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Erling Haaland’s horrible year: Champions League exit latest setback for Dortmund’s rising star

Since bursting onto the big stage less than three years ago, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has barely looked back.

The Norway international was still a teenager when he moved from Molde FK to FC Salzburg in January 2019 and proceeded to score 29 goals in 27 games for the Austrian side, including a spectacular hat trick on his Champions League debut .

He then made history by going on to score 10 goals in his first seven appearances in the competition as Salzburg reached the round of 16 in 2019-20, where they were eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain . � It was all a dream…

� #OTD last year, teenage sensation Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick on his #UCL debut ⚽️⚽️⚽️ @ErlingHaaland | #ThrowbackThursday pic.twitter.com/9ldk3oeAcZ — UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 17, 2020 After his successful apprenticeship in Austria , Haaland moved on to Dortmund in January 2020 and despite making a considerable step up, the 19-year-old continued to find the net with unrelenting consistency.

He once again kicked things off with a hat trick , coming off the bench in the 70th minute with Dortmund 3-1 down against Augsburg to almost single-handedly propel his team to a resurgent 5-3 comeback victory.

Haaland ended his first calendar year at Dortmund having scored 35 goals in 34 competitive games. He became the first player ever to score 25 goals in his first 25 games, thus breaking a record previously held by legendary Germany striker Uwe Seeler since the 1963-64 season. His prodigious form in the Champions League continued apace too, with the youngster quickly becoming the fastest-ever player to score 15 and 20 goals in the competition — taking just 12 and 14 games to reach each respective milestone.

However, 2021 has proven to be a little trickier for one of European football’s next generation of superstars, throwing up a series of setbacks from which he will have to overcome and learn from through the rest of his promising career.

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Firstly, Haaland had to watch on as rivals Bayern Munich romped to the 2020-21 Bundesliga title with Dortmund finishing down in third, some 14 points off the champions. He also saw Robert Lewandowski win the Torjagerkanone award as the Bundesliga’s top scorer with ease, netting a record 41 goals to eclipsing his own tally of 27. There was some consolation, however, in Dortmund winning the DFB Pokal, giving Haaland his first trophy in Germany. Missing out on Euro 2020

Sadly, the European Championship had to go ahead in June 2021 without one of the most exciting young attacking talents in the game after Norway failed to qualify. Haaland had scored 59 goals in 57 appearances over the course of his first two seasons at Dortmund, with many fans keen to witness his prowess on show at a major tournament. Unfortunately, […]

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