Erling Haaland destined to ‘smash a lot of records,’ says Norwegian great Erik Thorstvedt

Thorstvedt, a former worldwide goalkeeper for Norway who represented Tottenham Hotspur within the 1980s and 90s, used to dwell in the identical neighborhood as Haaland; his son would even line up towards a staff that featured the Borussia Dortmund ahead, now among the many greatest strikers in European soccer.

“There was this one match in Norway where he scored four goals in 20 minutes. And that’s when everyone was a bit like: ‘Oops, what’s happening here?'” Thorstvedt tells CNN Sport.

At the age of 20, Haaland has already written his identify into soccer’s report books.

He racked up 20 Champions League targets in 14 video games — sooner than every other participant has reached that mark — and can be the primary teenager to rating in his first 5 Champions League appearances.

In Germany’s Bundesliga, he’s the primary to rating 25 targets in his first 25 matches and he additionally hit a hat-trick in 19 minutes and 48 seconds on his league debut.

Such is his goalscoring prowess that some have tipped him to attain the identical heights as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But Thorstvedt, who turned to broadcasting and punditry in Norway since retiring from soccer, thinks such comparisons put undue strain on Haaland.

“If you look back in 15 years, he will have smashed a lot of records and he will have scored a lot of goals and be recognized as a really great player,” says Thorstvedt.

“But I don’t think we should put him on the Ronaldo and Messi platform, at least not yet. Let us take that as a pleasant surprise, if that happens.”

Standing at 6 ft four inches, Haaland cuts an imposing determine in Dortmund’s frontline and enhances his energy and measurement with blistering pace and ruthless ending.

But Thorstvedt explains how that wasn’t at all times the case.

Erik Thorstvedt (center) speaks with Teddy Sheringham (right) during the closing ceremony of Tottenham's White Hart Lane stadium in 2017.

“Now he’s massive, almost like a monster on the pitch, but he didn’t used to be like that, and I think that’s actually been an advantage to him because he had to work harder,” says Thorstvedt.

“When you physically dominate, it comes easily to you. It’s maybe easy also to get a bit lazy.

“When he began to develop and develop into this monster as he’s, then clearly that was simply added worth on high of every part else.”

‘Incredibly quick’

It’s no fluke that Haaland has loved a lot success so early in his profession.

“He’s a very clever participant as a result of he seldom goes in offside positions and he occasions his runs actually, very well,” notes Thorstvedt, adding that Haaland’s speed helps him to get behind defensive lines so often.

“When he activates the turbo button, the ludicrous button and simply takes off … he is so extremely quick for such a huge individual … you assume it is simply brute pressure, nevertheless it is not. I imply, he is bought these deft little touches.”

On Wednesday, Dortmund faces Manchester City in the second leg of the sides’ Champions League quarterfinal.

The German side will need to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the previous leg in order to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2013.

With Dortmund currently fifth in the Bundesliga, six points adrift of fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, failing to qualify for next year’s Champions League is a distinct possibility.

That could lead to Haaland seeking out a transfer in order to keep playing in Europe’s premier competition, and Thorstvedt highlights Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United as potential clubs the forward could represent next season.

“I do not assume there’s actually that many groups who may say: ‘Well, he isn’t for us,'” says Thorstvedt.

“Given the prospect, if you happen to simply let him play each recreation the entire season, he’ll find yourself with a lot of targets. Definitely.”

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