Dortmund's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring their first goal as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the COVID-19, Dortmund, Germany, May 16, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]
Borussia Dortmund managing director Carsten Cramer has hailed teenage phenom Erling Haaland as a "perfect guy" who fits the club "in a perfect way"－both on and off the pitch.
The Norwegian has been an instant success for BVB since signing from Red Bull Salzburg in January, when he reportedly turned down Manchester United's overtures in favor of the eight-time Bundesliga champion.
Haaland has already amassed 13 goals in 13 appearances for Lucien Favre's side, with his latest strike one for the history books－a cool 29th-minute finish in a 4-0 derby drubbing of Schalke that registered as the first goal of the Bundesliga's restart following its two-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Haaland even capped the moment with a socially distanced goal celebration to neatly sum up the Bundesliga's safety-conscious return to action in one viral-ready image.
"I think he is a perfect guy. I'm not talking about his ability on the pitch. Of course, he is an extraordinary player but he's a brilliant guy, who really fits into the Dortmund mentality," Cramer told China Daily of the 19-year-old, whose January arrival from Austria was supplemented by the loan signing of Emre Can from Juventus.
"If you take this picture when he celebrated his goal I would have to say that it is representative of Dortmund and of him－recognizing that limits and restrictions existed.
"If we all continue in a way like this, there is very high probability that we will come to a positive end to the season.
"This guy Erling Haaland represents Dortmund and the characteristics of Dortmund in a perfect way. He and Emre Can were some important puzzle pieces to create a successful team."
Somewhat inevitably, the rumor mill is already linking Haaland, who reportedly cost BVB around $21 million from Salzburg, with the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus. According to British media, another fast-rising Dortmund youngster, Jadon Sancho, is wanted by Manchester United.
Cramer had no comment on that speculation but said: "It's better to be part of rumors than to be completely ignored. It's a kind of hidden complement to our sports people and our players."