Borussia Dortmund’s star-signing Erling Braut Haaland was a man of few words after doing all the talking on the football field on Saturday against FC Augsburg.
When Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc congratulated his €20m January signing from RB Salzburg for his hat-trick in his debut appearance, the 19-year-old quipped: “That’s the reason you bought me!”
Erling Haaland started the game on the bench due to a training deficit after overcoming a minor knee injury in the winter break but it didn’t take long for him to become the matchwinner for his new team. Brought on in the 56th minute, when Dortmund were trailing 3-1 in a difficult road game at the WWK Arena, the striker just needed 20 minutes to complete a hat-trick making the crowd go wild.
Haaland scored in the 59th, 61st and 79th minute to turn the game around for the final 3-5 score with additional goals of Julian Brandt (49.) and Jadon Sancho (61.).
After the game, the Norwegian striker cradled the game ball in his arms, telling BVB.tv: “I think I had to take it with me, to be honest,” adding: “[My debut] was crazy. And it was fantastic to score in front of the fans. I’m happy.”
Haaland was the spark that lit the fire for the Westphalians, who were struggling severely to create chances before his substitution.
Asked whether it was especially difficult to enter the field with a two-goal deficit, he replied: “My thoughts were to go into the game with positive energy and try to change it around. I just did my job and, you see, with such great teammates it’s getting easier to perform.”
After the enormous impact, fans are wondering how soon Haaland can start a game from the beginning and whether he has fitness issues.
In a brief exchange, a Sky Reporter asked after the game: “Are you fit enough to play 90 minutes?” to which he replied: “How did I look today?” The reporter said: “Very good,” to which Haaland again replied: “Then you have your answer.”
BVB’s next game will be against 13th-place 1. FC Köln on Friday, where fans will hope to see Haaland add to his scoring record at the Westfalenstadion.