|Full name Alf-Inge Rasdal Haland|
Height 1.78 m
|Playing position |
Place of birth Stavanger, Norway
Name Alf-Inge Haland
Children Erling Braut Haland
|Date of birth (1972-11-23) 23 November 1972 (age 48)|
Alf-Inge Rasdal "Alfie" Håland (born 23 November 1972 in Stavanger), anglicised to Haaland, is a Norwegian former professional footballer who played as a defender for English clubs Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Manchester City. Håland won 34 caps for Norway.
He grew up at Bryne and played his club football for Bryne FK, before moving to Nottingham Forest where he made his debut against Leicester City. He later played for Leeds United and Manchester City.
Håland made his debut for Norway in friendly match against Costa Rica in January 1994. He was later named in Norway's squad for the 1994 World Cup where he played the matches against Mexico and Italy. Håland was capped a total of 34 times, with his last international match was against Bulgaria in April 2001. Håland is — along with Hallvar Thoresen, Dan Eggen, Espen Baardsen, Hans Hermann Henriksen, Joshua King and Martin Samuelsen — one of the few players to have played for the Norwegian national team without ever playing in the domestic top division.
Feud with Manchester United and Roy Keane
Håland is often remembered for his feud with Roy Keane, who he claimed wouldn't dare look him in the eye, and said "I really dislike United and I can't stand their players".
In September 1997, when Manchester United were losing 1–0 to Håland's Leeds United at Elland Road, Keane injured his anterior cruciate ligament trying to tackle Håland. As Keane lay prone on the ground, Håland criticised Keane and suggested that he was feigning injury to avoid punishment. Håland was booked as Keane was stretchered off the field and Keane was out of action for nearly a year afterwards.
In April 2001, Keane fouled Håland on his right knee, for which he was sent off. Of the incident, Håland said "I'm only glad my leg was off the ground, otherwise he would have done me a lot of damage". Initially, Keane was simply fined £5,000 and received a three-match ban. However, his biography admitted that it was an act of vengeance over Håland for the criticism he received three and a half years previously (although Keane claimed this was inaccurate paraphrasing from his ghost-writer). After this revelation, Keane found himself subject to an FA inquiry and received an additional five-game ban, and £150,000 fine. Håland professes no lasting bitterness towards Keane, hoping only that Keane is different now, so that he can provide a better example to young people and the players he manages.
Injuries and retirement
At the time of Keane's tackle, Håland's left knee was giving him sufficient problems for him to have to play with strapping around it. After the tackle, Håland finished the match and played a midweek friendly for Norway coming off at half-time, and the next league game, coming off in the 68th minute. That summer, he underwent surgery on his left knee, but only managed a further 4 substitute appearances the following season and finally retired in July 2003 after failing to recover full fitness. Håland was originally contracted with Manchester City until the end of the 2004–05 season, but in his contract it was stated that City could terminate the contract if medical conditions indicated that he couldn't play first-team football again, and decided to use this option.
Following the release of Keane's autobiography in 2002, Håland and Manchester City stated that they intended to take legal action against Keane. However, it emerged that Håland had stated on his personal website that he had been playing with the injury to his left knee a few months, that it did not receive a knock in the game to his left leg, (Keane went for his right leg) and that Keane did not cause his injury. Legal action was dropped in February 2003 after the club reviewed the medical advice. In a 2007 interview, Håland invited the interviewer to reach the conclusion that the foul from Keane was the root cause of his retirement as he never played a full match again.
Håland came out of retirement to play for the Bryne-based club Rosseland in the Norwegian Third Division in 2011.