In a recent interview with TV 2, Manchester City forward Erling Haaland opened up about his footballing idol and major source of inspiration during his formative years.
The 23-year-old Norwegian striker revealed that he looked up to Portugal and Al Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo, citing the legendary player’s influence on his playing style and development.
Haaland, who joined Manchester City in the summer of 2022, has been in sensational form, boasting an impressive record of 69 goals in just 71 appearances.
Instrumental to Manchester City’s historic treble success last season, Haaland attributes part of his success to studying Ronaldo’s movements on YouTube.
The young forward shared insights into his learning process, stating, “I remember always watching him on YouTube for his movements in the box: He used to make two or three moves before attacking the space he wanted to be in.”
Haaland emphasized the importance of timing and positioning, especially in aerial duels with center-backs, drawing parallels with Ronaldo’s ability to deceive defenders with his small yet effective movements.
Haaland highlighted Ronaldo’s evolution as a player, from his early years at Manchester United to becoming a prolific striker at Real Madrid. The Norwegian expressed admiration for Ronaldo’s goal-scoring prowess and ability to adapt his game over the years.
Despite his recent success, Haaland faces a setback as he will miss the remainder of Norway’s Euro 2024 qualifying games due to an injury sustained in the 2-0 victory over the Faroe Islands.
Nevertheless, his journey and acknowledgment of Ronaldo’s influence add another layer to the narrative of rising football stars finding inspiration in the footsteps of legends.