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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Haaland, a record-breaker, has the potential to “dominate an era.”

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui predicts Erling Braut Haaland has the talent to dominate the Champions League for years to come after the burly Norwegian fired Borussia Dortmund into the quarter-finals.

“We were punished by a player who will dominate an era,” said Lopetegui after Haaland sent more Champions League records tumbling with two goals in Tuesday’s last 16, return leg.

Sevilla earned a 2-2 draw after Youssef En-Nesyri headed his second goal deep into injury time, but Dortmund went through 5-4 on aggregate and the night belonged to Haaland.

The Norwegian phenomenon has now scored a career total of 20 goals in just 14 Champions League, including the two he scored in a 3-2 victory when Dortmund won the first-leg in Sevilla.

No other player in Champions League history has scored so many goals so quickly or at such a young age.

On the night Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus bowed out of the Champions League on away goals against Porto, Haaland showcased his strength and lethal finishing to fire Dortmund into the last eight.

He is the top-scorer in the Champions League this season with 10 goals in just six games.

With Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both in the twilight of their careers, Haaland is fast becoming the Champions League’s next superstar.

The 20-year-old has reportedly packed on seven kilogrammes of muscle since joining Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020.

After smashing home a first-half pass from Marco Reus, Haaland showed off his strength by lifting the Dortmund captain off his feet in the goal celebration.

Likewise, when Fernando tried a block on Haaland two minutes after the break, the Sevilla defender just bounced off the burly Norwegian who stayed on his feet to fire home from a tight angle.

The goal was disallowed by the VAR, who instead awarded a penalty which Haaland stepped up and converted at the second attempt.

After finally winning the spot-kick dual with Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, Haaland was seen laughing and joking with the Morocco shot-stopper after the final whistle.

Dortmund’s defence buckled worryingly as they surrendered a 2-0 lead but clung on to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in four years.

And with Haaland in the team, more goals are sure to follow.

“It’s a privilege to play with Erling,” said Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney who won the ball for Haaland’s opening goal.

“I don’t have to tell you about his skills, but it’s his mentality that is great.

“He’s young and hungry, he hasn’t suffered many setbacks, which is maybe why he’s so positive and thinks he can conquer the world. But it’s inspiring.”


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