Four-goal Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland was keen to dish out praise for his record-breaking teammate Youssoufa Moukoko after the win over Hertha BSC on Saturday, on the night the 16-year-old became the Bundesliga’s youngest ever player.
Haaland enjoyed a noteworthy evening himself, scoring four goals the same day he was given the Golden Boy award – an honour handed out to the best player in one of Europe’s top tiers under the age of 21.
At 20 years of age, Haaland may be at the start of his career but the Norwegian international is still more than four years older than Moukoko. The teenager replaced Dortmund’s number nine with five minutes of their 5-2 win in the German capital left to play.
Moukoko celebrated his birthday the day before Saturday’s match against Hertha. This game was earmarked as his potential debut long in advance after the DFL lowered the minimum age for players in the top two flights of German football to 16 last year.
After the game, Haaland was asked about Moukoko’s historic appearance and was only too keen to laud the Germany youth international, gushing: “I would love to play alongside him,” as quoted by the Bundesliga’s official website. “I think he’s the biggest talent in the world right now. He’s 16 years and one day old, that’s amazing. He has a big career ahead of him. We’re lucky to have him.”
In Saturday’s game, Matheus Cunha had given Hertha the lead in the 33rd minute, which they held until half-time. However, Haaland’s brace inside the opening five minutes of the second period quickly put Dortmund ahead before he added two more to take his season’s tally to a staggering ten goals in seven Bundesliga appearances.
Haaland gave his own, unique appraisal of his performance, reflecting: “The play on the first goal was very nice. The second was also very nice. The third I thought was offside but they were all nice. To be honest, I drank an energy drink at half-time and got some wings and everything was good.”