Erling Haaland is scoring quite a few goals at the minute, if you haven’t noticed. And while we’d all love to have him in our six-a-side teams during the week, he’s Manchester City’s property for the foreseeable future.
When he first broke onto the scene, there was a lot of speculation about the then-unknown quantity. But as a self-confessed fan of English football with family ties in Leeds and Manchester, Three Lions supporters couldn’t help but think; what if?
Here’s what you need to know about Haaland’s international allegiances.
As he was born in Leeds, Haaland qualified to play for England. His father, Alfie, was playing in the Premier League for Leeds at the time – he would later join Manchester City himself – but the family moved to Bryne in Norway when he was three when Alfie retired.
However, he never had any intention of representing the Three Lions at international level, making his Norway Under-15s debut in 2015 and playing in every following age group before his senior bow in 2019.
With over 20 goals and caps apiece for Norway under his belt, Haaland is a key member of a promising Drillos squad.
A few clarifications and insertions were made to eligibility rules. It is now possible for players to switch nations even if they have represented one country in competitive action.
However, the following criteria must be met:
- The player held the nationality of their new association at the time of their first official appearance for their first national team.
- The player played in no more than three competitive senior games before the age of 21.
- The player has not played in the final stage of an official tournament such as the World Cup, European Championship, Copa America etc.
- At least three years have passed since the player’s last senior appearance for their previous national team.
Unfortunately for anyone hoping to see Haaland link up with Harry Kane for England, it’s not a goer.
Speaking at the FIFA Football Law Annual Review in March 2021, president Gianni Infantino explained: “We have amended the eligibility rules for national teams because it is important in a globalised world where players maybe have two or three different nationalities that they are given the opportunity to choose their country or to change – if certain strict conditions are met.
“We needed to address situations of particular hardship and that is what made us go in that direction.”