What does a player who scored a remarkable 36 Premier League goals last season (52 in all comps) do before taking the pitch? Besides following a strict diet and a last-minute massage, Erling Haaland does everything he can to relax psychologically.
The 23-year-old Norwegian goal sensation admits that he doesn't follow strict routines the night before a match. In addition to pursuing mindfulness meditation, Haaland is keen to play video games to match his video-game-like numbers — he scored six hat tricks for Manchester City, a Premier League record, last season.
Haaland's Secret to pre-match Relaxation: Mindfulness Meditation and Video Games
“I don't have any special routines. I try not to think too much before a game,” Haaland told reporters upon his much-anticipated return against Burnley tonight.
“Normally the night before a game, I play on my PlayStation and try and relax as much as I can. I don't do anything special. I like to score with myself on EAFC24, that's about it. I don't do anything special, I just try and relax and look forward to the game.”
EA Sports jettisoned the “FIFA” moniker last year after its 30-year partnership with football's governing body. The abridged name change to “EA FC 24” obviously did nothing to dent its popularity — after all, it's still the go-to game for youngsters like Haaland and 17-year-old dart phenom Luke Littler. Littler prefers playing with the Ultimate Team packs on the EAFC app.
But we don't think either athlete is sitting there getting text neck all night playing EA FC. Like Littler, Haaland's pre-match behavior of “do nothing” also includes plenty of sleep. One of his idols, Cristiano Ronaldo, sleeps in 90-minute intervals called Polysphasic sleep.
Haaland set foot on the pitch for the first time tonight in 9 matches. He last featured on December 6, tallying 19 goals and 5 in just 22 games—no wonder he likes to play video games as himself. Oh, he also likes to play a little Minecraft with his pals.