By 90Min
May 31, 2019

There was some staggering news coming out of the FIFA U20 World Cup on Thursday, when Norway's Erling Haland scored a jaw-dropping nine (N I N E) goals in a single game against Honduras in the competition's group stage.

The record-shattering total quite rightly made an instant sensation of the Norwegian teen, so here are four things you should know about Norway's next baby-faced assassin before, you know, he's steering Manchester United (be it as a manager or a player) to another sixth-placed finish... 


1. He Is the Son of Alf-Inge Haaland

Gary M. Prior/GettyImages

That's right, you remember Alf-Inge Haaland. The former Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City player? Versatile - could play in both defence and midfield? Once worth £2.5m at a time when that wasn't a complete pittance? No? No bells being rung?

You know, the guy who was on the receiving end of that horror challenge from Roy Keane? That grimace-inducing lunge at the knee that prematurely ended the Scandinavian's career. Yeah, that one. Anyway, this is his son, and he has been primed all his life to get revenge on Keane's five offspring. Joking, not joking. 


2. He Was Born in Leeds

George Wood/GettyImages

Yes, tying in with the aforementioned timeline of Haaland senior's career, this absolute wunderkind was actually born on these very pastures, up and around the Yorkshire Dales in July 2000.

Unfortunately, he has represented Norway at every single youth level since the U15s, after starting his career at Bryne FK, just like his Pa. Fortunately, as Declan Rice showed in recent times, this does not preclude one from changing their mind when, say, the Three Lions come calling.

You know what to do, Gareth. 


3. He Plays for Red Bull Salzburg

SVEIN OVE EKORNESVAAG/GettyImages

This is actually a picture of the precocious teen taking on Hibernian in Europa League qualifying for Molde last summer, but Haland has since secured a move to Austrian high-flyers Red Bull Salzburg. 

The Austrian Bundesliga champions signed the striker for €5m in January, and he has gone on to make five appearances for the club, notching one goal.


4. His Tally Beat a Record Set by Adailton in 1997

Roberto Serra/GettyImages

Okay, if you didn't know Alf-Inge Haaland then chances are you won't know Martins Bolzan Adailton.

The Brazilian, who scored six goals against the Korea Republic back in the 1997 FIFA U20 World Cup, was a touted prospect before the turn of the century, moving to Parma (when they were really, really good) in '97 before being loaned out to Paris Saint-Germain (when they really, really weren't) in '98. Semi-successful spells at Hellas Verona, Genoa and Bologna followed. 

In any case, you can forget him now anyways, 'cause he's been surpassed by ya Nordic boy. 


5. He's a Decent Bet for the Golden Boot

Yeah, maybe a fairly obvious one, but Haland* is now a pretty decent bet for this year's Golden Boot award, even if his side's future in the competition remains unclear as it stands - they have finished third in their group, but could still progress as a top-four third-placed side.

In fact, his nine-goal haul would be enough to win 19 of the last 21 Golden Boots from the competition - including those of a certain Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero from 2005 and 2007 respectively. The only people who would beat him? Adailton and Javier Saviola.


6. *There is Some Confusion Surrounding his Name

Trond Tandberg/GettyImages

Awkward one, this. Basically, as you will have noticed, his father, making his name in English football, became known as 'Haaland', the anglicised version of 'Håland'. But his son has not had the same upbringing, so there's never been a need for the extra 'a'. 

Now, time will tell whether, should he make the pilgrimage back 'home', he reverts to his father's ways, but for now, publications (including FIFA and ourselves) are left in an awkward nether zone of whether to 'aa', 'å' or simply 'a'.

Sort it out, kid, before the marketeers come knocking.

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