Erling Haaland has revealed he still has strong memories of the Sergio Aguero iconic goal in 2012 that secured Manchester City’s first league title in 44 years and first of the Premier League era.
It is well established that Haaland grew up with a soft spot for Leeds, the city of his birth and where his father Alf-Inge played between 1997 and 2000 – he even told Norwegian media back when he was just 16 that his was his dream to win the Premier League with the Whites.
But Haaland is out and out City fan. Alf-Inge swapped Leeds for the blue half of Manchester the same month that his son was born and stayed there until injuries ended his career in 2003.
Childhood pictures several years later of Erling wearing a City kit exist and in his first interview upon joining the club this summer said he had been a fan all his life.
It is only logical then that such a momentous day in the club’s history should still burn so brightly in his memory, as though it were just yesterday.
“It was crazy,” Haaland told FourFourTwo. “The day had been all about winning. This was our moment, this was the day the club became league champions.”
City, having already seemingly blown their chance in the closing stages of the season – only to get another opportunity on the final day because of an unexpected Manchester United wobble in the final run-in - almost let it slip through their fingers again.
They needed to beat relegation-threatened QPR to be sure of the title making its way to the Etihad Stadium, but found themselves 2-1 down against 10 players going into stoppage time. Edin Dzeko bagged the late equaliser, before Aguero wrote his name in the history books with virtually the last kick of the season. Without that, United would have been champions having won their final game.
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“We settled down to watch,” Haaland, who would have been almost 12 at the time, recalled.
“My dad was just as excited as me, but things went crazy. City are losing to 10-man QPR. We're massive favourites, and we're losing. It's despair. But then, after 91 minutes Edin Dzeko scores. There's hope, but there's so little time.
“The winning goal felt so strange. Mario Balotelli on the ground, but somehow getting the ball to Aguero. Shuts his eyes and hits it, then it's madness. Me and my dad, we're up off our seats, we're running around the living room screaming. The top comes off, and it's spinning around the head.
“Special. What a moment.”