Red Bull Salzburg’s 19-year-old striker, Erling Braut Haaland became the first teenager to score a hattrick on his UEFA Champions League debut since Wayne Rooney in 2004, as the Austrian club went on to defeat Genk 6-2 in their opener.

After starring for his club in the Austrian Bundesliga with 11 goals in seven matches, Erling Haaland’s hattrick made him the third-youngest player to complete this feat in the Champions League, just behind Raul (Real Madrid) and Rooney (Manchester United).

Standing at 6 ft 4 inches, Erling Haaland made his senior debut for Norwegian side FC Molde at the ripe age of 17. He was then coached by present Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Haaland is the son of former Manchester City defender Alf-Inge Haaland, whose career was ended by Manchester United legend Roy Keane after a freak tackle. Ironically, the United coach is seemingly interested in the young striker, and for good reason.

Playing for RB Salzburg, Haaland has already hit three hattricks this season and netted a remarkable 17 goals from nine games in all competitions this term. His form was rewarded with a call-up to the senior Norway side. He also made two appearances against Malta and Sweden earlier this month.

On the international stage, Haaland represented Norway at the Under-20 World Cup during the summer, where he scored a staggering nine goals in one game, leading to a 12-0 win over Honduras. That helped him end the tournament with the Golden Ball.

Going ahead, Haaland could light up Euro 2020, but Norway face an uphill battle to qualify for next summer’s tournament, with Spain, Sweden and Romania ahead of them in their group. 

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Krugforo/APA