The FIFA World Cup will begin in Qatar in less than a week, showcasing the greatest football action from a legion of players. The Manchester City phenomenon, Erling Braut Haaland, however, won’t be there.
Since he broke out through RB Salzburg, the Norwegian has only gone on to master the art of goal scoring, first with Borussia Dortmund and now Manchester City.
But Norway failed to make it to Qatar. This forces an undesired disruption in the 22-year-old’s record-breaking debut season with Manchester City.
Here is a look at some of the ways the Viking of goals could spend the span of the World Cup. An appeal: do indulge this imagination taking flight.
Go back to his pod
Haaland has often been called a robot, for various reasons. Much of this tag rooted in awe.
It could stem due to the disjointed, and rapid, way he runs. It could be the way he puts away chances with metronomic regularity; thus clinical as a machine. All in all, the World Cup month would be the ideal time for him to recharge, reboot, and get on with destroying records.
Of the many things that could happen in the Qatar World Cup, one thing is certain — Kevin de Bruyne will miss Haaland. The Belgian must have grown accustomed to everything and anything he puts into the box being converted by Haaland. Though Belgium has a star-studded front, it will take some doing if they are to make the most of KdB’s incisive passes like the Norwegian.
What if Haaland turns up for Belgium after a face swap – Mission Impossible style? Fanciful? Yes. It is that kind of a wild trip where the mind is trying to reconcile with the fact that Haaland won’t be there in Qatar.
Of the many scenarios swirling in the head, this might be the most plausible, but also the least imaginative. In this scenario, Haaland fills his room with a million screens, all showing his colleagues and competitors battling it out in Qatar, while he trains in anger, waiting for club football to start. Surely, this could happen. Alright, maybe with fewer screens than a million.
Take up Maths
What better time to add a non-sporting skill to your resume? Why Mathematics? Considering the number of records Haaland is breaking and the colossal number of goals he is scoring, Maths makes sense. Considering his precision in finishing chances, calculations and angles should not be hard for him.
He likes nets, as in putting the ball into the net. Why not explore another skill – which is a sport in itself – involving nets? The fact that Norway is the second-largest exporter of fish and seafood in the world makes it even better. Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola, might vouch for this activity, as the patience and tenacity involved in fishing might hook Haaland and help him in his football.
Master another sport
What about Haaland trying to master another sport?
Taekwondo? Zlatan Ibrahimovic has already taken care of that. Gymnastics? A gymnast of his size would be a sight. Basketball? Who wouldn’t pay to see that. Cricket? He would be an incredible striker of the ball, a la Tim David.
But sadly, the reality could be a little bit boring. Guardiola has revealed that his star forward might spend the World Cup playing golf in Marbella, Spain.
“He will be in Marbella or Norway. How perfect he is when he returns will depend on how he behaves in Marbella. He has a house there. He will play golf and hopefully not eat much and drink much,” said Guardiola.
Whatever Haaland ends up doing this World Cup season, one thing is certain — after the event, he will be a main draw again.