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Sports Erling Håland's goals could fire Borussia Dortmund to Champions League success


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The name of Erling Braut Håland has been on the lips of all football fans for a while now. His sudden goalscoring prowess for Red Bull Salzburg last season brought his name to the forefront of headlines across Europe, and it wasn’t long before a whole host of clubs were vying for the signature of this once in a generation talent.

In the end, Håland chose Borussia Dortmund as the next stepping stone on his path to greatness. It would have been difficult to resist a move to one of Europe’s super giants, but taking a more gradual step-up, with a view to a bigger move down the line, has reaped dividends for Håland. His knack for finding the net has continued unabated, with a stunning 31 goals in 29 appearances so far this season, and his reputation has never been greater. You feel that the 20-year-old could pick any club in the world and they’d be delighted to welcome him through the gates.

But Haland’s next career steps are questions for another time. For now, his focus is solely on Dortmund, and with the club having just sealed their passage to the champions league quarter-finals for the first time in four years, there is hope that Håland's goals could well form the basis of an unlikely tilt at European glory. It felt like an opportunity missed when the club lost out to German rivals Bayern Munich in the 2013 final, and they haven’t been particularly fancied in the UEFA Champions League odds since, failing to progress beyond the quarter-finals. Could this be the year they remedy that?

There is something about having a striker of Håland’s reputation and class that elevates a team to a sum greater than their parts. The whole team seems to benefit from having a player at the top of their game, and although there are defensive worries for Dortmund following their 5-4 aggregate win over Sevilla, the fact that they have one of Europe’s most in-form strikers leading the line allays many of those concerns.

Indeed, Håland’s two goals in the second leg at Signal-Iduna Park brought the Norwegian to the milestone of 20 Champions League goals – a remarkable figure for such a young player. It’s these kinds of signs that suggest that Håland is destined to be one of the biggest names in world football for many years to come. At a time when the careers of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are slowly winding down, football supporters are looking to the new generation of stars. Håland looks likely to be one of them.

There is a feeling that Dortmund must capitalise while they have a player of such barnstorming goalscoring abilities. They have stuttered in the league somewhat, and are locked in a hard-fought tussle for a top-four finish, but the current Champions League campaign provides a great opportunity for Dortmund to make this a season to remember. They may not be the top favourites in the UEFA Champions League tips, but write them off at your peril.

No team will want to draw Dortmund in the quarter-finals, for fear of defending against the brutish figure of Håland. There’s no doubt that the Norwegian international will move on in the near future, either this summer or next, but the legacy of any footballer is defined by silverware, and Håland will be doing his utmost to make Dortmund a serious contender to lift the Champions League trophy in Istanbul on May 29th.
 
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