Erling Braut Haaland is arguably the best striker at the age of 20, and perhaps, the Dortmund youngster can be a potential winner for the golden ball in future.

Coach Alf Ingve Berntsen was the first coach of Haaland, and from the beginning, Bernsten recognized that Erling Braut Haaland could definitely become a future star as he is currently showing at Dortmund.

“I saw Erling for the first time when he was five when he joined indoor training with a group one year older,” the coach said. “His first two touches led to goals. He was very, very good from the first moment, even though he hadn’t played in the club before.”

“He was a little smaller than his opponents because he was a year younger. But even if his opponent was significantly taller, he kept scoring goals. When he was 11 or 12, we knew he would go far. We already knew back then that he had what it takes to be a youth international,” Berntsen said.

Via Goal
Haaland was too small back then.

Probably, Berntsen was right about the development of Haaland, but it was not until 2015 that the player started to create an attraction in Europe. The striker score 18 goals in 14 games for the reserve team of Bryne in the season of 2014-2015 and immediately became the topic of scouting discussion.

However, Gunnar Halle, a Norwegian scout said that Haaland still have a lot more to work on. Specifically, Halle pointed out that Haaland physique was too small.

At that time he was quite small and narrow before his growth spurt and physically at a disadvantage,” Halle told Goal. 

via Goal
Haaland was not that told and muscular as he is right now. Photo: AFP

 It was right that Haaland used to a small and thin guy who could be beaten easily by any defenders. Despite that, the son of former Leeds United and Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge Haaland always eyed for goals. He was smaller than his teammates and also his opponents, but Haaland adapted to the situation and learn how to read the game. Instead of using the physical power, the youngster converted his soccer into the game of speed and tactics.

Perhaps, Haaland was not that tall and big, but he scored 18 goals in 14 games for Bryne in just one season and achieved his professional debut at the age of 15. In the break through season with Bryne senior team, Haaland could not score a single goal, but his impressive development in the previous period convinced German Hoffenheim to offer him a trial.

Haaland then joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde in the season of 2015-2016, and the rest of his journey with the team was a legend of a youngster who was so talented and so humble.

Haaland started to develop in Molde

Haaland started to grow his physique during his time with Molde, and it was the team of Gunnar Solskjaer that gave him a chance to become a better Haaland. The youngster continued to break through and prove his potential. In the season of 2018, the Norwegian teenager scored 12 goals for Molde in 25 Eliteserien games. That record helped him becoming noticeable, but instead of moving to giant clubs, Haaland joined Red Bull Salzburg in the the Austrian Bundesliga in January 2019.

It was reasonable that a youngster like Haaland wanted a safe move, but it was ultimately a big break through for the youngster. In the Champions League season of 2019-2020, Haaland became the first teenager to score in five consecutive matches. In 22 matches for Salzburg, the youngster scored 28 times and registered 5 hat-tricks.

The Norwegian famous legend and Haaland’s former coach, Gunnar Solskjaer, also admitted that Haaland could defeat his goal scoring record in the UEFA Champions League.

After performing such a rocketing form in the shirt of Salzburg, Haaland made another move, and this time he joined the giant of German soccer-Borussia Dortmund. If there is any other safe place for a purely young talent like Haaland, it has to be Dortmund. It was the place that produced several talents for the European soccer such as Mario Gotze, Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski, Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa, ….

Haaland participated in the German side in Winter of 2020 with the transfer tag of about 20 million Euros and nearly created an immediate impact on the team. The young international Norwegian star scored 16 goals for his club after just 18 matches in the second half of the season 2019/2020. In this season of 2020-2021, Haaland already scored 17 goals in 14 matches for Dortmund.

The youngster continued in the right track of development, and Michael Zorc -the sport director of Dortmund – is pleasing with the his “goal machine.”

When Haaland scored 9 goals in a single game against U20 Honduras in the group stage display of the U20 World Cup 2017, spectators confessed that they saw a future golden ball winner. And probably, that confession is still a correct one at this moment.

In just 2 seasons, Haaland broke through straight forward from the Austrian Bundesliga to the most decorated playground of the European soccer, and with this form, a golden ball prize will soon belong to the Norwegian goal machine.


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