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Haaland keen to stay out of his 'comfort zone' in pursuit of Champions League dream

By Ben Spratt

Dortmund, June 18: Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland wants to stay out of his "comfort zone" as he plots his career path.

Haaland has quickly established himself among European football's elite, moving from Molde to Salzburg to Dortmund.

His form for BVB has prompted links to a host of the world's leading clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Haaland, who has scored 57 goals in 59 games in all competitions since moving to Germany, is widely expected to stay at Dortmund for another season, but he is always looking for his next challenge.

"I have been taking a couple of steps over the past few years and I think they have been good steps for me, personally, to get out of my comfort zone and to develop even more," he told the Telegraph.

"I want to challenge myself in everything that I do. It's something I think about.

"It's also for everyone to always do this. People can sometimes be too comfortable staying in their 'zone' so I think it’s important to get out of that."

Haaland was asked if he was yet approaching his peak and replied: "I am still only 20 years old. So, I think that says it all."

He added: "My career has already been going very fast but also at a speed that I like.

"It's true that I am young, but I am setting myself goals all the time and I will do everything I can to achieve them."

His primary goal is Champions League glory, having already made a significant impact in Europe's premier club competition.

Haaland has 20 goals in 16 matches for Salzburg and Dortmund, netting one every 63 minutes – the best rate in Champions League history among players to score five or more.

Since the Norway international's debut in the competition, only Robert Lewandowski (also 20) can match his goals tally.

In the same period, Olivier Giroud (42.9) is the sole player with five or more goals to outperform an astonishing 42.6 per cent shot conversion rate.

"For as long as I can remember, even when I was a really young kid, I was watching the Champions League," Haaland said. "There were great teams with huge legends scoring goals.

"So, that became my dream. My dream was to play in the Champions League, to score in the Champions League. You know that is where the best players play and that's where the best players belong."

He added: "I am motivated for every game, of course I am, but I have been thinking about the Champions League my whole life, wanting to play there.

"So, maybe it gives me one per cent extra motivation when I go out on the pitch with the anthem.

"That is my big dream, to win the Champions League one day. Hopefully I can lift that trophy and that really would be amazing."

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Story first published: Friday, June 18, 2021, 16:20 [IST]
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