Erling Braut Haaland: Is Red Bull Salzburg striker really ‘the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic’?

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Red Bull Salzburg have won eight and drawn one of their nine league games this seasonBBC coverageHow to follow:Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport websiteThe new Zlatan Ibrahimovic?That was the question one newspaper asked in September after Norwegian striker Erling Braut Haaland announced himself in the Champions League with a debut hat-trick in Red Bull Salzburg’s 6-2 win over Genk.Maybe Ibrahimovic wouldn’t agree – after all, there is only one Zlatan – but it is an understandable comparison.The two Scandinavians, both well over 6ft tall, have an unwavering confidence in their own ability. Both have a reputation as prolific goalscorers.But while Ibrahimovic is nearing the end of his football career, 19-year-old Haaland is just starting. He has scored 17 goals in 10 club games, including four hat-tricks, and will look to add to that tally for Salzburg against Liverpool on Wednesday (20:00 BST).Born in Leeds, and mad on Leeds United, Haaland grew up loving the English game. A chance to test himself at Anfield will be a significant moment.From West Yorkshire to West NorwayWhy Leeds? Because of his father.Alf-Inge Haaland was a tough-tackling midfielder at Elland Road between 1997 and 2000, helping them reach a Uefa Cup semi-final and finish third in the Premier League.Erling was born in the city in 2000 but moved to Bryne in Norway with his family when he was three, following his father’s retirement.For someone who was such a huge fan of English football, it was perhaps the ideal move for Erling.”That part of Norway gets quite a lot of rain,” says Norwegian journalist Nils Henrik Smith, who grew up in Bryne and was taught PE by Alf-Inge.”But around the time the Haalands moved there, the local football team built a new indoor hall, so it made it easier for kids to play football all year round.”Erling’s potential from a young age was clear and, after joining Bryne, a growth spurt in his early teens meant he was fast-tracked through the club’s youth teams, often playing alongside team-mates a year or two older.A change of management led to the club’s youth-team boss taking over the first team, and he gave Erling his debut at the age of 15.”I was there for his starting debut,

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