Erling Haaland has disclosed that he chose to pass up a transfer to Real Madrid in favor of the Premier League winners this summer because he feels “at home” in England and because he thinks Manchester City would help bring out the best in his playing. The highly sought-after striker, who also acknowledged having supported City his “whole life,” also gave gratitude to his father Alf-Inge for the choice.
After activating Haaland’s £51 million Borussia Dortmund release clause in early May, City outbid many other elite European clubs to secure the 21-year-old. Real Madrid was rumored to be one of the front-runners to recruit the striker, who seemed intent on moving to Spain, but the in-demand hitman chose City.
The Norwegian has subsequently discussed the main reasons for his transfer choice, which he made with the help of his father, a former City player. Haaland disclosed: “First, a little about my father.
“I have raised a City supporter and was born and raised in England, so I have extensive knowledge of the team. In the end, I believe two things: I feel somewhat at home here. Additionally, I believe that at City, I can improve and play to my full potential.
“He (Alf-Inge) resided in England and was a member of the team. Obviously, a lot has changed in the previous 20 years, but he lives here and is familiar with it.
“We’ve been talking primarily about how things are, what would be best for me, what this is and what that is, and how to learn everything. He has been a decent father in that situation.”
On Friday, Haaland posted on Twitter to express his enthusiasm about taking on his next football challenge and to pay honor to his father. In the striker’s post, he uploaded two images of himself as a youngster sporting a City shirt with the word “Dad” printed on the back. “To be continued…” was written in the description, along with the emoji for “soon” and a blue heart.
Alf-Inge played 47 times and scored three goals during his three seasons with City from 2000 to 2003. In addition to playing for Leeds, where Erling was born, Haaland senior also spent time with Nottingham Forest. However, his tenure in England was infamously overshadowed by a career-threatening injury received in a contentious collision with Manchester United’s Roy Keane.
Since then, Erling has gone on to surpass his father’s sporting accomplishments and establish himself as one of the most admired strikers in the history of football. Haaland, who scored an astounding 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund, has continued his hot streak into the current international break. On Sunday, he scored twice in Norway’s 3-2 victory against Sweden, bringing his total for the nation to 20 goals in 21 appearances.