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Erling Håland

'Haaland is a top professional' – Wober reveals Salzburg star’s obsession with improvement

13:56 GMT 10/12/2019
Erling Braut Haaland RB Salzburg 2019-20
The teenager's team-mate has explained the lengths that the youngster goes to in order to hone his game and has spoken of a vital European clash

Red Bull Salzburg defender Maximilian Wober has hailed team-mate Erling Haaland as a “top professional” ahead of a vital Champions League meeting with Liverpool.

The Austrian champions go into the encounter aware that they need a victory in order to progress, with any sort of win liable to take them above the defending champions on a head-to-head basis after they went down 4-3 at Anfield.

Haaland caught the eye coming off the bench that night, scoring to level the game after his side had trailed 3-0, one of eight goals that the young Norwegian has struck in the competition, in which he is the leading scorer.

“He is an absolute top professional,” Wober told Goal and DAZN of the 19-year-old star. “While we play cards on away trips, he only reads scientific articles on how to improve his sleep or nutrition. He's always looking for the smallest details.”

Should Liverpool lose on Tuesday, they could feasibly be eliminated, with Napoli only needing to win at home against Genk to knock them out, but Wober is not interested in the arithmetic of it all. 

“We want to win the game,” he said. “With the race to catch up and the two games against Napoli, we have shown that we can compete with the best teams in Europe.

"If we become more consistent and experienced in a few situations, then we can defeat those teams as well. With a bit of luck, a good gameplan and a good team performance everything is possible.”

With the Reds flying domestically at the top of the Premier League, Wober has had plenty of opportunity to study their strengths.

“You cannot give them free space,” he said. “When Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane get going, it becomes incredibly difficult. 

“We have to be close to them and put pressure on them early so they do not start any individual actions. If we go into the match with a battle plan, then we can surprise Liverpool.”

Salzburg have never previously qualified through the group stages of the Champions League, with this just the club’s second campaign at this standard.