By the end of the summer, Erling Braut Haaland’s stratospheric rise to the upper echelons of football could well be complete.
Because, by then, he could be a Champions League and German Bundesliga winner with Borussia Dortmund, and would have sampled his first major international tournament with Norway.
The young attacker bludgeoned eleven goals in his first seven appearances for Dortmund, and that incredible output has led fans of BVB to think that he could fire their team to glory on the domestic and continental front – they are into odds of 11/2 in the outright Bundesliga winner betting market.
At the time of writing on February 25, Dortmund find themselves three points adrift of RB Leipzig in second and four shy of Bayern at the summit of the table.
However, they still have ample chances to close the gap, given that they host the current German champions on April 4th and then travel to the Red Bull franchise on May 9th.
BVB have won five of their last six Bundesliga games, scoring a ridiculous 24 goals in that spell, and such firepower means they will take some stopping from here-on-in.
The Champions League is looking rather promising too. Dortmund won the first leg of their Round of 16 tie with PSG – Haaland bagging a brace in his debut appearance in the competition for his new employer, and while the French side’s away goal complicates matters the Germans will be hopeful of netting an away strike or two of their won with their Norwegian sensation in the ranks.
BVB are still very much outsiders in the betting market at 25/1 to win the Champions League, but with one tentative foot in the quarter finals those odds will surely shorten soon enough.
It’s been 20 years since Norway appeared in a major international tournament.
They were dumped out of Euro 2000 in the group stage back then, and will be desperate to make up for lost time this time around.
The Norwegians are just three games away from booking their spot at Euro 2020. They must first defeat Serbia in a two-legged tie, which they are favourites to do according to the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers odds, and then get the better of either Scotland or Israel in an all-or-nothing clash. Again, the betting market would favour Haaland & Co over either of those potential opponents.
The winner’s reward? A spot in Group D alongside tournament favourites England and World Cup finalists Croatia.
Haaland, at 19, is a curiously late starter in international football given that he was rattling in the goals for Red Bull Salzburg as far back as January 2019.
He has only made two appearances for his country, and at one point it looked as though he might choose England as his preferred international team – he was born in Leeds after all, and his father Alf Inge spent many years in English football playing for Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.
But in the end he opted to follow his Norwegian roots, and after representing them at youth level – scoring plenty of goals, naturally – Haaland made his senior debut in August 2019 as part of their Euro 2020 qualification campaign.
That was the start of a long international career you suspect, and while Norway aren’t giants of the international scene what a fillip it would be if they could take their place in Group D of the European Championships.
For Haaland, it might just cap the most unbelievable of trophy-laden seasons.