Seven signs Erling Haaland is football’s wackiest star – from awkward workouts with 'world’s sexiest athlete' to £2k PJs | The Sun
HE’S the unstoppable goal machine who’s often compared to The Terminator.
But in real life, Erling Haaland is far from a robot, with a quirky, larger-than-life personality that has frequently left fans in stitches.
Not only does the Manchester City striker, 22, have 35 goals to his name this season, but he also has a bizarre 'cannibal' diet and an astonishing wardrobe of luxury pyjamas.
Mix that in with hilarious interviews, questionable 'dark art' tactics during matches and some very awkward run-ins with influencer supermodels and you have the makings of a truly once-in-a-generation striker.
Here, we reveal nine ways City's Number 9 has made his mark – on and off the pitch.
‘Dark arts’ tactics
Haaland is considered among the world’s greatest footballers – as highlighted when he became the Premier League’s highest goal-scorer with five games to go.
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But it seems he's not always gentlemanly about his tactics, which have amused some fans and left others slamming his "childish mind games".
Earlier this month, the star was branded a "madman" after making a rather unusual shout to his opponent.
During his team's 3-0 victory against West Ham, viewers were stunned as he appeared to yell “hit me in my balls” while standing in the wall for a free kick.
“This man is a different bread I swear,” declared another tweeter.
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While another said: “Just when I thought I couldn't love Haaland anymore…”
Last year, he also appeared to mock Everton defender Ben Godfrey by pulling a funny face in a video which quickly went viral.
He was attempting to mimic the player's complaints to the referee and fans found it hilarious.
One wrote: "Football is so much better when players have a personality, these were at it all game and made for a great watch."
In another bizarre moment, Haaland was accused of having “no respect” by Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka after apparently farting throughout their Champion's League clash.
Hilarious footage emerged of the defender, 28, pinching his nose while his rival grinned broadly.
Later, Goretzka told international newspapers that Haaland “farted every time we approached him”.
The revelation, which fans joked could explain his whopping score sheet, led some to rebrand the star “Erling Fartland”.
One amusingly quipped: “Extra propulsion for additional speed.”
Haaland's reputation for being a jokester led to him being cast in a Sky Sports video, where he explained what he was doing while his Man City teammates were at the World Cup.
In the video, he was seen driving a lawn mower, dressing up like the club's mascot and pretending to talk with teammates' football shirts.
He said: "I have been working hard while the guys are away. Sometimes it's a bit boring but time is flying.
"I do miss all the banter, I'm not going to deny… celebrating goals alone it's not the same."
In another video back in March, Haaland and Jack Grealish handed out an Oscar-style award to the team's "biggest fraud".
They announced the gong would go to Ruben Dias and the England ace said he was "in the gym four times a day" but they "never see anything".
Haaland added: "Yeah, I mean, he's all the time in the gym and the results… where is the results?!"
Haaland’s stomach issues may come as no surprise considering his, erm, unique diet.
The star has revealed he eats huge chunks of freshly-butchered heart and liver, which he says maintains his peak performance on the pitch.
His unusual intake led him to be compared to the fictional cannibal Hannibal Lecter, originally seen in the film Silence Of The Lambs.
In the 2022 documentary Haaland: The Big Decision, he said: “You (referring to other people) don’t eat this but I am concerned with taking care of my body.
"I think eating quality food that is as local as possible is the most important.”
Haaland consumes a whopping 6,000 calories a day – more the double the recommended amount for men – and often requests cheese and ham omelettes from Man City chefs.
His odd consumption habits don’t stop there as it was also revealed he only drinks water from a complicated filter system that has multiple tubes and cords.
He starts the day by getting “some sunlight in my eyes”, which he said was “good for cardiac rhythm”, before having his pimped-up H2O.
“I have also started to filtrate my water a bit. I think it can have great benefits for my body,” Haaland said.
The star, who regularly takes ice baths, drinks the fluid from glasses that filter out blue light and claims it helps to improve his sleep.
Haaland's quirky personality extends to his social media accounts too.
In an April Instagram post, he revealed he drinks a "magic potion" – aka goats milk – and share some snaps of him at a farm.
The footballer also has shared a number of snaps of himself in animated scenes, including one showing him as a Viking.
In one post depicting him with a zombified face, he wished fans "HAPPY HAALANDWEEN!!".
On another occasion in March, the star shared a touching post to mark International Women's Day – but it didn't go exactly to plan.
He posted a word search but referred to it as a "crossword puzzle", leading to mockery from fans.
One wrote: "What makes it even better is that isn't a crossword puzzle."
Another, making light of the situation, quipped: "Babe, are you feeling okay? You didn't even finish your Official Erling Haaland International Women's Day Crossword puzzle…"
In comparison to most media-trained footballers, Haaland's post-match interviews are a breath of fresh air.
Back in 2019, he revealed that he sleeps with up to five footballs in his bed and branded them his “girlfriends”.
Haaland told Dagbladet: “They lie in bed and I sleep well with them… I look at them every day. The best thing is to score goals.”
“In Salzburg, I have five," he added. "They are my girlfriends."
And it seems the tradition has continued since joining Man City, as part of a £51.2million five-year deal in 2022.
When quizzed about the odd antics in February, he replied: “It’s true. I love when I score a hat-trick to just feel the ball a bit more.”
But when he's not talking about his 'girlfriends', unlucky reporters canoccasionally draw the short straw with some very awkward responses.
In September 2019, after netting three goals to help his side Red Bull Salzburg win against Belgian team Genk, his very half-hearted post-match interview left fans praising his "dry wit".
The reporter asked: “You made history scoring your first-half hat-trick, how are you feeling right now?
Haaland replied, “I feel good”, before being pushed to elaborate.
He added: “You asked how I feel. I answered.”
Next Haaland was quizzed about his “secret” behind scoring 17 goals in just nine games, only for him to give the answer: “To work hard.”
The exasperated reporter then asked: “You go to Liverpool in two weeks' time. Your father [Alfe-Inge Haaland] scored at Anfield in 1997, are you hoping to follow suit?"
The star said: “I hope so.”
Sometimes with Haaland, it appears the less said, the better!
Footballers are renowned for their expensive tastes in clothing – but the Man City ace appears to have focused on a very specific type of outfit.
It seems that Haaland has a penchant for expensive pyjamas as he's got a wardrobe full of pieces costing up to £2,450 a set.
In April, he was snapped in red, white and black Dolce & Gabbana PJs that cost £1,000 while flying to the Monaco Grand Prix.
Haaland’s also dined out in his nightwear too – including at high-end Manchester restaurant Rosso, when he wore a powder blue silk shirt that cost £1,100.
Last December, he shared a snap of himself in £2,450 Dolce & Gabbana pyjamas while wishing fans a Happy Christmas.
The footballer’s teammates reportedly “have a giggle” at his odd dress sense.
One source told the Daily Mail: “He has so much money but look what he wears!”
Haaland also got a bit of flack for a GQ photoshoot in January when he let down his flowing blond locks.
Keeping in peak physical condition is a must for any sportsperson, yet it seemed Borussia Dortmund took an unorthodox approach to fitness while Haaland was there.
In 2021, they hired Olympic hopeful Alica Schmidt, who was branded the “Sexiest Athlete in the World” by Australian magazine Busted Coverage.
After spotting photos of the 24-year-old stunner, one fan quipped: “That’s why players stay in Dortmund.”
Another described it as “the greatest strategy of any club to keep their best players" and a third added: “I bet this is why Haaland didn't wanna leave."
A year later, Haaland recorded an exercise video with fitness guru Pamela Reif, who has nine million followers, to help Dortmund fans exercise at home.
And the pair appeared to hit it off during their nine-minute video, especially when the football found some stretches too hard to complete.
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After the hilarious and awkward video was posted, one fan wrote: “I like Dortmund’s strategy of keeping Haaland at the club."
Sadly for supporters of the German football team, Haaland left the club later that year to join Man City.
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