Erling Haaland is not only one of the best players in the world and has just won the treble with one of the best teams in the world, the Norwegian is also arguably one of the fittest stars in the business. SPOX takes a look at his diet and sleep routine.
Hundreds of cars line the Manchester City training ground car park and one in particular stands out – a Rolls Royce. It belongs to Erling Haaland. It’s not uncommon for top footballers to own luxury cars, but Haaland’s car is unlike most – legend has it that it contains its own stove.
Even when he’s on the road, Haaland wants to be able to eat first-class food. His love of cooking was evident when the striker walked into the kitchen in silk pajamas during City’s Premier League title celebrations at a posh restaurant in central Manchester last month. There he cooked his own steaks and made the chefs’ jaws drop.
Haaland is often referred to as a natural wonder. But apart from a probably favorable disposition – his father was a professional soccer player himself, his mother a heptathlete – it is more diligence and meticulousness that ensure his first-class physical condition.
Haaland’s daily routine is meticulously planned, from his diet to his sleeping rhythm to his massages after the game. For all his talent, that discipline is arguably a key reason he has scored a staggering 52 goals in 53 games this season and guided City to Premier League titles, the FA Cup and Champions League wins.
We look at Erling Haaland’s routines in detail.
Erling Haaland: “He eats like a bear”
Haaland has experienced a huge growth spurt in recent years, fueled by his voracious eating habits. The striker says he eats around 6,000 kilocalories a day (the average daily requirement for a man his age is 2,500). Also, food makes up a large part of your day.
National team-mate Josh King said he has never seen anyone eat as much food as Haaland: “He just eats like a bear”. And there’s something animalistic about the striker’s eating habits. While a vegan diet has become common among modern footballers, Haaland is a self-confessed meat lover.
That may have something to do with growing up in a rural community in Bryne, Norway – where he lent a hand with his grandfather, a potato and pig farmer. But the kind of meat he eats is unusual. Haaland not only likes steaks, but also eats beef hearts and liver. Even Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson, better known as “The Rock”, was surprised when he found out about Haaland’s diet.
The striker explained his eating habits in the documentary ‘Erling Haaland: The Big Decision’: “The most important thing is to eat quality food that is as regional as possible,” he said. “People say meat is bad for you, but which one? The meat you get at McDonald’s or that from the local cow that eats grass right there?”
Erling Haaland: No schnapps – but a lot of filtered water
Haaland also likes to eat pasta – a once favorite of footballers but which has recently fallen out of fashion. His father Alfie cooks him lasagne the day before each home game, thanks to which he tied hat-tricks against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest. The 22-year-old is a regular at Italian restaurants in Manchester – one of which has been opened specially for him to eat away from the public eye.
While some City players indulge in the nightlife – Guardiola noted his side “drank all the alcohol in Manchester” after winning the title – Haaland is not known for drinking heavily.
“He’s the best professional I’ve ever seen,” said Jack Grealish of the Norwegian. “His mentality will never be seen again. He does everything: rest, gym, ten hours of treatment a day, ice baths, diet… That’s why he is who he is. But I swear I couldn’t be like that!”
The Englishman continued: “We have a great friendship but after a game he points at me and says ‘Hey, don’t go partying tonight’. I just tell him to shut up and sit in his ice bath. “
Haaland is very careful about what he drinks. He insists on drinking filtered water. He also consumes milk infused with kale, which he calls his “magic potion.”
Erling Haaland: Sleep is important
Haaland not only takes his diet seriously, but also attaches great importance to a good night’s sleep, which he describes as “perhaps the most important thing in life”.
Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, was also very interested in sleeping habits and spoke of the benefits of regular naps (“naps”). Haaland is more traditional: he prefers to go to bed at 10:30 p.m. and switches off his technical devices long before he goes to bed. But he also uses modern technologies to give himself the necessary peace of mind.
He puts on orange blue-light glasses before bed that block out natural light, and wears an Oura ring on his finger that measures the quality of his sleep and his heart rate.
Erling Haaland: Late Night Massages
Sleep and nutrition are critical to a top player’s performance, but injuries can derail even the most promising season and even ruin a career. Haaland had a checkered injury history before arriving at City: he missed 16 games for Borussia Dortmund last season, mostly due to muscle injuries.
But he and the club have worked hard to keep him fit and relatively injury-free. Guardiola has been candid about the club’s concerns about his injury history and credited the medical staff and physios for keeping him in shape.
Haaland was only unavailable in three games last season and has quickly recovered from every setback. The club asked Italian sports therapist Mario Pafundi to accompany him to his international match with Norway to ensure he maintained his routine.
Haaland also takes the initiative on his own to remain injury-free. After beating Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals first leg (3-0), he went straight to the training ground across the street from the Etihad Stadium and had a massage for an hour.
Erling Haaland: Generous on and off the pitch
Although Haaland has been compared in some ways to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo and his confident demeanor is easy to spot, he doesn’t seem to have the selfish streak that seems to characterize these other two players.
In the recent Premier League win over Leeds, Haaland missed an opportunity to increase his goal tally when City were awarded a penalty. But he offered the ball to Ilkay Gundogan so the midfielder could tie his hat-trick.
Gündogan missed from the penalty spot and Guardiola was annoyed with Haaland because he hadn’t converted the penalty himself. But he praised the striker for his gesture. “It shows how kind and generous Erling is,” he said.
The coach also noticed positively how happy Haaland could be when his teammates scored goals. “It’s difficult to find a striker with numbers like that and usually you’re like, ‘Oh, it’s just me, me, me and me’, and he’s a guy who’s the complete opposite. That’s what has surprised me the most about Erling since he’s been here.”
Haaland also showed his generous side when he left Borussia Dortmund last year and gave each player on the team a Rolex watch worth over €5,000.
Erling Haaland: Cursing at the camera and laughing at Stones
Haaland may have seemed arrogant in his first encounters with the media, as he only gave very short, sometimes one-word answers in the interviews after games with BVB.
He still doesn’t have much exposure to the media, but when he does, he comes across as personable, down-to-earth, and natural. who could be Sky Sports-Forgot interview after goal against West Ham when asked about early missed opportunity?
“It’s a little shit, but that’s the way it is,” he said. When rebuked by the interviewer for swearing, he replied, “Oh sorry, shit, sorry,” only to laugh heartily out loud at himself at his renewed faux pas.
He gets along well with his teammates. He has developed close friendships with both John Stones and Grealish. While filming a commercial, he pokes fun at Stones’ pronunciation of “Louvre”. Earlier this year, he had a lively debate with Stones and Rodri at the gym about whether they should be running from a crocodile or a hippo.
He rarely gave interviews in his first season, but at City’s media day ahead of the Champions League final, he was friendly to reporters and calmly took questions from the group of 20. And he knows how to keep an audience happy, which got him some laughs from the journalists.
But it’s on the pitch that he really shines, delighting fans and terrifying opponents. Behind the merciless degrees and his athletic abilities lies the desire to become even better than he already is. A lust that seems even greater than his appetite for cow hearts and livers.