ERLING HAALAND beefs up his 6ft4in frame by following a strict six-meal-a-day diet.
But when the Norwegian hotshot returns to his hometown of Bryne he makes sure he indulges in Chinese food and kebab pizzas.
The 21-year-old man mountain, who was a scrawny kid as a youngster, will be playing on our shores next season after Manchester City confirmed a £ 51million deal for the Borussia Dortmund striker.
Since exploding on the scene with Molde, Haaland has become one of the game’s biggest superstars.
Helped by a hulking physique, the powerhouse is a handful for defenders.
And it’s a strict food plan that has helped him achieve its shredded appearance.
He eats plates of chicken and pasta cooked – without salt or oil – and grub like swordfish, sea bass and sea bream all cooked with fresh vegetables.
He also mainly drinks water and avoids sugary snacks and frozen food, opting to eat fresh produce only.
In an interview with ESPN in 2019, Haaland’s dad Alf-Inge revealed that his son began following Cristiano Ronaldo’s diet after hearing a story told by former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra.
Haaland Sr said: “I had to be determined to make it in the game. But Erling made all the sacrifices, leaving home at 16 to move to Molde, and he is a lot more professional than I was.
“He was told a story by Patrice Evra about a lunch he had with Ronaldo and Cristiano had fish, nothing else.
“Erling now tries to do the same things because Ronaldo [was] 34 and still at the top of the game, so it shows the value of doing the right things. “
However, there are some hearty meals that even this supreme athlete can’t resist.
Hankering for home comforts
When his busy schedule allows, Haaland makes the trip to Bryne to catch up with friends and family.
And he can’t help but drop by Yummy Time – a takeaway that dishes up his favorite meal, a kebab pizza.
“I really like kebab (meat). I love it,” Haaland said recently.
“That doesn’t mean I eat it all the time. I eat it a couple of times a year when I’m in my hometown – I almost never eat it, but it’s still my favorite food.”
Just a few steps away is Chinese restaurant Wen Hua House – which has been a haunt of the Haalands since Erling was a small boy.
“Erling grew up in this restaurant, he has been coming here with his family since he was a child,” owner Hui Zhu Wang, 63, exclusively told SunSport.
“When he visits Bryne, he still comes to see us and orders his favorite dishes – sweet and sour chicken or the duck.
“He is always very polite and humble, and it’s amazing to think he’s such a famous footballer.
“Often, people will recognize him in the restaurant and he always makes time to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
“He has given us two of his shirts, which he signed, and we have one in our restaurant in a frame.
“We are very proud of him and what he has achieved, and wish him more success in England.”
Like Ronaldo, and many of the Premier League’s elite, Haaland has his own personal chef to help him prepare his meals.
It has been reported he gets through a mammoth 4,000 calories-per-day to fuel his body.
But his food consumption isn’t a shock to his fellow pros.
Norway team-mate Josh King once compared Haaland to “a bear” because of his insatiable appetite for grub.
“He’s just a freak”, Watford striker King told Ben Foster on his Cycling GK YouTube channel.
“I’ve never, ever seen anyone eat as much as he does.
“He’s shredded but I don’t know… he just eats like a bear.”
Famously, City boss Pep Guardiola banned his players from eating pizza in 2016, as was revealed by former defender Gael Clichy, so they may be off the menu for Haaland in the near future.
But, if his goals do allow the Spanish tactician to conquer Europe once again in the Champions League, maybe even the strict ex-Barcelona manager might just allow him to have a cheat day.