MAINZ (VG) supporters are desperate as Erling Braut Haaland looks set to leave the club, but the 21-year-old has made a lasting impression.
VG was in Marbella in January 2020 when Erling Braut Haaland spent time with his new team-mates for the first time following his transfer from Red Bull Salzburg.
Several hundred supporters have traveled from the German industrial city of Dortmund and stand along the fence every day to follow their new Norwegian team and attackers during training camp on Spain’s sunny coast.
German journalists asked what they could expect from the then 19-year-old Jærbuen, who had destroyed Austria’s top flight and Champions League. Could he soon feature in one of Germany’s biggest clubs? It seems they don’t really believe it, but they already got the answer in the first league game.
On January 18th, the Haaland WWK Arena arrived in Augsburg with their new teammates. For almost an hour, Borussia Dortmund fought hard and ended up bottom 1-3. Haaland sat on the bench. The then coach Lucien Favre, 64, knew little about what qualities the Norwegian possessed, and replaced him after a brief hour, but the polite Swiss might not even have imagined what influence Haaland would have.
Just 20 minutes later, Jærbuen had scored three goals. Borussia went from 1-3 to 5-3. His teammates looked surprised. Favre smiled and laughed. German journalists shook their heads and declared that the Bundesliga had been given a new star.
After the game, Haaland came to the press zone with the match ball under his arm. He had to give it to Alfie’s father. He simply described the experience in a way that others could also recognize themselves in:
“That hurts so much!”
A little over two years later, Haaland played what was probably one of his last games for Borussia Dortmund at Mainz earlier this week. He has long been established as one of the best players in the world and is wanted by big clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester City and Barcelona.
– It’s crazy how much he means to the team. When he’s not playing, he’s created an offensive challenge. When he leaves Borussia for the summer, the team will be in trouble, Patrick Berger told VG.
The German has followed in the Norwegian’s footsteps at the club as a Sport 1 reporter. Haaland’s career in the yellow shirt has included some great moments. The hat-trick against Augsburg was followed by a new Haaland showing on his home debut in front of over 81,000 spectators a week later.
Then the youngster crushed Paris Saint-Germain superstars in the Champions League.
– Haaland is a player that all Dortmund fans will remember forever – and they will remember him with a smile, said Berger.
Check out some of Haaland’s highlights in a Borussia Dortmund shirt here:
1 of 7Photo: Reuters
In total, Haaland has scored 80 goals in 81 games for the yellow shirts. If it weren’t for the injury problems this season, the numbers would probably be even higher.
– He will leave the club with a big legacy. No other player in BVB history has scored the same number of goals in the same number of games, said Berger.
Alfred Preissler, who died at the age of 82 in 2003, is the highest-scoring player in Borussia history with 174 goals in 11 seasons in the 1940s and 50s.
Most importantly, excited fans should have seen Haaland take that record.
– They want him to love Dortmund and stay here for the rest of his career, Dirk Krampe told VG.
He is a commentator for the local newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten and has worked with the club for the last 14 years. The German said fans were desperate because Haaland’s time in the city seemed to be coming to an end.
– He is a fantastic striker and a man with charisma. It’s very sad for the supporters when they see a player who wants to go to another club. Therefore, I also find it difficult to say how he will be remembered.
At the same time, Krampe doesn’t find it a surprise that he’s on his way to selling Haaland. The German coach believes the club’s management have agreed that it will happen since the transition in 2020. Then the Norwegian coach signed a contract containing a buyout clause of around 750 million kroner.
That is a clause that a number of other clubs are looking to activate for the summer.
– There are questions about his future every day, week after week, but the club knew when they bought Erling that he would not be here for more than two years. The club have also previously shown that they have managed to handle situations like this. In 2014, they had to replace Robert Lewandowski, and they did it, says Krampe, who was clear that life at Dortmund would have continued even without Haaland, but it would have been a painful moment for supporters on the Norwegian’s day at the club. more.
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