Bothem about his friend Haaland: – He’s completely crazy in his head. That’s why it’s good

Bothem about his friend Haaland: – He’s completely crazy in his head.  That’s why it’s good

The occasion couldn’t be greater: On Saturday, Bothem will be in Istanbul to watch Haaland in the Champions League final. He travels with his girlfriend and friends Haaland from Brienne, with whom he becomes good friends.

Together with the rest of Haaland’s squad, they will witness Archer’s biggest match of his career, as he can complete a historic treble victory with Manchester City.

– It would be completely insane. It would be just to be in the Champions League final, but when you also have a companion who will hopefully win the title… I don’t want to ‘feel’ anything. Bothem says I look forward to it as a young person.

Again: Erling Bothem and Erling Braut Haaland together in the Norwegian national team two years ago. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / BILDBYRÅN

The Norwegian Salernitana striker sits with TV 2 in an Italian restaurant in Frogner a few days before leaving for Turkey.

A perfect opportunity to reflect on a long-term friendship.

I got a shock: – Absolutely crazy

They met for the first time on 18 June 2014 at the Statoil Talent Camp in Stavanger under the auspices of the Norwegian Football Association. Bothem played in Lynn, Halland in Brienne.

We played in the same position. He came from Brin, and I’m from Oslo. I’ve never met a fellow peasant, have I? I didn’t know how they worked. He may have never seen a colleague from outside Stavanger. He had hardly been to Stavanger. He was also new to it. Obviously, it can be a bit of a meltdown at first, Bothhem says.

But in the end they were both selected for the G15 national team under the leadership of Erland Joensen, and it turned out that the team would play with two strikers.

And so there was room for both of them. They formed the forward pair in their first international match, a double encounter against Sweden. Then happened what Bothheim still describes as his best memory of Haaland:

Norway were down in the second half against Sweden in Brumundal. At first, Bothem rolled the ball to Haaland, who fired straight into the goal from midfield.

– He’s completely crazy in his head. That’s why it’s good. Who can shoot from there?

– In what way is he crazy in his head?

– He goes for things. Maybe that’s why he got this far, too. Incredibly strong in his head, he dares to try. Bothem says he may have had it all along.

It may seem like a small event after eight years, but for the young talent there has been enormous pressure attached to caps for each age group.

You don’t have a routine and you think you’re playing the most important game of your life. Every now and then you think it’s life or death. Shows his mental strength. Bothhem says he only taps in from midfield.

– Damn, some stupid boys

Besides international appearances as a front pair for Norway, the duo developed a close friendship off the field as well. They celebrated climbing together, as both signed their first sponsorship contracts with equipment giant Nike:

 Photo: private

Photo: private

Bothem burst out laughing.

We’ve probably been there for 15 years. They both got their first Nike contract, so it was a great show with the hats on their heads and the purple jumpers. Damn, some stupid guys. We were young and stupid there. But we had fun, and that’s the most important thing, smile.

The picture was shown again when Haaland announced his record deal with Nike this spring.

When the Nike collaboration was promoted at London’s Oxford Circus in April, Brian’s innocent teenage years seemed like a pipe dream.

– We went to Bryne’s every Christmas for a few days. We made a lot of fantasies. I can’t really go into what. I dare not. Then maybe I’ll slap. But we were teenagers. We lived in Alfie’s basement when we were kids. Alfie took care of us. We may have woken Alfie up a few times with a bit of noise and chatter and hello, FIFA matches and a bit of temperature, says Bothem.

They were also part of the rap group “Flow Kingz”, which took off after several years on YouTube in keeping with Haaland’s star status.

– Did you think, when you were sitting in Alfie’s cellar, that this would be the reality in a few years?

– That was the goal. Despite our stupidity, says Bothheim, we believed him, but he admits:

– I didn’t think he would play in the Champions League final when he was 22 and maybe win the treble. It doesn’t make sense. People don’t realize how big it is.

– I talk to his Bryne friends that I met when we were growing up. It’s a very sick thing to think about. It’s completely unrealistic. I’m very proud. It’s impressive. Bothhem says you almost get used to it being natural, but it’s completely surreal and completely unreal.

stunt fails

He noticed his friend’s star status on his body when the two were on vacation together. This fall, this Bothhem and Haaland clip went viral as the Oslo boy took the job as City player’s security guard amidst a crowd:

You can’t go to the mall with him. We dressed him up, tried to get him some hats and stuff, but he has this way of walking. He walks like that here, Bothem says, imitating Haaland’s distinctive walk.

– Of course it will appear. It is impossible! He is also blond. Hence he has such a stellar aura, so everyone notices when he is nearby. It does not work. He says we are trying, but it is not working.

Thus, even a Serie A player has to be reduced to a personal assistant on occasion.

– He’s protected. This is the size of it now. Then I go to the store and buy breakfast. That’s how it is. He’s a star, so I can take it. Buy orange juice and the like, both of them smile.

He continues, more seriously:

It’s impressive how he handled all the admissions. He probably also counts on the fact that he has many good people around him who take care of him, not least himself. He has good values ​​and knows what’s important to him.

– To be able to handle that pressure… I don’t think people realize how impressive it is, says a football friend.

Proud: Eric Bothheim looks back on his friendship with Erling Braut Haaland.  Photo: Daniel Sannum Lauten/TV 2

Proud: Eric Bothheim looks back on his friendship with Erling Braut Haaland. Photo: Daniel Sannum Lauten/TV 2

– There will be a lot of juggling

Haaland tells TV2 that the most important thing to him is to have “respectful and honest people” around him, and that the need has become “very special” as his fame has grown.

He needs people who can give him support when he needs it, and people he can relax around so he doesn’t have to expend more energy than necessary.

Bothem and Haaland cannot watch each other’s matches on the field, as they often play at the same time. And when they do talk, it’s rarely about football.

– It’s more about what we’re going to do on holiday, how it’s going, whether there’s good food in Manchester and whether it’s nice on the beach in Salerno. There will be a lot of sorcery. We talk about everything and nothing. Bothem says that when he scores a hat-trick, it’s a thumbs up, “Congratulations” and “Go on.”

– Do you think the status of the crazy star has changed him?

– He’s also human. He is not a foreigner. It’s totally normal, and it’s basically the same as everyone else’s. Talking and juggling.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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