erling Haaland is different. In many ways. Not only that the Norwegian young star meets and meets and meets. That the international press, his teammates and opponents are constantly raving about the fact that with his 1.94 meters and 87 kilograms he is a guy from a man. One who electrifies. One who doesn’t say much. If he weren’t Norwegian – he would fit perfectly into the cliché of a silent Finn. A new child prodigy at the age of 19. In addition, the first player in Bundesliga history to score five goals in his first two games – in just 57 minutes, also a record.
And now he’s cheering differently. At least on his first goal in the Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain. After interim compensation by Neymar Haaland then also ensured the 2-1 and the Dortmund victory. His miraculous success story gets a new building block.
69 minutes: It is 0-0. Haaland ensures his first goal in the premier class for Borussia Dortmund. In the preliminary round he had scored eight times for RB Salzburg in six appearances. A professional has never scored ten goals in his first seven Champions League games. And what does this “force of nature” do (BVB Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke)? He sits down. Cross-legged. And closes his eyes, his chin slightly raised. To do this, he shapes his fingers in a special way. Just as if he were meditating. As if he were for a moment away from this world, from this game.
Interesting how Haaland shapes his hands
“He took a meditation seat, a crossed seat,” explains yoga teacher and WELT columnist Sarah Stork. “That’s how you sit when you meditate or do breathing exercises.” Stork adds with a grin: “He’s not sitting quite correctly, but he doesn’t have a pillow with him on the field. Usually the knees should be below the hips. Most people, however, have shortened hip flexors, especially soccer players, and cannot get into this position without aids. ”
As for the closed eyes, Stork says: “When meditating, you mostly concentrate on the point between the eyebrows, the so-called third eye, Ajna Chakra, the seat of knowledge and intellect. Haaland also looks up a bit – that’s why I think he is concentrating on this point. In addition, the spine upright, exactly as you should do it. “
Stork finds it particularly interesting how the young Norwegian forms his hands. “Mudras refer to finger positions in yoga. And he shows the Chin Mudra, ”she explains. “You put your thumb and index finger together, your hands form a kind of circle, the other fingers are usually stretched out. It is the gesture of knowledge, consciousness, wisdom. ”The circle, she says, represents a unity.
What conclusions does she draw from this gesture? “It can be interpreted as doing it to be aware of what just happened,” says Stork. “That he wants this one moment to pop up clearly in his mind’s eye and wants to be one with himself – and doesn’t celebrate as loudly, not as extroverted as we normally know from athletes. Rather, do it for yourself. “
Authentic and brave
Added to this is the importance of the index finger in yoga. There he is considered an “ego finger”. “The moment you bring your thumb and index finger together and flex your index finger, ie your ego, that says something,” explains Stork. “If you want to go as far as the interpretation, you could say that he scored the goal, but he takes himself back and not so important.”
In a way, this cheering is also brave. Because the Norwegian shows the opposite of what spectators and teammates are used to. “So he has to have a good ego to do something like that,” says Stork. “And as a 19-year-old – it’s amazing that he does that.”
For Stork, one thing is certain: this type of cheering is no accident. And it doesn’t look fake either. “Anyone who cheers like this is definitely related to yoga or meditation,” she says. “I don’t think that he wanted to give a message, but that it was simply his personal way of celebrating himself and this moment. I find that very authentic. ”And it fits Haaland’s calm manner.
Maybe yoga is also generally Haaland’s means, the incredible hype to meet his person. A conceivable way, at least for Stork. “He is under extreme pressure, is extremely public, every step is observed, every gesture commented,” says Stork. “Perhaps yoga is his way of not losing himself in this very superficial business, grounding himself and building a protective shield.”