Player name: Erling Braut Haaland
Clubs: Bryne, Molde, Red Bull Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City
Height: 6 ft 5 in
Erling Braut Haaland is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City and the Norway national team. Considered one of the best players in the world, he is known for his speed, strength, and finishing inside the box.
Coming through the youth system, Haaland played at senior level for Bryne's reserve and senior teams. He then moved to Molde in 2017 (also playing for their reserve team), with whom he spent two seasons. Haaland signed with Austrian Bundesliga side Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019, winning two league titles and one Austrian Cup. In December 2019, he moved to German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, where he won the DFB-Pokal in 2020-21. In the summer of 2022, he was transferred to Manchester City for a fee of €60 million (£51.2 million).
Haaland has won several individual awards and broken various records during his career. During the 2019-20 season with Salzburg, he became the first teenager to score goals in five consecutive UEFA Champions League matches. He was the top scorer of the Champions League for the 2020-21 season. In 2020, Haaland won the Golden Boy award, while in 2021 he was named Bundesliga Player of the Season and was included in the FIFA FIFPro World 11 in 2021 and 2022. With Manchester City, he has also broken Premier League records, including becoming the quickest individual to score two, three and four hat-tricks, and becoming the first player in the league's history to score hat-tricks in three consecutive home games.
Haaland has represented Norway at various youth levels. In the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, he won the tournament's Golden Boot, after scoring a record nine goals in a single match. He made his senior international debut in September 2019.
Here at BCBootsUK, we have managed to get our hands on one of the most saught after pieces of match worn football memorabilia in the world right now - a pair of match worn boots from the man himself, the cyborg, Erling Braut Haaland! This right here is hot, hot, property and a neigh on impossible item to acquire... but we have made it possible! This particular pair are the Nike Mercurial Vapor 15 Elite model from the 'Lucent Pack' which was released by the American brand for the current 2022-23 season. Haaland has famously been such a huge fan of this model & colourway, that he wore it for a long, long time period.
A prolific goalscorer, Haaland has all the attributes of a complete centre-forward. He uses his sizeable frame to hold play up effectively and involve others. He has the pace and clever movement to run in behind; he can dribble and create; and he can finish with both feet and his head. He usually comes deep to collect the ball to help his team build play, often looking to spread the ball wide for a teammate, before turning and sprinting towards goal. He sometimes comes too deep for the defenders to follow him, as such he has the awareness to turn on the ball and create from a forward-facing position. In the penalty area, he makes small, sharp movements to spot an opportunity for a teammate to attempt to find him in space, and can change the line on which he is running and accelerate into that space, making him extremely difficult for defenders to read.
Now, unlike many elite level players, Haaland has actually kept his custom boots very very close to the retail equivalant spec. The Mercurial Vapor 15 Elite features some revelutionary technology; for the first time in history Nike has developed a Zoom Air device in 3/4 length placed in the sole, which provides an extremely efficient and responsive settlement under the foot, which sends the player off towards the goal in rocket speed. The upper consists of rthe evolutionary Vaporposite +, which combines adhesive mesh with a premium material, which provides a unique fit and optimal ball control. Where this pair differ in the upper department is the overall shape, since this pair were specially made around a mould of Haaland's feet, they are specifically shaped and crafted jist for his measurements. The internal speed cage is made of a thin but strong material that holds the foot against the sole without adding extra weight, which helps to create a secure lockdown. Innovative Tri-star stud system is still present, as found on the retail model, which provides an exceptionally good grip in the ground during acceleration and quick changes of direction. The soft Flyknit material construction encloses the ankle, and ensures optimal support and stability for exposed areas. The upper is coated with Nike All Conditions Control, for optimal grip on the ball in all weather conditions.
Due to being born in Leeds, Haaland was eligible to play for England but manager Gareth Southgate stated Haaland only wished to play for Norway. Haaland was named by manager Lars Lagerback to the Norway senior team squad on 28 August 2019, to face Malta and Sweden in UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying matches; he made his senior national team debut on 5 September 2019 against Malta. On 4 September 2020, Haaland scored his first senior international goal for Norway in a 1–2 loss against Austria in the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League B. Three days later, he scored a brace in a 5–1 victory against Northern Ireland. On 11 October, Haaland scored his first international hat-trick in Norway's 4–0 win over Romania in a Nations League B match, bringing his tally for the senior team to six goals in six matches played. During the September 2021 international break, Haaland scored five goals in three World Cup Qualification matches, including a second hat-trick for Norway in a 5–1 victory against Gibrialtar.
Further elaborating on the point of the boots having been made around a mould of Haaland's feet, the identification number seen written inside does indeed refer to that mould in which the boots were constructed around. Nike have been doing this with their elite player's custom football boots for coming up to two decades now - this has been seen to be present in pairs both with and without internal size labels. The custom pairs which do not contain any size labels are typically vastly different to any regular sizing & spec of boot, that they do not have any relation, and thus Nike just dont put a label inside. In the case of this pair of Haaland's match worn Vapor 15's, the sizing label present states that he wears a UK size 9.5 (US10.5), however it is worth reiterating that this will not mirror a regular, mass produced retail version of this model, due to the custom shape for the player.
On 10 May 2022, Premier League club Manchester City announced they had reached a deal to sign Haaland after activating his €60 million (£51.2 million) release clause. The deal was formalised on 13 June, with City announcing that Haaland would be joining the club on 1 July on a five-year contract. He made his competitive debut on 30 July, playing 90 minutes in a 3–1 defeat to Liverpool in the 2022 FA Community Shield. On 7 August, he scored two goals on his league debut in a 2–0 away victory against West Ham United. On 27 August, Haaland scored his first Premier Leagie hat-trick in a 4–2 victory against Crystal Palace, and scored his second, a perfect hat-trick, four days later in a 6–0 win against Nottingham Forest, making him the quickest individual in Premier League history to score two hat-tricks, beating the previous record by 14 matches; he was later voted Premier League Player of the Month for August, his first month playing in the league.
The shape differences further continue into the heel area of each boot. Whilst these details are only small, and noticable upon close inspection and perhaps not to the naked eye, they do make a world of difference for the player - especially when they are the selected tools of use at the elite level of the game, on the world's biggest stage. The measurements in this area indicate that the heels of Haaland's pair have been made around 6-8mm lower than that of a standard retail version Vapor 15 Elite, upon comparison. The reason that the measurement above is not exact, is because they actually differ from the left to the right boot. You may have noticed in the picture above, that the 'Mercurial' logo on the left boot is lower than the one on the right boot - that is due to the fact that the heel construction of the right boot comes up higher than the left. These very fine details show the extent to which companies like Nike go to in order to cater to their world star athletes, ensuring that their product enhances the performance of the player to the highest level. The FlyKnit collar is also made slightly lower than what you'd find on the retail version.
On the 6th September, he made his Champions League debut for the club, scoring two goals against Sevilla and becoming the first player to score 25 goals in 20 Champions League appearances. On the 2nd October, Haaland became the first player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick in three successive home games in City's 6–3 win against Manchester United, in which he also got two assists. He also became the quickest player in Premier League history to score three hat-tricks, doing so in eight league games and beating the previous record of 48 league games, set by Michael Owen in 1998, as well as halving Alan Shearer's record of scoring three hat-tricks in a 10-game spell in the 1994–95 season. On the 28th December, Haaland got a brace in City's 3–1 away win over Leeds United, taking his tally to 20 in 14 matches, and became the fastest player in history to reach 20 Premier League goals, beating Sunderland's Kevin Phillips' record by seven appearances. On the 22nd January 2023, Haaland scored a fourth hat-trick against Wolverhampton Wanderers, giving him a total of 25 Premier League goals after just 19 games, thus surpassing the top scorers of the previous 2021-22 season, Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min, who both scored 23 league goals across the entire season. On the 14th March 2023, Haaland scored five goals against RB Leipzig in the Champions League, tying Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano for the most goals scored in a single Champions League match. In doing so, he also reached 39 goals across all competitions for Manchester City, breaking the club record for most goals scored in a single season which was previously held by Tommy Johnson, who scored 38 goals in the 1928–1929 season. Additionally, he joined Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the only players to score at least 10 goals in multiple Champions League campaigns.
Nike have finished this custom pair of Mercurial Vapor 15 Elite's off for Haaland by adding the personalisation of 'BRAUT HAALAND' along with the national flag of Norway. Interestingly, Haaland has kept this same personalisation on his boots since his Vapor 13's back at Salzburg. Where a lot of players like to add meaningful phrases, family member's names, certain dates etc, Haaland likes to keep it simple here. As well as Braut being Haaland's middle name, it is also the last name of his mother - Gry Marita Braut.
Often likened to a machine, and nicknamed 'The Cyborg', Erling Haaland has the pace and power to match any Premier League defender imaginable. Excellent on the break and extraordinarily deadly when given space to run beyond an opposition’s defense, Haaland also thrives with his back to goal. This is an area of his game that people often assume, without watching him, that he would struggle with in a Manchester City system that relies so heavily on possession-based football and every single player taking part in the process. Haaland's pace & power combined when in posession of the ball is simply unmatched in world football.
The above photomatch here is from the Premier League fixture between Manchester City & Southampton played at the Etihad Stadium on the 8th October 2022. City won the match 4-0, with Haaland scoring in the 65th minute - his 20th goal for the Cityzens. Here we can notice the unique Nike Swoosh postition where it connecs to the soleplate, typically this is much lower, however here we can see the very thin black line connecting at the bottom of the logo. Also, the dirt mark to the front of the toebox area is also present - as well as the 'BRAUT HAALAND' personalisation to the lateral side of the upper, with the Norway flag lining up with the faint line in the upper which is from the internal support cage material.
You for sure do not need us to tell you just how rare this match worn piece is! During this season Haaland, has only worn 4 pairs of boots (including this pair) with the being the Mercurial Vapor 14 Elite pair he brought with him to City from Dortmund, one other pair of this 'Lucent Pack' Vapor 15 & the Phantom GX which he has just begun wearing in the UCL this week, when he put 5 goals past RB Leipzig. During just his first season in English top flight football, Haaland has already smashed multiple records. It remains to be seen just how many records he will finish the 2022-23 season having smashed, but what we do know is that the Premier League Golden Boot award was already wrapped up at the midway point in the season, if he does indeed continue his streek of breaking records and can add to that by winning trophies come season end, could we see Haaland already in contention for the Ballon d'Or? We certainly think so!