sport news With 17 goals in 10 games and Liverpool in his sights, Erling Haaland is a ...

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The day before Red Bull Salzburg were gearing up for their return to the big time, captain Andreas Ulmer took his new-born daughter for a walk.

What should have been a quiet stroll turned into something different altogether. The tranquillity of his neighbourhood was punctured by the growl of a car pulling up next to him, then the opening bars of a familiar song. 

When Ulmer looked around, everything became clear. There was Norway international Erling Haaland — son of Alfie, the former Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Manchester City midfielder — beaming with excitement. 

Erling Haaland celebrates scoring his first of three goals on matchday one against Genk

Erling Haaland celebrates scoring his first of three goals on matchday one against Genk 

The 19-year-old (C) walks out at Anfield with team-mate Dominik Szoboszlai for training

The 19-year-old (C) walks out at Anfield with team-mate Dominik Szoboszlai for training 

He had been driving around with the Champions League theme blaring from the speakers and this was a signal to his captain that he was ready.

Haaland, 19, was more than ready. The next night, he grasped his chance. He scored within two minutes, had a hat-trick by halftime and by the end of Salzburg's 6-2 thumping of Genk, his status as one of the hottest young strikers in Europe was secure.

'It was always Erling's goal to play at this level because the Champions League is the most fascinating competition and this had been his dream,' his father tells Sportsmail

'How many people get to fulfil their dream? It is superb for him.' The night we speak, not everything has gone to plan. 

Erling with his father Alfie Haaland, who played for clubs such as Leeds and Manchester City

Erling with his father Alfie Haaland, who played for clubs such as Leeds and Manchester City 

Erling — who has scored 17 goals in 10 games this season, including four hat-tricks — has withdrawn from the Austrian Cup match against fierce rivals Rapid Vienna with illness and been sent home to recover for the trip to Liverpool.

His absence, however, does not stop Erling from being the hot topic of conversation and Alfie glows with pride when discussing his son's rise. 

The treble against Genk led to his picture being adorned on the front of Kronen Zeitung, Austria's biggest-selling newspaper, and the realisation a star was born.

'It all came naturally,' Haaland Snr explains. 'He has always played up front and always had an eye for goal, with the small details. 

'He has always been prepared to listen. You could see he had quite a talent, but this has come as a surprise to us all.'

The Norwegian will face the ultimate test on Wednesday as he comes up against Virgil van Dijk

The Norwegian will face the ultimate test on Wednesday as he comes up against Virgil van Dijk

ERLING HALAND AT RED

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