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Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

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Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Talent identification and development of players for the national team has been on for decades from the home front, where close to fifty percent of players from the league played for the Super Eagles. When at some point Nigeria doesn’t necessarily need to go overseas to scout for talents due to avalanche of talents in the league.

But recently, the story has really changed drastically compared to what the league provided in terms of production of talents, as the flux of talents isn’t forthcoming as it were then, but in recent time Nigeria has started looking elsewhere for talented youngsters who are of Nigerian descent, which has been fruitful and successful since the NFF started seeking that part with the recent invite of Heracles Amelo center forward Cyriel Dessers and FC Cologne right Kingsley Ehizibue.

Although there are many different issues tied to talent scouting when it comes to talents scouting other countries in which these youngsters are. Monitoring their progress and performance in every club they are, and as time progresses if these youngsters blossom we get to see those countries give them the opportunity to turn out for them on a bigger platform which is the national team.

However, it’s doesn’t usually come easy sometimes as some of these youngsters end up switching allegiance just like we had with John Fashanu, Gabriel Agbonlahor and several other footballers that turn out to be superstars.

Today, in this piece, we sought after some youngsters of Nigerian descent who could play for Nigeria in the future.

Jubril Okedina – Tottenham Hotspur

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

If there is a new player that could turn out for the Eagles in the future is definitely the Tottenham Hotspur defender, according to report the Nigeria Football Federation was in an advantageous position in securing his service after he pledged his international future to Nigeria.

The Tottenham defender is born to Nigerian parents, and his yet to represent the England national team at the youth level or the senior level which makes it easier for Nigeria to get him, with the fact that he has opened a line of communication with the NFF, especially with the Vice President of the Federation for him to play for Nigeria if he eventually get that call up to play the Eagles, Eaglets or the dream team.

In fact, Okedina should have been considered by the coach of the Eagles U23 team, but Imama Amapakabo had already picked his team which hampered his chances of getting the nod to play for Nigeria, however, if he gets to play for Nigeria he is a utility player that can also slot in perfectly at the right-back despite playing as a center back, which he has shown with Tottenham reserve team.

All things being equal, if Okedina keeps up his consistency and performance with Tottenham, perhaps one day he might be one of Super Eagle’s defense marshals.

Josh Onomah – Fulham

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

The Enfield born is another talent waiting on the wing for a switch of allegiance, Onomah is eligible to represent Nigeria due to his parents country of birth, although Onomah has represented England at the youth level when he won the FIFA U20 World Cup 2017 and the UEFA European U17 Football Championship.

The Fulham midfielder came through the academy rank of Tottenham, however, he hasn’t been able to play much with the London based side, in 2019 he moved to Fulham as part of the deal that brought Ryan Sessegnon to Spur, Onomah justify his move to Craven Cottage when he scored his first goal against Leeds United last year.

If Onomah is consistent and never relent in his development, he might one day play for Nigeria, most importantly he must show the interest that he wants to play for Nigeria and critically the scouting team of Nigeria and the Football Federation must find him good enough, perhaps he might end up with any of the team.

Faustino Anjorin – Chelsea

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Anjorin only made his debut against Grimsby Town in EFL Cup four months ago and he’s yet to establish himself as a regular player with the Blues senior team, however, Anjorin possess the ability and charisma of a good leader which he portrayed in the EFL Cup and when he played and captained the youth team in the 2019-20 FA Youth Cup.

The English born is one of the key players for Chelsea and he has been very instrumental in their 2019 U18 Premier League South season triumph, Onomah is a pacy, and skillful winger who comes with good quality on the ball.

Although the Three Lions have everything to convince him to play for them, however, if the NFF are swift enough in their approach for the winger, perhaps he might end up wearing the Green and White jersey.

READ ALSO: Bukayo Saka & Ebere Eze: Allegiance Tussle Between England & Nigeria Looks Imminent

Xavier Amaechi – Arsenal

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Amaechi is highly regarded as one of the most talented and gifted youngsters to emerge from the Gunners academy since the likes of Fabregas burst into limelight and has shown that he can develop to the standard and quality-wise of what Fabregas brought to the table when the Spaniard was with Arsenal.

The young Gunners is a player with loads of amazing qualities which could serve any team he turns out for, although he is still 17-year or thereabout and already doing wonders with Arsenal U23 when they won the Premier League 2 season.

Although Amaechi is still very young, he might be too young to play for the Super Eagles now, but his talent could still be useful for the Dream team, perhaps the U23 team if he’s good enough.

Jordan Aina – Chelsea

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

It’s only a matter of time before we would see the half brother of Ola Aina, the young Chelsea man his growing in leaps and bounds for the Blues youth team both in the Premier League 2 and in the youth FA Cup

Jordan could bring defensive stability to the Eaglets team if he is dime good enough for the team, England also has a say on the young lad but with the presence of his senior brother in the national team he might end up switching his allegiance to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, not every Nigerian descent players born outside would play for Nigeria, however, anyone good enough and talented should be scouted, and convince to represent Nigeria to continue the trend the Super Eagles team is currently enjoying now, and with what Jordan has shown with his versatility by playing as a full-back and as a center back with the Chelsea youth team he could be considered.

Michael Obafemi – Southampton

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

The name Obafemi does remind us of former Super Eagles forward Obagoal. Nay! not Obafemi Martins, the young Saint forward has been a force with Southampton since his promotion from the youth team. He’s been a regular for Southampton’s B team in Premier League 2. He has started nine of their 11 matches, in fact, scoring five goals – taking his total to a modest 20 in 52 for the Saints’ Under-18 and Under-23 teams.

Obafemi has committed his international future to Nigeria for a long time, however, he needs to keep his head up and continue developing as a young player that still has a lot to learn, which he has shown with the youth team and he would surely prove a handful for the Flying Eagles opponent if he does get a call.

Perhaps he might end up bringing back the old memories with the kind of goals Obagoal scored for the Super Eagles, it left to be seen if he could actually replicate that, but then all he needed is just to get his chance and take it.

Nathaniel Ogbeta – Manchester City

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Ogbeta is a classy midfield maestro that can translate defensive play to attack, and he has the vision to posses into fast-flowing attack when going forward to attack the opponent couple with his eyes for goals.

The 18-year old has continued to learn and improve at a tender age under the tutelage of capable hands at the Etihad, and critically with the English youth team as the captain of his U18 club which is a testament to how good Ogbeta his.

The future holds a lot for Ogbeta, perhaps one day he would be one of the important figures in Nigeria team if he gets the call and also show the interest in playing for Nigeria just like many had done for the Super Eagles.

Arthur Okonkwo – Arsenal

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Another star in the making who was highly rated by Wenger when he was still in charge of the Gunners is an 18-year-old shot-stopper.

Arthur made 14 appearances across all competitions last season, keeping seven clean sheets and conceding 12 goals. He kept a clean sheet on his Premier League 2 debut at just 17 years of age, and he went on to concede just once more in his next three league outings. Arthur’s also made four appearances for England at under-18 level.

Okonkwo has made some breathtaking performances for his team which made fans really surprised that at his tender age he is already posing good performance for the youth team.

For Okonkwo to had trained with the likes of Petr Cech when he was with the gunners, it’s a testament to how fast he is developing with his game, perhaps if he decides to choose the country to play for he might choose Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Nigerian-born Footballers Who Never Played For Super Eagles

Malcolm Ebiowei – West Ham

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Ebiowei started his football with the Gunners, but due to some off-field issues he couldn’t continue his development with the Arsenal youth setup, which led to his trial with West Ham U18 team last year, the versatile midfielder has shown his outstanding displays while with Gunners U15, but unfortunately for Ebiowei, he couldn’t continue with the team.

Ebiowei is well-grounded for taking set-pieces which is a big plus to him as a young footballer just coming through the ladder, and his rapid development has been likened with that of Alex Iwobi perhaps because they share the same agent.

The 16-year- old has once trained with the Eaglets in Sao Paulo, but was a surprise omission from the team squad to the FIFA U17 World Cup, at least with that kind of opportunity he might want to play for Nigeria in the future if he keeps up with his development and consistency.

Layton Ndukwu – Leicester City

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

The 21-year-old winger is a product of Leicester City academy but joined Southend United on a season-long loan last year, but due to lack of playing time, he was recalled back into the team this year.

Ndukwu was known for his pacy move and tricks, and he is one of the stars of the youth team at Leicester, that the club put much faith and hopes in going forward for them in the future, maybe he might come good and go on to represent the senior team of Leicester.

The winger has played for the English U17 team, with over 17 appearances and six goals to his name, however Ndukwu his also eligible to play for Nigeria due to his root.

Jonathan Afolabi – Dunfermline Athletic

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Afolabi started his youth football with Shamrock Rovers and St Joseph’s Boys before he moved down to England with the academy team of Southampton, a team that is well known for producing decent talents, following his lack of games with Southampton, Afolabi moved to Celtic in 2019.

Getting to Celtic, Afolabi found playing time hard to come by with the Scottish champions, so he was loaned to Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish championship until the end of the season and he made his debut just last month with a 3-2 win over Queen Of The South.

Afolabi has played for the Irish U21, named in the UEFA European U19 Championship team which means it’s still visible to have him play for Nigeria, if he is dim good for any of the national team, and for talent, he would be a useful acquisition for Nigeria especially with his strong and fast playing ability on the ball.

Chinedu Ekene – Bayern Leverkusen

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

The German-born Ekene has represented Germany from U15 to U18 level, which means he is still eligible to play for Nigeria with the fact that his father is a Nigerian, and he hasn’t represented the Die Mannschaft at the senior level yet.

Even the coach of Nigeria Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr is working so hard to convince the Leverkusen player to commit his international future to Nigeria, a report has it that Ekene might end up playing for Nigeria any time soon.

Ekene who is one of the players to be promoted to the Leverkusen side next has earned a lot of praises following his mouthwatering performances in the U19 league, where he has shown he can deliver at the highest level.

READ ALSO: Top Nigerian Stars Who Are Doing Well For Their Respective Clubs

Joshua Zirkzee – Bayern Munich

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Following the thrashing of Hoffenheim by Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga with a 6-0 win, Dutch-born Zirkzee was scouted by Gernot Rohr last weekend, the Nigeria Football Federation target has been receiving praises from ex-players of the team following his performances since he was promoted to the first team of Bayern.

Zirkzee is an efficient striker and has registered his name on the score sheet for Bayern three times in the German Bundesliga in just 100 minutes, averaging a goal per every 33 minutes for the German champions.

According to Salihamidzic, Zirkzee is a young lad who has developed really well in the past few months and he has learned to be more precise in front of goal, all of those accolades show Zirkzee is a player the NFF should reach out for before the Dutch national team secures his services.

Felix Agu – Osnabruck

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Agu who is a German U21 international and is a versatile fullback who recently signed for Werder Bremen for the 2020-2021 season, Agu will still be with his parent club until next season before he would join Bremen.

The full-back broke into the Lilac-Whites’ first team in 2018 after spending eight years with the youth setup and has been consistent for Daniel Thioune’s men this season, featuring in 15 league games.

The Osnabruck right-back is a talented young lad that can rival any right back in Nigeria team, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea if Nigeria could have him play for the team in the future.

His development with Osnabruck has been a consistent one, and for a player who has good speed, a good passing when playing in a game and a brilliant match-reading skill, if he continues on that route perhaps the big clubs around the world would come calling for his service, which is currently showing with his performance in the Bundesliga 2, with fifteen games and six assists to his name.

Topman Izuwa – KFC Uerdingen

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

Izuwa was born in France to Nigerian parents but was moved to Germany after his birth and he has a German passport which means he could play for either France or Germany, although Izuwa has confirmed his desire to play for his motherland.

According to Izuwa statement, “I do not have that connection to France even though I was born there, I feel a stronger connection to Nigeria and my father also taught me about my roots never to abandon them, it is not only because of my parents but my own desire to play for Nigeria“.

However, Izuwa also said he won’t turn down an invitation from the German Football Association if they extend the invitation to him, meanwhile, he also said he loves Nigeria and it is his desire to play for the team or the team that sees him as an important player.

Jonas David – Wurzburger Kickers

Talent Hunt: 15 Youngsters Of Nigerian Descent Who Could Play For The Super Eagles

The German-born defensive midfielder plays for the Würzburger Kickers, on loan from Hamburger SV, David need consistent playing to develop his game so he was loaned out to enhance his abilities, following his last season exploit with Hamburger when he led the U19 to glory in the league and he was widely regarded as one of top prospects footballer in the club.

The young midfielder has revealed that he would love to play for Nigeria instead of Germany at any level, David was quoted saying, “I want to make my father proud and playing for the country that he comes from will help me fulfill my aim of making him very happy“. David has never been to Nigeria but he hopes to get an invite to any of the national teams.

David has one similar thing with that of former Eagles captain John Obi Mikel, he is very versatile, have an eyes for long and short passes, therefore if he continues with his development with the Kickers, definitely the sky is just a starting point for the young German-born.

 

 

 

 

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7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players

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7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players

When it comes to loyalty and commitment in the beautiful game, there are few football players who are able to pledge their allegiance and refused to be swayed by big offers. For every Ashley Cole, there’s also a Totti.

There are players who when they reach their potentials, will get easily swayed by money and the probable fame that will follow their transition to other clubs. While other players would simply remain at their current club because of the love they have for the club.

The first set of players who leave the club when bigger clubs come calling are always remembered for their exploits while at the club. But, the second type of football player who ignores the temptations of leaving their ‘most loved’ football club sides is regarded as heroes.

Meanwhile, there are some known players who have showcased utmost loyalty for their respective clubs. For instance, Francesco Totti waved off Real Madrid’s offer in 2006, stating AS Roma as his family and he’s never seen a situation where a child would leave his poor parents to go live with rich strangers.

But what about other unpopular loyal players like Francesco Totti, Stephen Gerrard or even Mark Noble?.

Here’s a list of 7 most loyal football players

  • David Zibung (Goalkeeper) – FC Luzern (18 Years +)

7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players

The life of this Swiss goalkeeper has been all about his boyhood club, FC Luzern. The +37-year old was born in Hergiswil which is in the Nidwalden region in Switzerland.

He joined the youth team of FC Luzern in 1999 and was there till 2003. Zibung grew in leaps and bounds with the Luzern main team, ever since he broke into the first team, he’s never for once considered leaving the club.

Technically, Zibung would’ve spent eighteen years at Luzern by July 2021. But he’s definitely spent more than eighteen years given that he’s been at the club’s feeder team before 2003.

Zibung remains one of the oldest and longest-serving loyal goalkeepers of the Swiss League.

  • Hidekazu Otani (Midfielder) – Kashiwa Reysol (18 Years)

7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players

Otani is a midfielder of note, who joined his one and only club in 2000 as a teenager. Now 36 years-old, Okami has been deployed in many parts of the midfield but his natural position is the defensive midfield where he plays comfortably well.

The Japanese veteran midfielder has on numerous occasions been offered to leave his club but his love for the Sun King club has held him back so much so that he’s willing to retire at the club when the time comes.

While some quarters may believe that Hidekazu Okani had been at Kashiwa for eighteen years, the fans of the club see him as an integral part of the club’s history given that he’s won laurels with the club severally.

  • Igor Akinfeev (Goalkeeper) – CSKA Moscow (18 Years)

7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players

Akinfeev is probably the most popular player we’re x-raying in this Exposé. Akinfeev, Russian, is the Russian National Team goalkeeper and captain, as well as his club side, CSKA Moscow.

History has it that the 34-year old shot-stopper has been at CSKA Moscow since the age of four. His father sent him to the Sports School of CSKA where he began his goalkeeping career and won the Russian Junior Championship in 2002 with the CSKA Moscow team.

Akinfeev would make his debut for CSKA Moscow at sixteen, precisely 2001 where he saved a penalty and also had a clean sheet. He has played over five hundred matches for CSKA Moscow, winning six Russian Cup titles, six Russian Premier League titles as well as the 2005 UEFA Cup with the club.

His incredible rise to stardom is down to his personality and ingenuity as a goalkeeper. He’s arguably the best goalkeeper the Russian nation has ever produced and has been on several international tournaments for the country since he joined the national team.

It may sound bizarre but Akinfeev has spent thirty years at the Red-blues. That is a huge commitment mixed with loyalty.

READ ALSO: 7 of the Best Fitness Coaches In Football

  • Ismed Sofyan (Defender) – Persita Jakarta (18 Years)

7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players

Talking about the most loyal player, Sofyan’s loyalty isn’t about his club alone, it’s for his country and his country’s elite league, The Indonesian Super League – Not that he’s an amateur.

Yes, he may have played for a couple of club sides in the Indonesian league, but his love and unwavering support for his country is immeasurable.

Sofyan currently plays for Persita Jakarta, a club he joined in 2002 that has made him become the longest-serving player in the club until now. The 41year-old right full-back is a free-kick specialist. He was only privileged to play for the Indonesian National Team for just 53 times.

7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players

As of July 2020, Lewinton is the longest-serving player for a single club in English League having spent sixteen years with The Dons.

The English left-back joined MK Dons after a successful spell with Wimbledon in 2004. Lewington, 32, has made over seven hundred appearances with more than 250 different team-mates.

He’s witnessed two promotions and relegations as the club’s captain for the years he’s been at MK Dons and he’s grateful for the sort of longevity he’s had.

He told daily mail in 2016 ‘It’s not like the Premier League where you get five-year deals. It is one or two years. When we won promotion to the Championship in 2015, I was out of contract on the final day as we were celebrating.’

  • Koji Homa (Goalkeeper) – Mito HollyHock (21 Years)

7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players

Undoubtedly a popular figure in the Japanese league, the 43-year-old goalkeeper currently plays for the above-named club in the second tier of the Japanese League, J2.

After graduating from high school, he joined the J1 League side Urawa Reds in 1996 but couldn’t play more often before crossing to Mito HollyHock in 1999 and never looked back.

He’s helped Mito HollyHock achieve some amazing feats since he joined in 1999 with the biggest of them being the promotion of the club to J2 in 2000.

In his twenty-one-year sojourn with the club, Koji Homma holds the record for the player with the highest number of matches played in J2.

  • Lee Casciaro (Forward) – Lincoln Red Imps (22 Years)

7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players

The 38-year-old Gibraltar striker scored the only goal of the game when his Gibraltarian minnows club (Lincoln Red Imps) shocked Celtic and to a larger extent, the rest of Europe in their Champions League qualifier at the Victoria Stadium in 2016,

Cascario, 39, has been at the club since he was eight years old and has spent twenty-three years as a first-team member.

It should be agreed that Lincoln Red Imps was made for Cascario, given that two of his younger brothers have played for the club as well.

With three international goals, Lee Henry Cascario is currently Gibraltar’s all-time goalscorer since the 33,684 populated nation joined UEFA.

 

Honorable Mentions

    • Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao): 11 years, 8 months, 3 days
    • Tarantini (Rio Ave): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Stefan Radu (Lazio): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Vincent Manceau (Angers SCO): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Anthony Lopes (Lyon): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Koke (Atletico Madrid): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Roberto Torres (Osasuna): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Gerard Pique (Barcelona): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow): 12 years, 8 months, 3 days
    • Mario Gaspar Perez (Villarreal): 12 years, 8 months, 3 days
    • Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moscow): 13 years, 1 month, 3 days
    • Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur): 13 years, 1 month, 10 days
    • Volodymyr Chesnakov (Vorskla Poltava): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
    • Mahmut Tekdemir (Istanbul Basaksehir): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
    • Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
    • Sergio Busquets (Barcelona): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
    • Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk): 13 years, 8 months, 3 days
    • Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow): 13 years, 8 months, 3 days
    • Marcelo (Real Madrid): 13 years, 8 months, 3 days
    • Sammy Bossut (Zulte Waregem): 14 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid): 15 years, 4 days
    • Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Francesco Magnanelli (Sassuolo): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Jessy Moulin (Saint-Etienne): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Oier (Osasuna): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Sergio Alvarez (Celta de Vigo): 16 years, 2 months, 4 days
    • Mark Noble (West Ham United): 16 years, 8 months, 3 days
    • Lionel Messi: (Barcelona): 16 years, 8 months, 3 days
    • Denis Sinyayev(FC Avangard Kursk)18 years
    • Ismaeil Matar (Al-Wahda): 19 years
    • Petr Literak(Frýdek-Místek):  22 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Erling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking Rise

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Erling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking RiseErling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking Rise

Erling Haaland was always going to become the ultimate striker and probably the best number 9 on the planet. Also, there’s every possibility that one day, he may become a Ballon D’or winner. But, there’s still one mystery, how did he become the cyborg that he is today?

Haaland continues to be a goal machine, becoming the quickest player in history to reach 20 Champions League goals. His goal from the spot in the UCL round-16 second leg tie against Sevilla was his 20th goal in just 14 appearances in the competition, which broke Harry Kane’s previous record of 24 games.

Erling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking RiseErling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking Rise

UCL- Round of 16 Second Leg – Borussia Dortmund v Sevilla – Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany – March 9, 2021 Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring.

“Of course he’s fast, powerful, good around the goal and he’s got real soccer sense. But it’s more of his energy, it’s his infectious personality that I think is like a magnet; it draws people to him, it makes people want to be around him.” Those are the words of Red Bull Salzburg manager, Jesse Marsch.

Grab a handful of popcorn and sit back as we unfold the story behind the rise of this Norwegian beast, goal machine, and keeper’s nightmare, Erling Braut Haaland.

Haaland’s Salzburg Breakthrough

As at when Jesse Marsch was appointed as Salzburg manager, Haaland had been at the club for about six months and had only played one game. And then he went to the U-20 World Cup where he scored nine goals in one game.

From his Salzburg debut, Haaland, who had already impressed at the Norwegian league with Bryne and Molde left observers with no doubt about the quality he possesses.

Erling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking RiseErling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking Rise

Erling Haaland (L) and Dominik Szoboszlai (R) both of FC Salzburg celebrate after the champions league group E match between FC Salzburg and KRC Genk at Salzburg Stadion on September 17, 2019 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Andreas Schaad/Bongarts/Getty Images)

He would become one of the best strikers on the planet because the talent in him was very obvious. In a chat with oh-my-goal, Jesse Marsch revealed that Haaland’s personality was the first thing he fell in love with about Haaland.

“The first couple of days I worked with him, what impressed me more than anything else was his personality on the pitch. He was just relentless! He worked harder than anyone.”

But beyond his raw talent in Salzburg, Erling Haaland left his mark on the locker room with his personality. He had a smile on his face and got along incredibly well with his teammates. Therefore, it wasn’t just his talent, it was his overall energy.

Erling in person had a really positive influence on his teammates. Erling the player, was a selfish assassin who scored 29 goals in 27 appearances for the Austrian club.

Meanwhile, he also always talked about making his teammates happy. “The best memory I Had of him was when we were getting penalties in just about every game, and he was giving them to all the other attacking players.

“And then, after a player missed a penalty, I said Ok, Erling has to take the penalties and I told him he would be taking the penalties”

It’s incredible to have such a talented player who loves to score goals, be the one that is giving the penalty responsibilities to the others because he wants them to feel the power of success, the power of scoring goals, and the power of confidence. That says a lot to me about the character of Erling.” Marsch revealed.

At 19, when most people think about personal glory, Haaland was already a perfect teammate and a future leader which was unprecedented for a player as good as he was and in his age range.

Without a doubt, Haaland’s personality was great enthusiastic and it did really have a big effect on a lot of people at Salzburg.

READ ALSO: Fall From Grace: Bolton Wanderers Steep Decline

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Influence

Erling Haaland may owe his incredible rise to his immense talent and his positive leadership qualities. But that’s not all, Cristiano Ronaldo also played a huge role in Haaland’s evolution.

People often say that Erling Haaland is the next Cristiano Ronaldo but is the CR7 comparison justified?

Certainly, Erling is more of a pure striker than Cristiano but from a power football perspective, his ability in the transition to affect games like the Portuguese ace makes the comparison justifiable.

Haaland himself admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo was his role model but if like Cristiano, Erling broke all the goalscoring records, it’s not really the part of football that CR7 has influenced.

Haaland is following in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps in terms of leadership and he even is now a role model to many players just like Ronaldo was to him.

Cristiano Ronaldo has had positive effects on his teammates and in every team, he’s played in which really helped him overtime right from his days at Manchester United and Real Madrid. But for Erling, one could really see that right from his young age that it’s a natural quality he has.

It will be up to Haaland to continue to modify that aspect of himself and mold that in a way that he can become a really strong leader within his teams as he continues to grow older.

Above all, Haaland took inspiration from Cristiano Ronaldo in one essential area, work ethic. Like CR7, he’s always hungry to improve. “He really worked hard a lot. After training, he would stick around to finish, to hit some crosses, to work on his heading.” – Jesse Marsch, RB Salzburg Coach.

Like CR7, Erling Haaland thinks every little detail counts. He would wear special glasses because he felt like when you look at your computer all day long or your cell phone, that your eyes would start to fade and so he had that special glasses he always wears.

And while he has his own personality, Erling is directly inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo especially when it comes to nutrition and work ethic by picking the most hardworking professional football player in history as his role model.

Perfect With BVB

Borussia Dortmund activated his €20 million (£17m/$22m) release clause, beating United and Leipzig to his signature after all three clubs held meetings with the player, his father, and agent Mino Raiola.

Borussia Dortmund already had forward Paco Alcacer on the books, but saw Haaland as such a generational talent, that they were willing to offload the Spain international to give the Norwegian teen an even better chance of success.

CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says that they had been looking for someone with Haaland’s particular skill set for a long time and could not pass up the opportunity to sign him.

“We always wanted to have a center-forward who has a different way of playing football,” Watzke told Goal and DAZN. “But this guy also had to come onto the market first.

There are not many who are 1.94 meters (6 ft 4 in) tall and that fast. Actually, nobody else comes to mind. It was just an opportunity that you don’t get very often. – Goal.com

Dortmund offered the striker the best chance of regular game time as they promised to make him their first-choice striker, something Alf-Inge Haaland admits is crucial to his development.

Haaland’s Dortmund story got off to the perfect start with the most incredible debut against Augsburg. Trailing 3-1, Lucien Favre sent on the teenager from the bench and was rewarded with a 22-minute hat-trick to help secure a 5-3 win.

Erling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking RiseErling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking Rise

Erling Haaland Hits 23-Minute Debut Hat-Trick as Borussia Dortmund Beat Augsburg 5-3

READ ALSO: Mario Gotze: The Making, The Decline & Possible Resurgence

Haaland’s Future

Having revealed all the secrets that make Haaland an outstanding striker, in all honesty, the Norwegian striker has no limit because he keeps getting better at Dortmund.

He was incredible at Salzburg. “We were obviously so sad to lose him so quickly because we had a lot of fun and success with him, but we’re also very proud of him and we’re really excited to see him continue to push himself and move forward and show everybody in the world how good he is.”

And today, he’s showing just how good he is in Germany. He used to only be seen as a superpowered and superfast goalscorer. But at Dortmund? He’s also shown his technical advances and his in-game intelligence and influence.

He’s more and more capable of keeping the ball, playing in different positions, taking part in the game, in short, he’s become the ultimate striker.

Giving his unique skill-set and amazing personality, he will definitely sign for a bigger club in years to come. Yes, he may experience some difficulties, but his quality will help him manage whatever challenge that comes his way and in-turn become the best number 9 of not only his generation but in football history.

 

 

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