Erling Haaland has always had a degree of charisma about him. On the pitch, his impressive running and finishing mean the eyes gravitate towards him, but off it, there has always been a hint of something below the surface to him as well.
That first became apparent on the European stage while giving an interview in English after a Champions League fixture with RB Salzburg. Just 17 at the time, Haaland responded quickly and bluntly to every question, some finding it highly amusing, while others called it disrespectful.
This summer he was also seen hanging out with Real Betis icon Joaquin in Marbella, who also has a reputation as one of the funniest characters in Spanish football.
In her own interview with Diario AS, agent Rafaela Pimienta explained that the Manchester City forward was one of the funniest people she knew.
“It is impossible to think of him and not smile. He is a hilarious boy. We both look at each other and start laughing, it’s inevitable. It’s one facet of him, the other is that he’s hyper-professional and serious about his work.”
“I recently saw him at his house, I brought him a report from his social networks… of 84 pages. He did not want highlights, he wanted to read it in its entirety. After three hours without getting up, studying him, he suddenly said: ‘I’m starving, when will you let me eat something?’ By God Erling, you are at home, eat when you want! He is a super-dedicated boy.”
Haaland has grown up around the media spotlight with Alf-Inge, his father, also playing football professionally. It would have been easy for him to recede into bland answers and cliches as a result, but he appears to have retained plenty of personality. So far, it has served him well.