What Alf-Inge Haaland told Erling Haaland about signing for Man City
Alf-Inge Haaland used his memories of playing for Manchester City to help persuade son Erling Haaland to sign for the Blues.
Haaland Jr was a man in demand this summer and City paid his £51m release clause from Borussia Dortmund to beat off plenty of competition. Clubs like Real Madrid, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain were all mentioned as possible destinations, but it was City who won the race for the prolific 21-year-old.
In his first interview after becoming a City player, Haaland said his father had played a key role in his decision to move to the Etihad, and revealed the conversations the pair had from Alf-Inge’s days at Maine Road two decades ago.
“First of all my father a little bit [played a role], Haaland said.
“I was born in England. I’ve been a City fan my whole life. I know a lot about the club. And I think in the end I feel a bit home here and also I think I can develop get the best out of my game.
“He lived in England. He played for the club. Of course, a lot of things have changed in the last 20 years but he lived here so he knows what it is and we’ve just been speaking about basically how it is, what’s the best for me? What’s this? What’s that? And try to find out everything and he’s been a good dad in that in that thing.”
Haaland has been pictured at the Etihad as a child, and at Wembley, while City announced his signing by recreating a now-famous picture of him sitting on a sofa wearing an old home shirt. However, the striker said his memories of Maine Road are not as strong of his visits to the Etihad.
He explained: “I’ve been to a lot of games [at Maine Road] but I don’t remember. But I was on a lot of games with my mom, sister and brother.
“I’ve been to the Etihad a couple of times before, watching games. And it’s beautiful. I like the colour and also I played the big huge stadium and I’m looking forward to play the way.”
Haaland was also asked about comments from former Leeds player and Norway youth coach Gunnar Halle, who praised the striker’s relentless desire to practice his skills and technique.
Asked if he ever gets annoyed when other talented players don’t put similar work in, Haaland said: “I don’t get annoyed but I remember when I was young there was a lot of good players around me that had huge potential but there was so many talents that goes to waste because they don’t have it or they don’t want or they think this is the right thing or whatever.
“So yes, of course. I think it’s really important to to train a lot but also to train right and to do the right things and to practice on the right things. I think that’s a really, really important thing to become good at football isn’t the only thing that you accelerate.”