Erling Braut Haaland: Dortmund’s wonder kid cannot stop scoring

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February 20, 2020
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    Erling Haaland

    Erling Haaland completed 90 minutes for Borussia Dortmund for only the third time in their win over PSG

    Thirty-nine goals. Six hat-tricks. Eleven goals in seven games for Borussia Dortmund. Ten goals in seven Champions League games. All at just 19 years old.

    Erling Braut Haaland’s stats this season are ridiculous.

    The Norwegian’s remarkable scoring form continued on Tuesday as his two goals gave Dortmund a 2-1 win over Paris St-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

    His latest goals – one a tap-in and the second a thumping strike from 20 yards – mean he has reached double figures in the Champions League four games faster than any other player in the competition’s history, and is the only teenager to reach double figures in a single season.

    Kylian Mbappe, an opponent on Tuesday, did not manage it. Cristiano Ronaldo did not manage it. Even Lionel Messi did not manage it.

    In fact, the striker has scored more goals in the Champions League in 2019-20 than the entire Barcelona team, and is the first player in Dortmund’s history to score in his first Bundesliga match, first match in the German Cup and in his first match in the Champions League.

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    But Haaland, who is now the competition’s top scorer this season along with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, is not getting carried away.

    “I am glad about the man-of-the-match award, but feel like I still can do a lot better,” he said. “I have to play better at this level, have to work hard to improve.

    “The result is quite a dangerous one, as PSG has a very strong team and can still go through in the return leg.”

    Since joining Dortmund in January, his 11 goals have come in only 450 minutes of football – averaging a goal every 41 minutes.

    Only 11 players have scored more Bundesliga goals than Haaland this season, even though he has made only five appearances.

    He won the Bundesliga player of the month award for January – despite playing less than an hour of football in the month.

    Giovanni Reyna celebrates with Erling Haaland

    At 17 years and 97 days, Giovanni Reyna (left) is the youngest player to assist a goal in the Champions League since November 2007

    His second goal against the French champions was assisted by fellow youngster Giovanni Reyna (son of former Rangers, Sunderland and Manchester City midfielder Claudio).

    Leeds-born Haaland, the son of former Leeds and Manchester City player Alf-Inge Haaland, was linked with Manchester United and Juventus last month but joined Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg for 20m euros (£17.1m).

    Before his move, Haaland scored eight goals in the Champions League group stage for Salzburg, the second highest-tally in the competition at that point.

    Previously he would not have been allowed to play for two clubs in the competition in one season. But Uefa changed the rules last season, so it no longer matters if a player has already featured for another club.

    “He is a goal-scorer, he is 19, he’s a great talent,” said team-mate Axel Witsel.

    “He still has huge room for improvement but he is on the road to becoming a truly great player.”

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    February 20, 2020
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