Erling Haaland on the team that rejected him as a teenager: ‘It’s sad for them’ | Football

Erling Haaland was not always as convincing as he is now (Picture: Getty Images)

FC Copenhagen had the chance to sign Erling Haaland in 2016, opting not to bring in the then-teenage forward, and he says it is sad for them that the didn’t.

The Manchester City superstar has become one of the most feared strikers in the world, netting 80 times for the Premier League champions in just 84 games and that came after scoring 86 in 89 for Borussia Dortmund and 29 in 27 for RB Salzburg.

He first caught the eye across Europe while at Norwegian side Molde, but it could have been for FC Copenhagen, if more of the club’s hierarchy had liked what they had seen during a trial.

Ahead of Manchester City hosting the Danish side in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Tuesday, Haaland remembers Copenhagen’s poor choice.

‘Yeah, I was on a trial or whatever you want to call it in 2016. I think a couple of guys from the club then wanted me but not everyone, so didn’t happen,’ he said.

‘Sad for them but maybe good for me because I went to Molde and it was a good choice.

‘I was interested, yeah, obviously, [it] was to join the Under-19s then, so yeah, I was interested. Of course, that’s why I went there. I remember even speaking with Stale [Solbakken], the coach then. I even got the shirt actually, number nine, Haaland, at home but I was interested but it never happened.’

‘But my destiny was another way but it was a decent way, so far.’

FK Haugesund v Molde - Norwegian Eliteserien

Haaland caught the eye at Norwegian side Molde (Picture: Getty Images)

Haaland holds no grudges, saying he has friends who are fans and likes what he has seen from FC Copenhagen himself.

‘I like the club, to be fair,’ he said. ‘It’s a nice club, I’ve got a couple of friends that live in Copenhagen as well and they are standing on the, I don’t know what you call it behind the goal in a lot of games so they enjoy it and I like the club.’

Pep Guardiola’s side won the first leg 3-1 in Denmark and are scorching hot favourites to brush aside the challenge of the Danes in Manchester to progress to the quarter-finals.

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