In fact, everything seemed fine. After all, BVB played like a title aspirant in the 5-1 win over Freiburg. But the two-time goalscorer Erling Haaland felt little desire for a celebration party.
Dortmund’s joy at the 5:1 (3:0) in the top game against Freiburg quickly evaporated. Even while his teammates were being celebrated by only 750 fans, Erling Haaland proved to be a spoilsport.
Angered by the club leadership’s demand that his future be clarified by March, the goalscorer found clear words on Norwegian TV Viaplay Football. “For the last six months I’ve decided not to say anything out of respect for Dortmund. But now the club have started to push me to make a decision. But all I want is to play football,” he lamented.
The criticism of the 21-year-old exceptional striker at the approach of the BVB club leadership should further reduce the chance of his whereabouts. “It means that something will happen now,” commented Haaland, who can leave second in the Bundesliga for 75 million euros this summer due to an exit clause despite a contract that runs until 2024.
When asked when was the ideal time to make a decision, he replied: “Not now because we’re in the middle of a difficult period with a lot of games.”
In a first reaction to the explosive statements made by the exceptional striker, BVB Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke asked for understanding for the club’s position. “Erling is a spontaneous person and still a young lad, he’s allowed to do that, that’s no problem. But he also has to have a bit of understanding for our situation. If he wakes up tomorrow, he’ll have it,” he said of the “Funke media group”.
Watzke believes that the 21-year-old Norwegian’s accusation of being put under pressure is exaggerated: “There are currently no talks or appointments, so I can’t understand it.” The club cannot wait until May, “that will also make sense to him. As a professional, he has to understand that one day you will talk about the future.”
In view of the explosive Haaland statements, the sporting events faded into the background. In the game against the previous surprise team from Freiburg, BVB appeared like a real title aspirant and with the highest win of the season they had reduced the gap to leaders FC Bayern to three points for at least one day. “Before the winter break we talked about two bad games and that the Bundesliga was getting boring. Now we’re on three points. We want to stay up front, but were too inconsistent in a few games,” commented coach Marco Rose.