Haaland's former coach reveals secrets behind his rapid rise

Erling Haaland ‘put on twelve kilos of muscle in 15 months’ and has freakish genetics ‘designed in a football lab’… Borussia Dortmund star’s former coach reveals the secrets behind the 19-year-old’s rapid rise

  • Erling Haaland has emerged as one of the most promising players in the world 
  • His rapid rise has been staggering and striker is thriving at Borussia Dortmund 
  • Haaland went from skinny teenager to 6ft 4in powerhouse with electric pace 
  • His former coach Erase Steenslid has revealed the secrets behind his success

Erling Haaland is the talk of world football having shot to stardom with RB Salzburg and he is now delivering scintillating displays for Borussia Dortmund. 

The remarkable trajectory of his career has caught some by surprise but not his former coach Erase Steenslid, who has lifted the lid on the secrets behind the striker’s ability. 

He spoke to AS, who featured an image of Haaland mocked up as half man, half machine alongside the words: ‘Cyborgoal – 19 year old Haaland is designed in a football lab.’

Erling Haaland scored his 12th goal in 13 games for Borussia Dortmund on Saturday

AS featured the striker on their front page and his former coach reveals the secrets to success

The prolific forward has 12 goals in his first 13 appearances for Dortmund and every top team in Europe is chasing the youngster. 

He’s netted 41 goals combined already this season and from an early age, it was clear he was destined for sporting greatness. 

Son of Manchester City legend Alf-Inge Haaland and Norwegian national heptathlete champion Gry Marita, followed in his mother’s athletic footsteps as a child, breaking the standing long jump world record for the Under-5 age group with a leap of 1.63m.

At 13, former coach Alf-Ingve Berntsen knew he’d go all the way: ‘At 13 years old I already saw that this kid was going to make the Norwegian national team.

‘He has a very special work ethic and tactical sense.’

But Haaland’s physique needed developing and a combination of freak genetics and a voracious work ethic made for astonishing results.  

Steenslid said: ‘His body responds so well to training because his genetics are privileged.

‘He gained twelve kilos of muscle in fifteen months. It was crazy. We built his muscle from scratch. He was always the closest to the buffet and his plate was literally a mountain of food.

‘I designed a circuit for him where at one of the stations he had to hit a sack… and one day he split it in half.’

Haaland is still developing physically and packing on muscle to go with his 6ft 4in frame

His desire to work almost went too far at Salzburg and manager Jesse Marsch had to tell him to stop as he was putting himself at risk of injury. 

Even away from the pitch, Haaland tries to gain any little edge he can, meditating and using special blue light glasses to take away the glare from screens and help him sleep better.  

At 6ft 4in, Haaland towers over most players on the pitch but has the agility and speed to outmanoeuvre most. 

That said, during his time at Molde, he experienced a goal drought and credits former boss now Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with helping him become razor sharp in front of goal.  

Haaland experienced a few issues with his finishing at Molde but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer helped

Before a game against Brann, he did some extra work with Solskjaer on finishing. 

‘I remember he taught me some easy rules. That was something he taught me in the days before that game,’ Haaland said earlier this year. 

‘He has taught me a lot to be calm, and also be on your toes and come to those situation where the ball is coming.

‘It is then you have the chance to score. He deserves a lot of credit for teaching me that.’

The advice seemed to do the trick with Haaland scoring four times in the first 20 minutes of the game. The goals have been flowing ever since.

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