Haaland 'loved' Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic as a youngster

Oleh Tom Webber 12 Disember 2020 11
Haaland 'loved' Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic as a youngster

Erling Haaland loved watching Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo as a youngster, according to his father.

Since making his Borussia Dortmund debut last January following his arrival from Salzburg, Haaland has scored 33 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions to establish himself as one of Europe's leading strikers.

The 20-year-old Norway international – who won the 2020 Golden Boy award – looked up to former Swansea City forward Michu, but his father Alf-Inge Haaland revealed he particularly liked watching the most prolific players.

"He was a born striker. He loved the strikers who scored a lot of goals, but two in particular: Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo," Haaland Sr told Tuttosport, the newspaper that organises the Golden Boy award. "He also had a soft spot for Mario Balotelli during his time with Manchester City.

"He is never satisfied with himself and trains continuously because he wants to become the best.

"He's super focused and lives for football and scoring goals. If he scores two goals and is substituted, he goes off angry because he wanted to stay on the pitch and try to score another goal.

"With that mentality he combines good technique, excellent timing and an innate ability to understand where the ball will arrive in the area. This is why he scores so many goals."

Among players in the top five European leagues, only Ronaldo (37) and Robert Lewandowski (40) have scored more goals in all competitions than Haaland in 2020.

Haaland shot to prominence with eight goals in the 2019-20 Champions League group stage and on average finds the back of the net in the competition every 56 minutes - the best ratio of all players to have scored at least 10.

He consequently continues to be linked with a move to the world's elite clubs and Haaland Sr admitted his son is always keen to test himself as much as possible.

"He is very happy there [Dortmund], but Erling loves challenges and in football you never know in advance what the future holds. We'll see," he said.

Haaland will be unable to add to his tally again this season, having been ruled out until January with a hamstring issue.

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Tom Webber

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