Norwegian giant Erling Haaland broke the single-season Premier League goal-scoring record earlier this week, scoring his 35th of the campaign—which still has four games left—in a 3-0 win over West Ham. He was interviewed by Sky afterwards, and said something that has been stuck in my head ever since.
Asked what he thinks about securing this record, and possibly getting his hands on even more, the 22-year-old said “I don’t think of this, I will go home now and play some video games, eat something and then sleep, that’s what I will do”.
After which he’s prompted by the presenter “which video games are you playing at the moment”, to which Haaland replies “I can’t say, it’s too embarrassing”.
Firstly, my guy, I’d like to say there is no video game you should be embarrassed about playing. It’s 2023, there are games for all lifestyles and platforms and budgets, and so whatever kind of game you want to play you’re able to go out and play it.
Secondly, though, I will guess that despite this, he is embarrassed because he’s a professional footballer, and maybe figures the lads (and/or assholes on social media) will take the absolute piss out of him if they find out. If this is the case, I am intrigued.
What possible game could a man that stands 1.95m tall (6'5"), makes £375,000 (USD$470,000) a week and is one of the five best footballers on the planet be too embarrassed to talk about?
It’s not going to be FIFA or Call of Duty, and likely wouldn’t be something like Fortnite either. Athletes across sports and all over the world are streaming games like that all the time, there’d be nothing out of the ordinary there.
Which has led to suggestions it might be something a bit gentler, a game that Haaland—rightly or wrongly—maybe doesn’t feel is the kind of game a big footballing man should be playing. Animal Crossing, perhaps. Maybe something European, like a farming or truck-driving simulator. Maybe he’s spending $470,000 a week on Robux. Maybe it’s Honkai: Star Rail. Maybe it’s Redfall.
Or, maybe it is FIFA, and he’s just playing as himself. Which you wouldn’t need to embarrassed about all dude, if I was in the game and had stats that good I would do exactly the same thing.
If anyone has any good guesses—or even any inside info—let us know!