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Erling Haaland claims he still isn't as good as his dad

Erling Haaland Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund's teenage sensation tells FourFourTwo about the massive influence his father has had on his career

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Erling Haaland has claimed he is still not as good a footballer as his father Alf-Inge, despite enjoying a prolific start to life at Borussia Dortmund

Erling has averaged a goal every 46 minutes in the Champions League season, and found the net nine times in his first seven Bundesliga games following his £17 million move from Red Bull Salzburg. 

Alf-Inge played for Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City across a 10-year stint in England, but retired aged 30 after struggling with a knee injury. 

Erling scored twice in Dortmund’s first-leg Champions League victory over PSG in February, but insisted he is yet to reach the heights of his father’s career. 

“No, no,” the 19-year-old told the April issue of FourFourTwo, out now, when asked if he had already overtaken his father. “But hopefully one day.

“It has always been a motivation to become better than him, and to live the life he lived - to live off football. That’s possibly the best job you can have.”

Haaland Dortmund

Alf-Inge was capped 34 times for Norway between 1994 and 2001, and represented his country at the 1994 World Cup. 

Erling only made his international debut in September 2019 and is yet to get off the mark for Lars Lagerback’s side. 

Norway face Serbia in a EURO 2020 qualifying play-off later this month, and will have to beat Scotland or Israel as well if they are to reach this summer’s finals. 

Erling reiterated his dream of winning the Champions League with his father’s former side Leeds, even if the chances of conquering Europe’s elite competition with the Yorkshire club anytime soon are slim.

“That would be a very nice dream,” he said. “My father played for different Premier League teams, so of course you become a fan. You support them because you support your dad.” 

Rashford issue

Alf-Inge was part of the Leeds side that reached the 1999-2000 UEFA Cup semi-final, losing to Galatasaray in a tie marred by fan deaths, and qualified for the following season’s Champions League. 

And Erling, born in Leeds, spoke about the positive impact midfielder Alf-Inge has had on his still fledgling career. 

“We’ve always talked a lot about football ever since I started playing,” Erling said. “We still do. For my whole life, he has been a big role model.” 

Read the full interview with Erling Braut Haaland in the April 2020 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out in shops and available digitally from Thursday, March 5. Our new magazine reveals the stars of the decade – the 50 wonderkids who'll rule the next 10 years, with an exclusive interview with Marcus Rashford, Vinicius Jr, Gabriel Martinelli, Ruben Neves, and Reece and Lauren James – as well as profiles of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kylian Mbappe. We also chat to Steve Clarke and Mick McCarthy about Scotland and Ireland in the Euro 2020 playoffs, revisit the last time Liverpool won the league, and chat to Nobby Solano, Yakubu and Wes Brown about their careers.