We can challenge the king of European football

From our special correspondent in Monaco – Erling Haaland earned the prestigious UEFA Best Player award as the youngest player in polling history, he was twenty-three in July. When he lifted the same cup in the 2010/2011 debut season, Argentine idol Lionel Messi, now second, was a year older.

And precisely because of Haaland’s youth, the whole football world is wondering: how far will his career reach. She is already downright dreamy.

Black adorns hunters

At the trophy ceremony in Monaco’s Grimaldi Hall, which graced Thursday’s Champions League draw, Haaland appeared in all black. They could not wear black jackets, black shirts, black ties, shoes, or any other color. After all, black suits are chasers – maybe just soccer goals. Her blond head stood out even more, her longer hair pulled back into a ponytail.

Measuring 194 centimeters, Haaland’s majestic figure commanded great respect even on stage. This time, however, fear did not leave him, he destroyed it with a welcoming and benevolent smile, on the contrary, he spread well-being around him. He is only dangerous on the ground. And it’s just about defending your opponents.

When he gripped the silver cast winner’s trophy in his enormous hands – notably with a black base – it was obvious to all present that it was inseparably his.

During the traditional short speech, he recalled his father Alf-Inge, a former player for English clubs Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and also Manchester City, thirty-four times Norwegian representative, who played a big role in football education of his son. .

He got there by a rather interesting detour. When asked if he didn’t mind coach Pep Guardiola yelling at him (as he does with all his players), he replied that his father yells at him too and that they have a very nice relationship.

What is hidden in the head

Everyone who follows football knows very well that it is very difficult to be the ward of the declared Spanish despot, stricter than the president of the registration committee. Especially for a young player. “Something I’m still trying to figure out in my head, something I don’t even know,” Haaland admitted humorously that Guardiola’s methods of preparing players mentally are very unusual.

Erling Blaut Haaland

  • Born: 21/01/2000, Leeds – England
  • Player career: FK Bryne (2005-2017), Molde FK (2017-2019), Red Bull Salzburg/Austria (2019-2020), Borussia Dortmund/Germany (2020-2022), Manchester City/England (2022).
  • Achievements: UEFA Best Player 2023, Golden Boy – Europe’s Best Player Under 21 2020, Champions League Winner 2022/2023, Super Cup Winner 2023, English Champion 2022/2023, FA Winner Cup 2022/2023, winner of the Super Cup 2023, double Austrian champion 2018/20019 and 20019/2020, winner of the Austrian Cup 2019, winner of the German Cup 2021, Golden Boot 2022/2023 (36 goals)
  • Norway national team: 2019-2023 (25/24)

He had to fight hard to get a place in a star team. “At first the officials didn’t even really trust him. They weren’t convinced that he was the right man to attack Manchester City with the aim of finally winning the Champions League, even though he scored one goal after another,” revealed Czech expert Jan Říčka, who worked as a scout for the English club. reinforcement until the end of last season. “They had to adapt his way of playing and his settings a bit,” he said.

Haaland has made his mark by helping to enrich the club’s Hall of Fame with the most valuable exhibits. When asked what was the hardest thing for him after joining the England super team, he thought for a moment and then he confessed. “All !” But he counts on his youth. “I know that I can still learn a lot and improve myself”, he does not intend to remain motionless. “I’m going to work hard on myself,” he refuses to be content with what he has achieved.

Photo: UEFA

Aitana Bonmati of FC Barcelona and Erling Haaland of Manchester City – Best Player and UEFA Player of the Year.

But at the same time, he remains firmly rooted on the pitch. “I don’t set myself any challenges, I don’t set myself lofty goals. I know they can only be achieved with hard and honest work every day. That’s where Coach Guardiola is truly a master. Thanks to him, I found myself in the ideal place where I can evolve”, he congratulates his trainer.

Haaland has finally proven his quality, he has landed a privileged position. Thanks to his games, Manchester City is the best club in Europe, in the English Premier League, with 36 hits, he created a new goalscoring record of the richest and most admired domestic competition.

World Championship on Television

The representation situation is different. Despite his best efforts, the Norwegian striker failed to qualify for the World Championship which took place at the end of last year in Qatar and is included in the ranking of the ranked year. The Scandinavian team finished in third place without advancement (not even in the play-off) from the European qualification group G, they were pushed there by the Netherlands and Turkey. Montenegro, Latvia and Gibraltar finished behind him.

Ranking in the UEFA Top Players Poll

  • 1. Erling Haaland (Norway/Manchester City) 352 dots
  • 2.Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain) 227
  • 3. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City) 225
  • 4. Ilkay Gundogan (Germany/Manchester City) 129
  • 5.Rodri (Spain/Manchester City) 110
  • 6. Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint Germain) 82
  • 7. Luka Miodric (Croatia/Real Madrid) 33
  • 8. Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia/Inter Milan) 20
  • 9. Rice Declan (England/West Ham United) 14
  • 10. Alexis McAllister (Argentina/Brighton) 12
  • 11. Jesus Navas (Spain / Sevilla FC) 6

And it was the appearance at the World Cup with a famous final duel, where two incredible football personalities stood out – Lionel Messi on the triumphant Argentinian side, Kylian Mbappé on the defeated French side, author of three goals – which prompted many voters to seek the best footballer of the old continent in this successful tournament.

This is also what the coach of the Czech national team thought. “During the season, the biggest event was the World Cup and Lionel Messi was the biggest personality and the driving force behind the winning team. He played phenomenally in the championship,” Šilhavy justifies his voice. In third position, he places the second (or first!) character of the French striker Mbappé in the final.

How Czech representatives voted in the poll

  • Jaroslav Sihavy, coach of the Czech national team

1. Messi, 2. Haaland, 3. Mbappe

  • Stanislav Hrab, media representative

1. Mbappe, 2. Messi, 3. Haaland

However, that doesn’t call Haaland’s coronation into question. “In the end, he won the poll, which is also a good choice,” admits Šilhavý. “He had an amazing season, broke records and eventually won the Champions League as well as the English title,” he recalled.

Unreachable highs

The European monarch is well aware of the strength of Norwegian representation. “Honestly, achieving the treble with Norway is unthinkable, it’s really not possible,” he admitted.

But he constantly thinks about his homeland and would like to please his fellow fans. “I want to play in the World Championship, or at least the European Championship,” he said. “I will do everything for this, because my country deserves it,” he promises.

Norway have only competed for the global football fest twice so far: in 1998 in France, they reached the round of 16, where they lost to Italy four years earlier in the United States. United, she did not come out of the core group. It was only introduced to the continental scene in 2000, when the tournament was co-hosted by the Netherlands and Belgium.

So no glory. Haaland, the new king of European football, would like to change this unflattering situation.

John Robinson

"Extreme gamer. Food geek. Internet buff. Alcohol expert. Passionate music specialist. Beeraholic. Incurable coffee fan."

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