Haaland credits double to Mbappe's 'free boost'

Erling Haaland scoring past Bono to give Dortmund the lead against Sevilla. His double has boosted his tally to 18 goals in 13 Champions League matches.
Erling Haaland scoring past Bono to give Dortmund the lead against Sevilla. His double has boosted his tally to 18 goals in 13 Champions League matches.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEVILLE (Spain) • Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has said his brace against Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday was inspired by watching Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe score a treble against Barcelona.

French international Mbappe had set Europe's elite competition alight on Tuesday with a stunning hat-trick in the 4-1 drubbing at the Nou Camp. But Haaland was also out to make his mark, netting two superbly taken goals in his side's 3-2 last-16, first-leg win in Seville.

At 22, Mbappe is two years older than Haaland but both are considered to be the pre-eminent forwards of the next generation of football stars.

"It was good to score the goals, I love the Champions League and when I saw Mbappe scored the hat-trick yesterday, I got free motivation so thanks to him," the Norwegian international said.

"He scored some nice goals and I got a free boost from him."

Haaland's goals moved him on to a remarkable 18 in 13 Champions League matches and he is on course to overtake Mbappe as the player to score the most goals in Europe's top competition before his 21st birthday.

Mbappe struck 19 Champions League goals before turning 21 and Haaland does not celebrate his birthday until July.

He showed his potential by scoring eight times in the group stage in 2018 with Austrian champions RB Salzburg, earning him a €20 million (S$32 million) move to Dortmund in January 2019.

Haaland has now scored 10 times for the German Bundesliga side in seven Champions League games.

His insatiable scoring appetite has made him one of the most coveted players in Europe and his two goals are likely to further increase his eventual transfer fee when he moves on from the Westfalenstadion.

A man of few words, he was coy when asked how it felt to be coveted by Real Madrid.

"It's always nice when someone wants you," he said.

Dortmund beat PSG 2-1 in the first leg of their last-16 tie last year but were knocked out in the return game and Haaland warned his side not to be complacent when they host Sevilla next month.

Suso opened the scoring for the hosts but Mahmoud Dahoud levelled the scores with a long-range piledriver. Haaland's double has given the visitors a big advantage in terms of away goals, although Luuk de Jong's late strike will give the La Liga side hope.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2021, with the headline 'Haaland credits double to Mbappe's 'free boost''. Subscribe