Haaland produced some extraordinary athleticism against FC Copenhagen.

Erling Haaland has undone NASA’s life’s research with his Copenhagen acrobatics

Ever since whispers began about a young Norwegian extra-terrestrial who scored goals with alarming prowess, it’s been speculated that Erling Haaland simply isn’t human.

After destroying opponents with Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, Haaland became the must-have striker for Europe’s fattest cats.

Manchester City eventually won his hand in marriage, partly because his father played for the club in the 2000s and partly because Erling simply ‘wanted to have fun’. Nineteen sets of Premier League defences simultaneously required a change of underwear.

His first 18 months in England have simply confirmed Haaland’s status as a generational goalscorer; the rampaging Viking has scored 73 goals in 79 City matches and is currently on course to win the double-treble this season.

Bored with simply testing the strength of domestic and continental goal-netting, the 23-year-old decided to ape Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous overhead kick against Juventus in 2018 in front of a sell-out crowd in Copenhagen.

City had spent the first 28 minutes toying with their Danish opponents, scoring once and treating them with the same attitude as the family cat eyeing a mortally wounded mouse – you’re already doomed, but we’ll kill you later.

Jeremy Doku received a long pass in the Copenhagen penalty area, neglecting to control the ball in favour of twanging it back across the penalty area.

As the ball travelled irresistibly towards him, Haaland transformed into a Boeing 777 and leapt towards the moon.

Instead of heading the ball like any mere mortal, the Norway striker contorted his body like an Aardman animator during the filming of Wallace and Gromit and attempted to score the most spectacular goal of his short career.

Sadly, his acrobatics didn’t result in a goal as the ball flew harmlessly over the bar. But City would still win the match 3-1 and the computer inside Haaland’s brain logged the findings for next time.

Haaland had endured something of a goal drought before his brace against Everton last Saturday and Pep Guardiola spent his pre-match press conference explaining his expectations for City’s star striker.

“These two goals will help him a lot, to clear the mind,” Guardiola said. “His body language in the first half was not good. The second half was much, much better.

“For him when he scores a goal, his mood is different. After it, he makes more movements and everything. He’s better.

“He has to learn that if he doesn’t score he has to have the right body language. He has to have this mood where he’s positive and he’s saying: ‘OK it will come, it will come.’”

As a football obsessive himself, Guardiola is perhaps best placed to recognise when one of his charges is guilty of forgetting the wider picture in search of personal excellence.

“It looks like I am complaining about Erling but it was in general [I meant],” Guardiola added. “How many games did Erling play and how many goals? His body language is not a problem.

“Erling is young, playing in the most difficult position on the pitch surrounded by four or five players with minor space.

“In the first half [against Everton] maybe we didn’t have the special delivery players, like Kevin [De Bruyne] for example, who can find him.

“Because he is so young, in that moment he has to be positive. When he scored a goal, he reacted but he doesn’t need to score because he helps us for many things.

“Not just scoring a goal. He’s a huge competitor who wants to score goals. OK, I know that, we know that; so [he can] relax.

“If we don’t score today or if he doesn’t score in 10 minutes, it’s OK but in the process, he has to try to be ‘let’s go’ because the team always wins when they overcome bad moments.”

Frustration with his relative scoring drought has caused Haaland to look deep inside himself and attempt to push the boundaries of muscle-based athleticism for our entertainment.

As if we needed any further proof of his other-worldly abilities.

By Michael Lee

READ NEXT: Comparing Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe’s records in the Champions League

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player to score in Champions League for Man City?