the club's own replica kit.

The town of Bryne has even become an unlikely tourist attraction for football fans. Manchester City fans have visited the town to take selfies with the Haaland street art that features around the town.

5. He worked with Ole Gunnar Solskjær

The man in charge of Molde at the time was a certain Ole Gunnar Solskjær. The manager nurtured Haaland and ensured his continued progression as a player.

Solskjær gave Haaland his first start for Molde on the 26 April 2017 in a Norwegian Cup match against Norwegian minnows Volda TI. He scored one goal in a 3-2 win.

In the reminder of the 2017, Haaland had a promising but fairly unspectacular season, eventually finishing on four goals in 20 first team appearances.

It was in the 2018 season when Haaland really got going. The big Norwegian ended the year with 16 goals in 30 games, a tally that ensured the club’s top scorer award.

During the course of that year, Haaland put in a number of remarkable performances. One of those was Molde’s 4-0 away rout of Brann, where the striker helped himself to four goals in the space of 21 minutes.

Erling Haaland playing for Norway at the U20 World Cup. Photo: Mikolaj Barbanell / Shutterstock.com.
Erling Haaland playing for Norway at the U20 World Cup. Photo: Mikolaj Barbanell / Shutterstock.com.

With such goalscoring prowess, it was only a matter of time before Haaland would leave Norwegian football. And so it came as no surprise when in 2018, Haaland joined Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg for a transfer fee of 8 million euro.

6. He became known internationally at Red Bull Salzburg

Erling Haaland burst onto the international scene thanks to his goal-packed Champions League performances for Red Bull Salzburg.

In the 2019/20 season, Haaland showcased his exceptional talent by netting 17 goals in just 16 domestic league appearances, overwhelming defenders with his blend of speed, strength, and technical skills.

But it was his performances on the European stage that caught the world's attention. In the group stages of the competition, Haaland scored eight goals across six matches for Salzburg.

This achievement made him the second teenager ever to score in his first three Champions League appearances, eventually extending this streak to his first five matches.

This feat placed him among football legends such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Serhiy Rebrov, and Robert Lewandowski, who had similarly marked their early careers with extraordinary performances in one of the sport's most prestigious tournaments.

7. Borussia Dortmund won the bidding war

Throughout 2019, it quickly became clear that Erling Haaland would make another move. Some of Europe's biggest clubs including Juventus and Manchester United were rumoured to be preparing bids.

To the surprise of some, it was German side Borussia Dortmund that won the battle to sign the talented Norwegian at the beginning of 2020.

“We can expect an ambitious, athletic and physical centre forward with a proven nose for goal,” said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc as the deal was announced.

The move turned out to be a pivotal one in the development of Haaland. On his debut, Haaland came off the bench as a second-half substitute to score a hat-trick in just 23 minutes, helping Dortmund beat Augsburg 5-3.

Erling Haaland playing for Dortmund. Photo: Vitalii Vitleo / Shutterstock.com.
Erling Haaland playing for Dortmund. Photo: Vitalii Vitleo / Shutterstock.com.

He went on to establish himself as one of the most clinical strikers in European football during his time with Borussia Dortmund. During his time in Germany, he scored a remarkable 62 goals in just 67 games.

8. Haaland has a five-year contract at Man City

With a release clause of 60 million euro written into his contract at Dortmund, it was only a matter of time until Haaland would make another move.

In May 2022, Premier League club Manchester City announced they had reached a deal to sign Haaland. The deal was soon confirmed, with Haaland moving to Manchester on 1 July on a five-year contract.

9. He broke records and won awards galore in 2023

Following his big money move to Manchester City, Haaland shattered several Premier League records.

They included the highest number of goals in a season and achieving multiple hat-trick milestones faster than any other player, such as scoring in three consecutive home games.

In 2023, his prolific scoring earned him the Premier League Golden Boot, the European Golden Shoe, and the Gerd Müller Trophy.

His exceptional year, which included a Champions League trophy, was capped off with him being named UEFA Men's Player of the Year, IFFHS World's Best Player, and runner-up in the Ballon d'Or.

10. Haaland nearly didn't become a footballer

Although obsessed with football as a child, Haaland also excelled in handball and athletics at an early age. Anyone who's witnessed his explosive pace in person won't be surprised to hear that.

At the age of just five, he set a world record in his age group for the longest standing long jump. He recorded a distance of 1.63 meters.

11. He was inspired by Zlatan

The success of another Scandinavian striker proved the inspiration for Haaland's career.

Inspired by the towering presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Haaland modelled his game after the Swedish legend, known for his prolific scoring, strength, and unshakeable confidence on the field.

Ibrahimovic scored over 570 career goals and won a staggering 34 trophies. Haaland is well on the way to competing with the records of his hero.

12. Haaland recorded a rap track

Alongside his Norway under-17 teammates, Erik Botheim and Erik Tobias Sandberg, under the moniker “Flow Kingz,” Haaland released a single titled “Kygo jo” in 2016.

Erling Haaland playing for Norway's national team. Photo: froarn / Shutterstock.com.
Erling Haaland playing for Norway's national team. Photo: froarn / Shutterstock.com.

The song, paying homage to the famed Norwegian DJ Kygo, has since garnered millions of views on YouTube. The video showcases the trio playfully dancing in locations like a volleyball court and a children's playground.

Adding to its eccentricity, the song's lyrics, especially Haaland's verses, have been translated into English, revealing their uniquely bizarre content.

13. Haaland has an unconventional diet

Erling Haaland's nutrition is key to his athletic performance, featuring a diet that pushes conventional boundaries.

Consuming around 6,000 calories daily—triple the average for adult males—Haaland incorporates foods like cheese and ham omelets, requested specifically from Manchester City's culinary team.

His dietary philosophy prioritises quality, locally sourced food, including nutrient-rich beef heart and liver, known for their high levels of iron, vitamins, and minerals. This approach has significantly contributed to his physical transformation.

Haaland values the ritual of starting his day with sunlight for his circadian rhythm and filters his water, emphasising overall well-being.

His pre-match ritual involves eating lasagna made by his father, Alfie-Inge Haaland, a tradition even Manchester City's Pep Guardiola humorously offered to support by bringing his father to cook for the team.

Despite his strict diet, Haaland enjoys indulging in kebabs—a rare treat from his hometown—alongside favorites like steak, oysters, and various international cuisines.

14. He values daily meditation

Erling Haaland incorporates meditation into his daily regimen, attributing his unique goal celebration—sitting with crossed legs, closed eyes, and hands on knees—to this practice.

This habit, particularly noted during his tenure at Dortmund, highlights his pursuit of mental tranquility. Evening meditation sessions are particularly effective for him, inducing a state akin to sleep and enhancing recovery.

15. Haaland invests in rest and recovery

Understanding the importance of recovery, Haaland has invested in an expensive cryotherapy chamber at his Chester residence and regularly utilises ice baths and yoga.

He adheres to a strict evening routine, ensuring he's asleep by 10 pm. He minimises electronic distractions, and wears blue light-blocking glasses to improve sleep quality.

Haaland also has his own “magic potion” for training: a milk blend with spinach and kale, supporting his nutritional philosophy.

What's next for Haaland?

With a formidable goalscoring record under his belt and a place in one of Europe's premier football teams, Haaland has the potential to break all sorts of records in the years to come.

However, one thing he'll surely want to do is play at the very highest level for his country.

Unfortunately, despite a good goalscoring record, Norway's national team has so far failed to qualify for the World Cup or European Championships since Haaland broke into the team.

With two of Europe's top footballing talents in the team, Norway's national team has disappointed in recent years. Will they improve? Will we get to see Haaland and Ødegaard play in the World Cup. Watch this space.

Have you seen Erling Haaland play in person? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the talented Norwegian footballer down in the comments.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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