Alf-Inge Haaland is the fiery father behind Erling's hot streak

Goading Real Madrid fans, taking personal pay-outs of near £30m and offering to MILK cows for more of his ‘secret potion’: Alf-Inge Haaland – who had his career cut short after a feud with Roy Keane – is the fiery father behind Erling’s hot streak

  • Erling Haaland’s father Alf-Inge was escorted out of a VIP box at the Bernabeu
  • He goaded Real Madrid fans during Manchester City’s 1-1 draw on Tuesday night
  • The ex-player must ensure he continues to have a positive influence on his son

Erling Haaland has hogged the headlines all season. And rightly so. With 51 goals this campaign – and counting – fans have become accustomed to seeing the Norwegian’s name plastered across the front pages.

Yet, as the hour mark passed at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, with Manchester City trailing by a goal against reigning Champions League winners Real Madrid, it seemed Haaland would finally be out of the headlines. At least for positive reasons.

Real Madrid’s experienced defence shackled the FWA Footballer of the Year and kept him uncharacteristically quiet throughout the match, as David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger matched him for size, strength and pace.  

Sure enough, soon after Kevin De Bruyne rocketed City’s equaliser past Thibaut Courtois, the name ‘Haaland’ was back at the centre of attention. This time, it was his father.

The Norwegian striker played no part in the build-up for City’s goal, nor did he kick on to dismantle Madrid with a blitz of second-half goals. It was his father, Alf-Inge, who jumped into the spotlight for his overexuberant nature in the stands.

Erling Haaland’s father Alf-Inge goaded Real Madrid’s fans during Manchester City’s 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu on Tuesday – and was escorted out of a VIP box for unsettling home supporters 

The Norwegian striker – who won FWA Footballer of the Year on Friday – endured a rare off night against Real Madrid, while his father stole the headlines for his overzealous behaviour

Alf-Inge appeared to make an obscene gesture towards a group of supporters at the Bernabeu

He was escorted out of a VIP box at the Bernabeu after clashing with the home supporters, having reportedly hurled insults and peanuts – something he has since denied – at Madrid fans below him.

The 50-year-old father, who took to social media to deny all allegations besides simply celebrating De Bruyne’s goal, was filmed cupping his ears to the Real Madrid fans and also appeared to make an obscene gesture as disgruntled chanting continued in his direction.

Following Tuesday’s antics, one aspect of Alf-Inge’s character remains readily apparent. Erling’s fiery father is still very childish at heart.

And, in many ways, that analysis makes sense. 

Firstly, the ex-Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Man City man was forced to cut short his playing career because of injury – after a horror challenge from Roy Keane – and thus missed out on a gradual and mellowing journey into retirement.

Furthermore, Alf hasn’t taken up any regular post-retirement responsibilities such as first-team management, coaching or punditry, so it’s no wonder the ex-Premier League star is channeling the success and excitement of son Erling’s career, even if a little over-zealously.

Alf-Inge’s career as a player was curtailed prematurely through injury, as he never quite recovered from Roy Keane’s horror tackle during the 2001 Manchester derby at Old Trafford

The gritty midfielders produced one of the most explosive feuds in Premier League history

Since his retirement, Alf-Inge has nurtured his son into one of the best footballers in the world

The former midfielder’s spirited – and at times combustible – nature provoked one of the Premier League’s most explosive feuds ever in what more or less led to his career-ending injury.

Only a handful of footballers have had the guts and character to take on Roy Keane during his playing days, and even fewer messed with the Manchester United legend after his horror tackle on Alf-Inge in April 2001.

Back in 1997, Keane ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during a match against Alf’s Leeds at Elland Road. The now 50-year-old stood over the Irishman and accused him of faking the injury, which Keane was not quick to forget.

Four years later during the 2001 Manchester derby at Old Trafford, Keane savaged Alf-Inge with a malicious knee-high challenge and, as least as far as the story goes, ended his career.

Despite receiving his marching orders, Keane remorselessly stormed over to his victim, who was squirming in pain on the floor, and shouted down at him in anger.

‘I’d waited long enough. I f***ing hit him hard,’ Keane admitted in his 2002 autobiography. ‘The ball was there (I think). Take that you c***. And don’t ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries.’

The £51million man has scored 51 goals – and counting – in his debut season at Manchester City

Erling couldn’t believe how fiercely his dad used to tackle after watching clips from his career

‘What are you doing?’: Erling laughs after seeing his father’s reckless tackle on Kevin Phillips

Alf-Inge told Mail Sport back in 2008 that the tackle effectively ended his career – and he still felt twinges in his knee while training up Erling as a teenager.

The ex-Premier League star would, however, be the first to admit that he too dished out a handful of robust challenges during his time as a player.

He sat down with his son last summer and relived some of his toughest tackles against the likes of Steve Stone, Robbie Savage and Paolo Di Canio. It’s fair to say Erling wasn’t too impressed.

‘What are you doing?’ the £51m star responded after watching his father’s reckless challenge on Kevin Phillips. ‘That’s a red card.

‘When I see these tackles, I think my career would end if you tackled all the time like this.’

Erling may not slide in recklessly and crunch players with ill-timed challenges like his father, but he still enjoys pushing his weight around against seasoned Premier League defenders. It’s more than helped him chalk up his record-breaking tally of 35 league goals.

Yet, with five bookings and zero red cards from 47 appearances this season, Erling seems to have found the right balance between clean and combative play, a commodity strikers often find difficult when first moving to the Premier League. 

Alf-Inge has nurtured one of the greatest strikers in the world and is now reaping the rewards. 

According to the Spanish press, City paid Erling’s father £26m for his part in last summer’s negotiations, and further commission payments were shelled out to his agency, which was overseen by the late legendary agent Mino Raiola.

Erling revealed the secret ‘magic potion’ behind his stunning goal-scoring feats this campaign

City paid Alf-Inge £26m for his part in last summer’s negotiations, reports in Spain claimed

Having retired prematurely, Alf will stop at nothing in support of Erling’s rise to the top. He’s even offered to help his son by producing more of the forward’s ‘magic milk potion’.

The Manchester City talisman took to Instagram last month to rave about his personalised milk-based smoothie, which is laced with spinach and kale. He urged the milk drink is just another dietary choice he makes in pursuit of marginal gains. 

Offering to milk cows in Norway and travel back with pints of the stuff, his father wrote back on social media: ‘Somebody has to do the work so other people can enjoy.’ 

Whatever Alf-Inge has done in support of his son so far, it seems to be working. But if he continues to act like he did on Tuesday night, fans will quickly accuse him of riding on Erling’s coattails.

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