The Curious Case Of Erling Haaland And The Debut Hat-Trick That Never Was

A hat-trick is a little harder to claim over in Germany and here's why
14:01, 20 Jan 2020

Erling Haaland made his debut for Borussia Dortmund at the weekend and it couldn't have gone much better for him or his new employers.

The 'Schwarzgelben' had been 3-1 down to fellow Bundesliga outfit Augsburg before the Norwegian starlet was brought on for his maiden appearance in the black and gold of Dortmund at 56 minutes. 

The teenager didn’t wait long to make everyone in attendance aware that he was indeed present and prolific, scoring the first of his trio within three minutes.

A brace was secured ten minutes later, before Haaland secured the 5-3 win on the 78th minute with a storming run into the opposition area.

The performance, to quote Chris Eubank on a hot summer's day, was "stupendous". The hat-trick, however, will not go down in the record books. And here's why - because according to German footballing standards, it has to be flawless.

So what part of Haaland's second-half treble do our German friends have a problem with? 

A ‘lupenreiner’ (flawless) hat-trick in Deutschland is completed not only in the space of the same half (so far so good for Haaland) but also without interruption i.e. not intersecting scorers - something which Haaland’s attacking teammate, England’s Jason Sancho, inadvertently made sure didn’t happen with his 61-minute strike, less than 120 seconds after Haaland’s first. No doubt Sancho had to apologise to the 6 foot 4 inch giant from Scandinavia in their post-match revelry.


German football expert Raphael Honigstein told BBC Radio 5 Live: "In Germany, for some reason, we don't consider this a proper hat-trick.

"It needs to be in one half, but also, nobody scoring in between. We are so German we don't consider it a hat-trick.

"Haaland doesn't care. I saw him going off with the match ball."

Haaland was pictured holding the match ball with a giant Cheshire Cat-smile after the game, so it seems unlikely that the 19-year-old forward cares too much whether his hat-trick was legitimate in his new home country or not.

He told reporters after the game: "I'm at a fantastic club with great team-mates and good people around me. I came here to score goals and it was a good debut for me."

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