Are we witnessing the emergence of European football’s latest superstar centre-forward?

Erling Braut Haaland scored a first-half hat-trick on his debut as RB Salzburg hammered Genk 6-2 in their group-stage opener on Tuesday.

It was the 19-year-old Norwegian’s third treble of a season that has seen him score a remarkable 17 times in nine appearances for his Austrian side.

This came after he netted just the nine times in a single game this summer as thrashed Honduras 12-0 at the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Poland.

If the surname sounds familiar there is good reason – he is the son of Alf-Inge Haaland, who spent a decade playing in England for Nottingham Forest, Leeds and .

Born in Leeds during his father’s spell in West Yorkshire, Haaland scored the first, second and fourth goals of Salzburg’s emphatic victory.

His opener was tucked in right-footed from just inside the area, before adding the second with his left foot after more great work from Hwang Hee-chan. His third – against a wide-open Genk side – was tucked in after a low left-wing cross.

‘He’ll become one of the best in the world’

Erling Braut Haaland

‪Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch was asked after his side’s win to describe his striker in three words: “Positive. Energetic. Electric. Or maybe electrifying!” he said. That’s four, but we know what you’re saying.

“He is phenomenal,” said team-mate Max Wober. “With his height, to be so nimble and have such command of the ball. It’s really hard to play against him in training; you just have to foul him.

“Once again, he proved why he’s definitely going to become one of the best strikers in the world.”

The forward himself set his sights on a run deep into the competition – citing Ajax’s semi-final last season as inspiration.

“Everything is possible. We all saw Ajax last year, it would be nice to be the new Ajax,” he said.

“But we know there are lot of good teams. It’s hard, but everything is possible.”

Raul, Rooney, Haaland?

At 19 years and 58 days, Haaland is the third youngest player to score a hat-trick, behind legend Raul (18 years 113 days in 1995) and former man Wayne Rooney (18 years 340 days in 2004).

Haaland is the first teenager to score more than once on his debut since Rooney scored his hat-trick against Fenerbahce in September 2004, and is the third player to score in the first two minutes of a match on his debut, after Andreas Moller in 1995 and Eliaquim Mangala in 2009.

Debut hat-tricks in
PlayerGameDate
Marco van Basten*AC Milan 4-0 IFK Gothenburg25/11/1992
Faustino Asprilla 3-2 17/09/1997
Yakubu Aiyegbeni Maccabi Haifa 3-0 Olympiacos24/09/2002
Wayne Rooney 6-2 Fenerbahce28/09/2004
Vincenzo Iaquinta Udinese 3-0 Panathinaikos14/09/2004
GrafiteWolfsburg 3-1 CSKA Moscow15/09/2009
Yacine BrahimiPorto 6-0 BATE Borisov17/09/2014
Erling Braut HaalandRB Salzburg 6-2 Genk17/09/2019

*Van Basten ended with four on his debut, a feat as yet unmatched.

The teenager has some work to do when it comes to hat-tricks, though. The world’s best two, ’s and Juventus’ , have both scored eight in the alone.

Alf-Inge Haaland

The next best haul is three – managed by Filipo Inzaghi, Mario Gomez and Luiz Adriano.

There’s no chance of Haaland turning out for the Three Lions – as he already has caps for – but we may well see him in England one day.

In an interview in 2017, he admitted his dream was to win the with hometown club Leeds.

One step at a time…

Line-ups

RB Salzburg

  • 1Stankovic
  • 43KristensenBooked at 47minsSubstituted forFarkasat 84′minutes
  • 15Ramalho
  • 39Wöber
  • 17Ulmer
  • 28BernedeBooked at 50mins
  • 16Junuzovic
  • 18Minamino
  • 14SzoboszlaiBooked at 62minsSubstituted forOkugawaat 62′minutes
  • 9Hwang Hee-Chan
  • 30HaalandSubstituted forDakaat 72′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Ashimeru
  • 6Onguéné
  • 20Daka
  • 23Köhn
  • 25Farkas
  • 37Okugawa
  • 45Mwepu

KRC Genk

  • 28Coucke
  • 31Maehle
  • 6Dewaest
  • 33Lucumí
  • 21Uronen
  • 7ItoSubstituted forBongonda Mbul’Ofeko Batomboat 45′minutesBooked at 58mins
  • 25Berge
  • 17Hrosovsky
  • 77NdongalaSubstituted forHagiat 72′minutes
  • 8HeynenSubstituted forOnuachuat 85′minutes
  • 10SamattaBooked at 83mins

Substitutes

  • 2de Norre
  • 4Wouters
  • 18Onuachu
  • 23Hagi
  • 26Vandevoordt
  • 27Bongonda Mbul’Ofeko Batombo
  • 46Cuesta
Referee:
Felix Zwayer
Attendance:
29,520

Match Stats

Home TeamRB SalzburgAway TeamKRC Genk
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home26
Away10
Shots on Target
Home13
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home18
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, FC Salzburg 6, KRC Genk 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, FC Salzburg 6, KRC Genk 2.

Attempt missed. Takumi Minamino (FC Salzburg) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Antoine Bernede.

Attempt missed. Patson Daka (FC Salzburg) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Andreas Ulmer.

Attempt missed. Takumi Minamino (FC Salzburg) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Andreas Ulmer with a cross.

Attempt saved. Patson Daka (FC Salzburg) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick Farkas.

Attempt blocked. Patson Daka (FC Salzburg) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andreas Ulmer.

Attempt blocked. Patrick Farkas (FC Salzburg) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, FC Salzburg. Conceded by Jhon Lucumí.

Attempt blocked. Takumi Minamino (FC Salzburg) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Zlatko Junuzovic.

Substitution

Substitution, KRC Genk. Paul Onuachu replaces Bryan Heynen.

Attempt missed. Mbwana Samatta (KRC Genk) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Theo Bongonda.

Corner, FC Salzburg. Conceded by Joakim Maehle.

Substitution

Substitution, FC Salzburg. Patrick Farkas replaces Rasmus Kristensen.

Booking

Mbwana Samatta (KRC Genk) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

VAR Decision: No Red Card Mbwana Samatta (KRC Genk).

Foul by Mbwana Samatta (KRC Genk).

Zlatko Junuzovic (FC Salzburg) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Hwang Hee-Chan (FC Salzburg) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Patson Daka (FC Salzburg) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Hwang Hee-Chan.

Corner, KRC Genk. Conceded by Cican Stankovic.

Attempt saved. Bryan Heynen (KRC Genk) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Sander Berge with a cross.

Corner, KRC Genk. Conceded by Maximilian Wöber.

Attempt blocked. Ianis Hagi (KRC Genk) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joakim Maehle.

Attempt missed. Rasmus Kristensen (FC Salzburg) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Patson Daka.

Attempt blocked. Zlatko Junuzovic (FC Salzburg) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Patson Daka.

Ianis Hagi (KRC Genk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Masaya Okugawa (FC Salzburg).

Substitution

Substitution, FC Salzburg. Patson Daka replaces Erling Haaland.

Substitution

Substitution, KRC Genk. Ianis Hagi replaces Dieumerci Ndongala.

Attempt saved. Jere Uronen (KRC Genk) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joakim Maehle.

Attempt missed. Maximilian Wöber (FC Salzburg) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Andreas Ulmer with a cross following a set piece situation.

Hand ball by Dieumerci Ndongala (KRC Genk).

Bryan Heynen (KRC Genk) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Zlatko Junuzovic (FC Salzburg).

Goal!

Goal! FC Salzburg 6, KRC Genk 2. Andreas Ulmer (FC Salzburg) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Zlatko Junuzovic.

Patrik Hrosovsky (KRC Genk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Zlatko Junuzovic (FC Salzburg).

Foul by Patrik Hrosovsky (KRC Genk).

Andreas Ulmer (FC Salzburg) wins a free kick in the defensive half.