Everything you need to know about Erling Haaland after his two-goal Premier League debut

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With the eyes of the world watching, Erling Haaland showed he was the real deal after last week's disappointing Community Shield performance, scoring twice on his Premier League debut for Manchester City in the 2-0 win at West Ham.

It is hard to think of a player who has made a bigger impact both on and off the pitch in recent seasons. Since bursting onto the scene as a teenager, he has smashed records, embarrassed goalkeepers, and positioned himself alongside Kylian Mbappe as the heir apparent to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Refreshingly, as well as being a 'tremendous Nordic meat shield' when he crosses the white line, Haaland is also blessed with an infectious, quirky personality away from the field.

So, now that we're all going to be talking about him, GOAL thought it was the perfect time to give you all of the facts to share with your mates.

  • Alf-Inge Haaland Erling HaalandGetty Images

    Born in Leeds - and could have played for England

    Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few seasons, you'll know that Haaland's father, Alf-Inge, was a pretty handy footballer himself, perhaps most famous for having his career pretty much ended by a vengeful Roy Keane.

    During his own career in the 1990s and early 2000s, the midfielder turned out for the likes of Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Manchester City. It was during his time in West Yorkshire that his son Erling was born.

    Unfortunately for Gareth Southgate, the striker never showed an inkling to represent his birth nation, instead joining Norway's international setup.

  • But he was raised a City fan

    Despite being born in West Yorkshire, it was City - one of his father's other clubs - that Haaland supported as a kid.

    He confirmed as much when he signed for the club this summer, saying: "I was born in England. I have been a City fan my whole life. I know a lot about the club.

    “In the end, [deciding to sign was down to] two things. I feel at home here and I feel I can develop and get the best out of my game at City."

  • Erling Haaland Man CityGetty Images

    He won the genetic lottery

    Haaland was fortunate enough to be blessed with not one, but two sporting parents.

    As well as growing up around football through his father, his mother Gry Marita Braut was a champion heptathlete back in the day. And that, reader, is why he is an absolute specimen.

  • World record holder

    A huge shoutout to André Noruega for discovering this gem. We'd quite like an end of season Premier League standing jump as part of a sports day. Sprints, discus, maybe even a bit of wrestling.

  • He nearly chose a different sport

    Athletics was not the only sports that Haaland showed a natural talent for as a child, as his father explained in an interview with Dagbladet.

    "It was before he started playing football. We used to take him to athletics so he could test himself. Erling played handball, athletics and cross-country skiing til he turned 14. Norway's handball manager wanted him to play handball," he said.

  • Thankfully he chose football

    And did not take long for Haaland to start making an impact in the senior game.

    18 goals in 14 appearances for Bryne's reserve side earned him a call up three months before his 16th birthday. That's not bad going is it?


    The first time - but definitely not the last - Haaland made headlines around the world was when he put Honduras to the sword during the 2019 Under-20 World Cup.

    He helped himself to a scarcely believable nine goals in his side's 12-0 victory, in what was his side's final group game. Only one of his haul came from the penalty spot and despite not scoring in any other match, he still easily claimed the Golden Boot.

  • Erling Haaland Salzburg 2019Getty Images

    Champions League record breaker

    After impressing in Norway for Bryne and Molde, Haaland earned a move to Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019. Champions League football followed in his second season at the club and in typical fashion, he left a pretty strong first impression.

    In his maiden European fixture, Haaland bagged a fine hat trick in a 4-2 win over Genk - becoming just the 10th player to score three on their competition debut.

    The goals kept on coming as the Champions League progressed too, with Haaland one of only four players to score in each of their opening five games.

  • Strange sleeping habits

    Once Haaland found his stride at Salzburg the hat tricks racked up with metronomic regularity. This left him with an abundance of match balls, and the striker had an interesting way of toasting his success.

    "They lie in bed and I sleep well with them," Haaland told Dagbladet. “I look at them every day. The best thing is to score goals. "In Salzburg I have five [match balls]. They are my girlfriends."

    It's not the only strange sleeping ritual that Haaland has admitted to. A few years later in 2021 he revealed that he had taken to using the Champions League music as his alarm.

    "That's my alarm tone. I wake up to it every day. It's the last song I'd get tired of. I wake up to it. So I always get a perfect start to the day."

  • He fancies himself as a MC

    Back in 2016, he and Norway youth international teammates Erik Botheim and Erik Tobias Sandberg formed Flow Kingz. The trio have one release to date: Kygo jo.

    We're sure De La Soul are quaking in their boots.

  • His surprising idol

    Back in his youth, when Haaland wasn't in the studio he was expressing his love for one of the Premier League's quintessential 'streets won't forget' players, Michu.

  • Getting started with a bang in Dortmund

    After tearing Europe apart at Salzburg, Haaland spurned down advances from most of Europe's top clubs to sign for Borussia Dortmund in January 2020.

    The eyes of the world were firmly fixed on his debut, but fitness concerns saw him start on the bench. This forced him to watch on as his side slipped to a 3-1 deficit inside 46 minutes.

    He was finally introduced just before the hour, and what came next is legendary.

    23 minutes, three goals. Wow.

  • Erling Haaland Dortmund 2021-22Getty Images

    A unique player of the month award

    Haaland must be the only player in history to have won a player of the month award despite playing just 59 minutes in total.

    He clinched the Bundesliga honour back in January 2020, after following up his electric debut with a fine brace against FC Koln.

  • Haaland Dortmund BesiktasGetty

    His numbers are unreal

    Haaland's lightning start very much set the tone for the rest of his Dortmund career.

    He would finish his first half-season with 16 strikes in 18 games, while goal hauls of 41 (in as many appearances) and 29 would follow in subsequent campaigns.

    By the time his City move was confirmed Haaland held a bucket load of Bundesliga records. These included, deep breath:

    • The quickest player to 25 goals
    • The quickest player to 50 goals
    • The youngest player to 50 goals
    • First Dortmund player to score on their Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal debut
    • The youngest player to score four goals in a game
    • First player to score five goals in their opening two games
    • Best goal-per-minute ratio in Bundesliga history
  • He loves retro shirts

    The Coventry City shirt is niche, but Halland has shown a love of all things retro, being pictured in a Boca Juniors shirt on holiday and plenty of others on his Insta. How did he not make our list of the Best Dressed Premier League players?

  • And he doesn't mind a loud fit

    Take these leopard print pyjamas for instance...

    Or this Burberry two-piece.

  • Man v machine

    This is what Premier League defender see when they close their eyes now. That's just the way it is.