‘He was a small guy but got injured and came back big as f***’: Erling Haaland’s former team-mate reveals Borussia Dortmund star underwent physical transformation during injury lay-off that turned world’s hottest striker into a ‘different animal’
- Erling Haaland is one of the top strikers in the world despite being 19-years-old
- Ex-team-mate Ruben Gabrielsen says he became bigger and stronger at Molde
- The defender said Haaland came back from an injury lay-off a different man
- Gabrielsen also said the striker had difficult weeks in training but still scored
Toulouse defender Ruben Gabrielsen revealed that Erling Braut Haaland came back a completely different player from an injury lay-off when the pair were at Molde.
At 19 years of age, Haaland is already one of the top strikers in the world having registered frightening goal tallies at Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund this season.
But Gabrielsen’s first impressions of Haaland contradict his current form, as the 28-year-old recalls when the forward joined Molde in 2017.
Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland underwent a major physical transformation at Molde
Former team-mate Ruben Gabrielsen (second right) said Haaland (left) became a new man
He told Get French Football News: ‘When he came to the club, he was a small guy… he was not so good to be honest with you. I was just thinking: ‘Yeah, maybe he can play in Norway…
‘And then he got sick and injured, and we didn’t see him for a long time, and he came back big as f*ck… he was so big! He was a different animal!
‘He was killing everybody in training… we just started laughing and I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ And then it just skyrocketed from there.’
Haaland joined Dortmund in January of this year after scoring a staggering 28 goals in 22 appearances for Austrian side Salzburg during the first-half of the season.
Haaland joined Dortmund in January after a brilliant start to the season at Red Bull Salzburg
And the striker has carried on where he left off in Germany, scoring 12 goals in 11 matches so far in all competitions for the Bundesliga club.
Haaland’s goalscoring exploits have surprised everybody this season, but not Gabrielsen who revealed that the forward would find the net in matches even though he had a bad week in training.
The defender added: ‘With Haaland, when he played in Norway with me, he didn’t score for a week in training before a game. We were laughing at him!
Gabrielsen revealed that Haaland would still score in matches despite a bad week in training
‘And when I heard he was starting the game I was thinking, ‘No way… how can we play with this guy!?’ And after 50 minutes he’d scored four goals. And after that, things just skyrocketed.
‘But I think he learned an important lesson that, when tough times come, just work harder. And young players have a chance to learn that now.’