Norwegian sensation Erling Braut Haaland stole the limelight on Saturday as the German Bundesliga became the first major European football league to return since the coronavirus lockdown, with teams playing in empty, echoing stadiums.
The 19-year-old striker claimed the first goal in Germany’s top flight league for over two months and also provided an assist to set Borussia Dortmund on the way to a 4-0 win over local rivals Schalke.
It was his 41st goal this season in all competitions and his 13th for Dortmund in just 12 games since joining in January from Red Bull Salzburg.
Normally, Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park would be packed with more than 80,000 fans for the Ruhr derby, one of the biggest fixtures in German football. But despite the match being played without any spectators, Dortmund players applauded the empty stands and celebrated after the final whistle.
A clip of Haaland’s interview about his team’s gesture after the game went viral. The striker spoke just 11 words before abruptly ending the interview.
Here’s the conversation:
Reporter: After the final whistle, you and your whole teammates, you were going to the south stand, the famous Yellow Wall which was empty today, of course... why did you do that?
Haaland: Yeah why not?
Reporter: Is that the kind of message you want to send out?
Reporter: Would you tell us the message?
Haaland: To my fans. They’re everything.
Reporter: They’re everything for you, and for Borussia Dortmund...
Haaland: It is.
Reporter: Thanks a lot, it was a pleasure talking to you.
A user on Twitter had also pointed to another short post-match interview by Haaland.
Update: The actual interview was longer than just originally reported. During the full post-match interview, Haaland said he was not surprised by his team’s form as Bundesliga returned after a two-month hiatus. The youngster also spoke about playing in front of an empty stadium and his goal-scoring form.
Watch the full interview here:
(Clarification: The original article said it was a 11-word post-match interview. The report has now been updated.)
(with AFP inputs)