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Borussia Dortmund

Haaland's family roots stop him believing the wonderkid hype - Flo

16:00 GMT+3 11/03/2020
Erling Haaland Borussia Dortmund 2019-20
The Chelsea coach has been aware of the Norwegian for some time through his connections in youth football but has been blown away this season

Erling Haaland can handle the intense spotlight on him thanks to his footballing father Alf-Inge Haaland, according to Tore Andre Flo.

The Norwegian teenager has exploded on to the scene this season after scoring eight goals in six Champions League group games for Red Bull Salzburg.

His exploits prompted a January scramble for his services, with Manchester United having been determined to sign the 19-year-old before Haaland plumped for Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland took his tally to 10 Champions League goals for the season by netting a brace in Dortmund's 2-1 home win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 clash, and he has made a stunning start to life in the Bundesliga.

The forward's dad Alf-Inge played for the likes of Leeds and Manchester City, and Flo feels this will help to keep the younger Haaland grounded amid the constant hype.

"I think it is all about keeping your feet on the ground and for him to continue to work hard," Flo, who played alongside Alf-Inge for Norway and scored 23 goals for his country, told Goal at the London Football Awards. "If you don’t keep your feet on the ground, your mind wanders everywhere. Knowing his father, he can control that.

"If we talk about someone who has surprised me, he has taken the step up unbelievably well. He is now the wonderkid of the whole world. I first knew about him playing for Molde in Norway, he was starting to do well there.

"I think he was similar then but he has more of everything now, more power, quicker and very effective in front of goal. His best quality is to be effective. He has some of the best stats I have seen for a very long time and he is only 19 years old. He has a bright future."

Haaland is part of a 'golden generation' at Norway which has been starved of appearances at major tournaments since Flo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer used to lead the line for their country in the 1990s.

Norway are trying to qualify for their first major tournament in 20 years, with Haaland, Martin Odegaard, Joshua King and Sander Berge leading the charge.

"We have a second chance in this Euro 2020 play-off against Serbia," Flo added. "Suddenly, Norway has got plenty of talents coming through. It is similar for Chelsea now and I hope we can finally make it after so long out of these summer tournaments."

Norway's play-off path sees them face Serbia on Thursday, March 26. Should they progress, they will face Scotland or Israel in the final on March 31.