During an exclusive video interview with Eurosport Norway Haaland was shown footage of a game for Molde when he scored four goals in an astonishing first-half blitz, a match that he has already admitted was a pivotal moment for his career.
The birth of a superstar: When Haaland scored 4 goals in 21 minutes for Molde
Eurosport Norway commentator Kenneth Fredheim and host Gunnhild Toldnes revealed that they heard from sources that Manchester United were amongst a host of European giants present at the game and asked Haaland whether he knew there were teams there.
“No, I had no clue!” Haaland replied.
And, when you have a look and listen to the interview I did after the match, I smiled a lot, and they managed to get me to say ‘it was fun having people there watching me’, but I actually didn’t know.
Toldnes reminisced: “I think you said something very nice after the match, because we were nagging on and on about ‘where are you heading now, what are you going to do now?’ and your reply was ‘I want to go to a club that can take good care of me!’”
That club ended up being RB Salzburg where Haaland was allowed to develop and this season showed his prowess in the Champions League before moving to Germany in January.
Former Molde and Norway U21 manager Tor Ole Skullerud, who is an expert for Eurosport Norway, was then asked about the decisions Haaland has made.
“Yes [they have been the right decisions], because it can be really tempting to choose a little bit bigger than Austria, Salzburg, when he got his first international breakthrough.
“It’s something about the timing, to get the correct environment, the right manager, the right people around him in the club. In Molde it was safe and was a good place for Erling to be, and they have managed to make the right decisions for the steps after that as well.
“Now, we have to give him time in Germany, even though he’s had a breakthrough that many people can only dream about, but to get comfortable and find a place you feel good, and have the correct people around you, that is very important and the people around Erling has been very good with this.”
WHAT HAALAND LOOKS FOR IN A CLUB
For Haaland moving to or choosing a new club is all about timing but also about being self-aware.
“It’s what Tor Ole is saying that for me timing is everything.” Haaland said.
You’ve got to time how good you are, how good the club is, the people there, how they take care of you, how they help you evolve.
There is a lot of factors and I remember when we discussed Salzburg and different clubs we figured out very early that Salzburg was the best option.
“And I’ve always thought ‘I can’t overrate myself’. That has always been important to me, saying ‘yes, I’m good, but there’s a lot of good players out there’ so that has always been very important to me, to not think that I’m better than I actually am.”
Haaland on the shooting advice he got from Solskjaer
It’s that sort of astonishing level-headedness at such a young age that has earned Haaland plenty of plaudits so far and it certainly can go a long way to explain why he never seems to be overawed no matter what the stage.
As for Haaland he is just keeping his feet on the ground and believes it is just the start of something potentially very special.
“I’m feeling very well, and yes, it’s been like a dream, but there have also been matches in the past that haven’t been that good, so it hasn’t been perfect.
“But I’ve had some very good years. Today I’m very happy, and I still have very good people around me, if not better, so I’d say this is just the beginning and there is much more to come.”
Expert view: Why Erling Haaland won’t leave Dortmund this summer