the ways of Erling Haaland y Manchester City they seemed destined to intersect. Blood draws, there is no doubt about that, and the redemption of the last name seemed to be a necessity. It is that several years ago, before City was the almighty team that it is today, the Android’s father knew how to wear the light blue jacket.
Alf-Inge Haaland, who is 50 years old today, was a professional footballer in the 1990s but his career ended abruptly. He began playing for Byrne, in Norway, where he made his debut at the age of 18. Unlike his son, he worked as a defender, but he was also able to play in English football.
His first club was Nottingham Forest, where he served from 1993 to 1997, played 79 games and managed to convert 7 goals. His next club was Leeds, where he landed due to Nottingham’s relegation and where he played the most games. In total, there were 87 presentations and 8 goals. There came little Erling.
But not only expanded the family in Yorkshire. His performance on the field of play earned him a transfer to Manchester City, who paid nearly two million pounds for his token in 2000.
But you have to go back a bit in time. It is that the abrupt end of Alf-Inge’s career cannot be explained without going back to 1997. More precisely to September 27. That day Leeds beat Manchester United 1-0, but what is most remembered is a play in which Roy Keane tore his ligaments due to a cross with the Norwegian, who went up in smoke because he believed that the always controversial Irishman was faking on the floor.
That somewhat irreverent temperament accompanied him in his career and continues to accompany him in his life. Recently, in the UEFA Champions League semifinal that Manchester City played against Real Madrid, he saw the father of the child in a box at the Santiago Bernabéu provoking and fighting with Merengue supporters.
More than 20 years ago, soccer made him come across someone more rude than him.
Keane did not forget that moment, and as the saying goes, revenge is a dish best served cold. The Manchester classic, four years after the original altercation, was the scene where Keane would settle the score for him.
Los Red Devils They were already Premier League champions, but they had the possibility of sending the Citizens down, who still did not have the oil of the United Arab Emirates as fuel for their economy. That meeting went down in history because fate wanted a divided ball to have the Norwegian on one side and the Irish on the other. Haaland arrived earlier and Keane, with malicious intent, hit him with extreme violence on his knee.
“I had waited a long time. I hit him fucking hard. The ball was there, I think. It was like saying, ‘Take this one, you bastard. And don’t ever look at me recriminating simulations. And don’t ever stand on me with contempt again, talking about fake injuries.”Keane confessed in his biography.
The action culminated with the Manchester United captain being sent off directly and with three ban dates. But for Haaland the punishment was much greater, since he was only able to play two more games in his career: one with the Norwegian team and another with City. He had to have surgery, but he was never able to return to a playing field again. His official retirement was in 2003.
Erling Haaland was born on July 21, 2000 in Leeds. In other words, he has no memories of his father as a professional footballer. All that he could consume is based on his stories or audiovisual material. With the injury of his father, in 2004 they settled in Norway and, from there, his story would begin.
He Android He started playing for Bryne, a second division team, where he made his debut in 2016. He only played 16 games and couldn’t score goals, but that didn’t stop him from taking an important leap in his career. In February 2017, Mold made his signing official and at the age of 17 he was already one of Norway’s greatest promises.
His numbers, to be a youth player, were really good: 20 goals in 50 games. In July 2018, Red Bull from Salzburg disbursed 8 million euros, although his signing took place in January 2019. Perhaps, with this transfer, his name began to resonate strongly in Europe. He only spent one year, where he scored 29 goals in 27 opportunities and Borussia Dortmund, which is characterized by buying young promises, disbursed 20 million euros.
Already in the elite and with greater visualization, he began to dazzle the world due to his size (1.94 meters tall), his great physical capacity and his enormous scoring nose. The expectations placed on him were high, like any young man who breaks in, but he exceeded expectations. In 89 games, he has scored 86 goals and dished out 23 assists. Fantastic. Huge. And another hundred words can be used to describe his time in German football.
The offers were not lacking, and all from the best clubs in the world, but when Manchester City picked up the phone and was willing to pay 60 million euros, Erling did not hesitate to put on the last shirt his father wore and with which he has several photos when I was little.
Speculations about whether or not he would fit into Pep Guardiola’s system, whether he would be able to play in the best league in the world and be able to maintain the looming pace he had up to then were answered in his debut season. Premier League champion, he won the FA Cup and this Saturday he will seek to be champion of the Champions League.
Those achievements would not have been possible if it weren’t for his goals. For the Premier League he scored 36 goals in 35 games – he was only absent on three championship dates – and broke the tournament record held by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole, of 34 goals in a season.
For the Champions League, the most important challenge of the season and the historic opportunity for Manchester City to be crowned European champion for the first time, he scored 12 goals in 10 games. Stratospheric numbers.
Istanbul will be the first big date of the Android. His presence is scary, since he exudes a goal and is a constant threat. Beyond his opportunity to conquer Europe at the age of 21, his challenge lies in being able to put his last name at the top. That the ghosts of his father’s injury be erased and he begins to be related to the relentless scorer that he scares and is synonymous with goals.
To redeem is to free a person from pain or a painful situation. Erling will play for glory, for history and for blood. For redemption.
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