Erling Haaland could have played for England at World Cup, he explains why he didn’t

Erling Haaland could have been playing for England in the 2022 World Cup in just a couple of weeks had things turned out differently.


The 22-year-old has represented Norway 23 times at international level, scoring 21 goals in a ridiculous run of form.


He will not be in Qatar for the first ever winter showpiece after Norway failed to qualify.


In an alternate universe, Haaland could have been leading the line for Gareth Southgate’s side going into Group B fixtures against Iran, the United States and Wales.


That’s because Haaland was actually born in England, specifically Leeds, back in 2000 when his father Alf-Inge was turning out at Elland Road.


Haaland Sr then spent three years at Manchester City, which helped sway his decision to join the Premier League champions years later.


The former Borussia Dortmund man says he might have ended up playing for England had his dad spent a little more time in the country.


“I lived here [England] for three-and-a-half/four years and I lived in Norway for such a long time, so then it was natural for me to choose Norway,” Haaland explained to Goal.


“You never know how it would be if maybe my father played longer in England or whatever, maybe I would be English, I don’t know.


“But yeah, I’m Norwegian and I’m proud of it.”


In 2020, Southgate had said Haaland was never really an option for England as he was “tied up” with Norway, who he represented at various youth levels.


A slew of Haaland’s City teammates will be playing in the World Cup, including the five players included in Southgate’s 26-man squad on Thursday.


Many had presumed Haaland would spend the international break taking shots against Scott Carson at the City Football Academy campus.


However, Pep Guardiola reckons his talisman might be relaxing over in Marbella, a holiday destination favourite of Haaland’s.


“He will be in Marbella for sure, or in Norway,” Guardiola told a press conference. It depends on how he behaves in Marbella as to how good he is for the second half of the season.


“|’m pretty sure he will love to be at the World Cup and maybe the next one or Euros he will. But he has a house in Marbella go there, play golf, hopefully, he don’t drink much, eat much and come back fit.”

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