So much has happened in the past few weeks that it’s easy to forget that there was actually football in 2020.
It seems so long ago, so irrelevant in so many ways that it can be difficult to remember that in the first couple of months we saw some pretty incredible things.
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The first thing that might spring to mind is that ridiculous game at Anfield, where holders Liverpool were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid in a game that absolutely should not have been played given the circumstances.
That was an incredible moment for so many reasons but if you were to pick one player who has truly owned 2020 and warrants (albeit stupidly early) consideration for the Ballon d’Or surely it has to be Erling Braut Haaland?
Consider this. We started the year off in the wake of the news that Haaland had chosen to sign for Borussia Dortmund in January - this after being linked to clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona. Already he was front-page news, ensuring that all eyes would be on him ahead of his bow in one of the biggest leagues in the world.

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And he didn’t disappoint.
First game, hat-trick in just over half an hour, away at Augsburg.
Second game, a brace in less than half an hour at home to Koln.
Third game, another brace in his first start against Union Berlin.
In fact, it wasn’t until his fifth game in Dortmund colours that he finally drew a blank, during the entertaining 4-3 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen. His response? Four goals in his next three matches. All told, that’s 12 goals in his first eight matches, an outrageous rate.
Haaland has more Bundesliga goals in 2020 than five other actual entire teams, including Dortmund’s arch-rivals Schalke, and across Europe in all competitions the only player to have more is Cristiano Ronaldo (13).
A lazy counter-argument here is that Haaland’s goals this season have been nothing but tap-ins, purely a beneficiary of the work of his team-mates.
Haaland would be the first to praise his colleagues but to put it all on them is to do him a massive disservice. His goals are a combination of many things; movement, pace, power, awareness and a natural finish ability. He’s scoring goals from everywhere and is a nightmare for opposing defenders whether he’s coming deep or running in behind.
This is a kid who has spent time learning under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, one of the most natural finishers we’ve seen, and soaked up every single minute.
He’s had his dad, former Norwegian international Alf-Inge, with him every step of the way, teaching him the business of football. He has recently told Eurosport about how important it is to stay grounded. He’s never come across as selfish or arrogant and it is that grounding that has allowed him to take everything that has happened to him in the past six months.

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But if you aren’t convinced of Haaland’s suitability, which is probably unlikely given everything this remarkable young man has achieved in 2020 so far, there is one more piece of evidence that is worth taking under consideration.
After Haaland’s rocket against PSG in the Champions League, the Norwegian celebrated with a “zen” meditation pose.
It was a glorious moment, one that perfectly encapsulated a young man’s peace with himself and comfort with his own, extraordinary, surroundings.
In the return leg it was the team from Paris who were triumphant and not only did their superstar Neymar recreate the Haaland celebration, so did the ENTIRE team.

Les joueurs du PSG ont pris un malin plaisir à singer la célébration d'Erling Haaland.

Image credit: Eurosport

If it was just Neymar and maybe Kylian Mbappe (two well-known proponents of the humorous celebration) you could write it off as a fairly amusing riposte to Haaland.
But it was THE ENTIRE TEAM and they KEPT ON DOING IT.
Clearly this goofy teenager from Norway had got one of the richest collection of men in the world RATTLED.
Listen to Game of Opinions from Eurosport
If that isn’t enough to convince you then I don’t know what to tell you.
2020 is something completely different.
So is Erling Haaland.
He deserves to win the Ballon d’Or as things stand.
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