Four-goal scorer Erling Haaland lightly fouled Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre for losing a holding account following an impressive 5-2 victory over Hertha Berlin.
The newly named Golden Boy winner had a shocking second half on Sunday at the Berlin Olympics, but said he could have scored more had he stayed on the pitch.
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“To be honest, [Favre] ask me how much I scored. He asked me if I scored three and I said: ‘No, four. Only four because you subbed me out, ‘”Haaland told ESPN afterwards.
“So I’m a little crazy at the moment but that’s how it is,” added a smiling Haaland.
Favre admitted he had lost count of his star striker’s account but was happy with the end result.
“It’s true. I not only watch the goals, I also watch the passes,” Favre told ESPN. “I know he can score goals. He did a good job. He’s happy and the team is happy.”
Haaland’s performance stole the spotlight from the highly anticipated debut of 16-year-old prodigy Youssoufa Moukoko, who became the youngest player ever in a Bundesliga match.
Making his first appearance a day after his birthday, it can be difficult to match Moukoko’s mark given that the league’s age was only lowered to 16 earlier this year.
“He’s the biggest talent in the world right now,” Haaland said. “16 years and one day. That’s pretty amazing. He has a great career ahead of him. I’m over 20 years, I’m getting older now. That’s how it is.”
Earlier on Saturday, Haaland was named Golden Boy as he beat Ansu Fati of Barcelona and Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich to the award honoring the best young player in Europe for the calendar year.
“It’s been a good day. I’m smiling a little now,” Haaland said.
Dortmund were down 1-0 at half time, but Haaland’s hat-trick struck in the first 20 minutes of the second half, a goal by Raphael Guerreiro and another strike by Haaland sealed the victory.
The victory moved Dortmund to within a point of league leaders Bayern Munich.
Since joining Dortmund from RB Salzburg in January, he has scored 31 goals in 30 appearances across all competitions. He also tracks Bayern star and three-time Torjägerkrone winner Robert Lewandowski by one goal in the race for top scorer this season.
“He has the ability to score more goals than Lewandowski,” BVB midfielder Axel Witsel told ESPN. “It’s not easy. Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world, but I think Erling has the quality to achieve that. But he has to score almost every game.”