Erling Haaland will not play his 30th international match on Sunday against Scotland. The Manchester City striker suffered an injury ahead of the top match against Liverpool
The figurehead of Norwegian soccer was only substituted when the final score was already on the scoreboard. And yet Erling Haaland’s 2:0 victory in the European Championship qualifier against the Faroe Islands would still reverberate. Manchester City’s top striker, who came on as a second-half substitute for goalscorer Jörgen Strand Larsen, was injured. And that just one week before the Skyblues’ top match against Liverpool FC (November 25, 1.30 pm).
The 23-year-old, who has already scored 27 goals in 29 international matches for his country, putting him just six goals behind record goalscorer Jörgen Juve (33 goals in 45 games between 1928 and 1937), suffered a seemingly harmless blow to his foot. The injury is not serious, but would cause Haaland unpleasant pain, which would limit his ability to play, according to the association’s officials.
After consultation with Ola Sand, the Norwegian national team’s medical director, and national team coach Stale Solbakken, Haaland decided that it would be unreasonable to play in the upcoming European Championship qualifier in Scotland on Sunday (8.45pm). The current winner of the “Gerd Müller Trophy” will therefore not travel with the team to the north of Great Britain.
Solbakken deliberately does not nominate a striker after
“It’s a shame, of course,” said Solbakken, who did not replace any players despite Haaland’s absence. For the attacking players in the squad, the vacant spot was a great opportunity to showcase themselves, said the former FC Köln head coach.
Even with Haaland, the Norwegians would not have been able to qualify for the European Championship in Scotland, as they will no longer be able to take one of the top two places in qualifying Group A – Spain are ahead of the Scots. Haaland’s last hope is to take part in his first major tournament in Germany next summer: Norway could still make the qualifying play-offs via the Nations League route.