Erling Haaland's meteoric rise this season has been nothing short of extraordinary. The 19-year-old has captured people's imaginations and set a string of goalscoring records along the way. 

His father - Alf-Inge Haaland - was a professional footballer himself, carving out an impressive career in England playing for Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City. 

It was not Haaland Snr that Erling idolised when he was younger, though...

Erling Braut Haaland

No, his allegiances belonged to a man whose name has not been spoken for many years, despite his cult status. 

We'll give you a clue. He is a ​Swansea City cult hero and no, it is not Lee Trundle. 

The player Haaland modelled himself on was... Michu. 

Signed from Rayo Vallecano for just £2m in 2012, the Spaniard soon proved to be one of the biggest bargains in Premier League history. Given the number nine shirt, Michu operated as a kind of false nine for the Swans, though that did not stop him registering a ridiculous amount of goals.

He netted on 18 occasions in the league during the 2012/2013 campaign and has a similar stature to the Norwegian prodigy - so it's not hard to see why Haaland was such a big fan. 


Haaland's membership to the Michu fan club was revealed by some impressive detective work by ​AS. The Spanish outlet noticed that the ​Borussia Dortmund star had tagged his hero in some of his earliest Instagram pictures, posted when he was just 13-years-old. 

Michu admitted he was flattered to be idolised by such a talented forward. 

"It's an honour. I think he's going to be a world-class player," he told AS. "He's a much better player than me."

Unfortunately, the chances of the two ever sharing the field are slim due to the nosedive that Michu's career took after his breakout season at the Liberty Stadium. 


In the following campaign injuries hampered his progress leading a to a goal return of just two in 17 league appearances. A disappointing loan spell at Napoli followed before he returned to his boyhood club, Real Oviedo. 

Fitness problems continued to plague Michu resulting in him retiring and moving into football administration in 2017. 

Gone but never forgotten... especially not by Erling Haaland.  

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