Arriving in Germany barely a year ago, Erling Håland is currently one of the greatest hopes in the world of football. However, despite a certain talent, his place as the 6th most popular player in the Bundesliga surprises and denotes, so much does his profile differ from that of his competitors. Yet it is in this difference that lies the explanation of its success.
He is only 20 years old and yet Norwegian striker Erling Håland is already breaking records on and off the football pitches. On the one hand, the data collected by the IQUII Sport institute shows that in the space of a month, the popularity of the player has increased by 17.7% on social networks, making him the 6th most popular player in the Bundesliga, ahead of references such as Sancho, Hummels or even Kimmich, barely a year after joining Germany.
On the other hand, no player in the top 20 of the five biggest European leagues has experienced comparable enthusiasm during the same period, and yet there is a logical explanation.
One could first assume that this is a simple reflection of the exceptional performance of the player, who at the time of this writing, has already scored 32 goals in 34 Bundesliga games, and also won the Golden Boy trophy in 2020. Alas, it is nowhere near enough to become a star of the German championship, or even of social networks.
Indeed, in the eyes of Bundesliga fans, it seems that the talent and the number of goals scored are not enough, as underlined in particular the absence of players such as Kingsley Coman, Süle or even André Silva within the top 20.
Moreover, if we observe this ranking more closely, it is also possible to arrive at a double observation: the majority of the most popular players in the Bundesliga are either German internationals, or have spent many years within this same championship. Reinier, Jovic and Arías are an exception, but the first two are actually prospect players on loan from Real Madrid, and the third is a newcomer to the Bundesliga side, in other words, they most likely gained notoriety away from Germany.
To understand both the popularity of Erling Håland and his sudden jump to 6th place, we must therefore focus on the period in which the study was carried out. The dates from February 17 to March 16 coincide with the home and away matches against Sevilla FC in the Champions League. Borussia Dortmund qualified 5/4 cumulative scores thanks to… 4 goals from the Norwegian striker. In other words, it is his performances on the European stage rather than in the Bundesliga that directly contribute to Erling Håland’s fame.
It should also be noted in passing that there seems to be a phenomenon of regionalism within the Bundesliga: none of its most popular players manages to climb into the top 20 of the players with the most followers in Europe.
So the Erling Håland case could ultimately be unique in many ways.
Not only his popularity, more European than German, could allow him to change this trend, but he could also manage to exceed the popularity of his own club on certain platforms, making him a brand player like other players of his generation such as Kylian Mbappé.
Still, if these are just guesses, one thing is for sure: the coming weeks could be decisive for the future as well as the value of the Norwegian striker in the market.
Announced on departure against a sum of around 160 million euros, his side could continue to soar if ever he were to achieve the feat in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Manchester City.