Erling Haaland cooked RB Leipzig last Tuesday as he became just the second man in Champions League history, to score 5 goals in a knockout game. He needed just 57 minutes to achieve this incredible feat. He was so good that his manager, Pep Guardiola, decided to spare the Germans and took the Norwegian out of the match in the 60th minute. Speaking after the game, Haaland didn’t seem that pleased and he looked frowned the minute Julian Alvarez was taking his place on the pitch. Is there turmoil in their relationship? Is a seemingly perfect night revealing deeper issues?
Well, of course not. Haaland was clearly joking when he told his manager that he would love to score a double hat-trick. He was in the mood for fun, and why wouldn’t he? He was asked what his football superpower is and he calmly replied: “based on today’s game, I have to say that my super strength is scoring goals.” You think?
Guardiola couldn’t be happier. He managed Lionel Messi when he put five past Bernd Leno, then goalkeeper of Leverkusen and now Fulham’s number one. And he now saw his latest project, Erling Haaland do that more efficiently. “I know he equalled Messi’s record, of course I remember. It’s just incredible that he did it in 60 minutes,” he told reporters. “Erling is young. He has the incentive to beat that record in the future. If he did it aged 22, he would quickly get bored.”
It is a tradition that when a footballer scores a hat trick he is given the ball of the game. Haaland has famously stated that on the night of his tricks, he tucks the ball in bed and sleeps with it, calling it his “girlfriend.”
So far in his young career, he has had 19 such “girlfriends” including the one he got from the RB Leipzig match. This could have been the first time he would sleep with two match balls in his bed. Well, the future is his and he has everything he needs to achieve that sooner than later.
Erling Haaland has clinched the top-scorer title in the Premier League, with 28 goals, 8 more than Harry Kane. He is now pursuing the all-time record of 34, held by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer. In the Champions League he has 10, two more than Mohamed Salah. Liverpool are on the verge of being knocked out of the competition, so Haaland is the absolute favourite for this individual title as well, offered by bookmakers at 1.07.
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