Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has discussed Paris Saint-Germain’s now-infamous mocking of his trademark ‘meditation’ celebration in the Champions League last 16 – cheekily thanking them for doing it.
Paris Saint-Germain met Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16, winning the second leg 2-0 to progress to the quarter-finals.
At the final whistle, the PSG players celebrated together by imitating Haaland’s cross-legged celebration, which he had performed in the first leg.
PSG’s stars were apparently incensed over a perceived show of disrespect from the teenage striker, but, speaking to ESPN, Haaland has remained unfazed.
He is quoted as saying about the incident: “I think they helped me a lot to get meditation out in the world and to show the whole world that meditation is an important thing so I’m thankful that they helped me with that.”
Haaland scored a stunning brace in Dortmund’s first leg win back in February, as the Schwarzgelben saw out a 2-1 win at the Signal Iduna Park. On both occasions, the 19-year-old celebrated with his trademark pose, having previously admitted that he ‘really enjoys’ meditation.
Unfortunately for the Norwegian, his first leg heroics weren’t enough to book a spot in the last eight for BVB. PSG won the second leg thanks to goals from Neymar and Bernat, progressing 3-2 on aggregate and reaching their first Champions League quarter-final in four years.
Haaland joined Dortmund in the January transfer window, amid widespread interest from across the continent. The 19-year-old enjoyed an explosive start to life in north-west Germany, with 12 goals and two assists in 11 appearances for the Schwarzgelben.
Haaland wasn’t the only fresh arrival at BVB in January, with American starlet Giovanni Reyna promoted to the first team from the under-19s. The Norwegian international was full of praise for his new teammate, who is two years his junior.
Speaking about Reyna, he said: “He’s 17-and-a-half soon, so in such a young age to be so calm on the ball and play for such a big team, it’s very fascinating to see how calm he is and he doesn’t care about anything, he just jumps right into it.”
Reyna has so far made 11 senior appearances for the German giants, making his debut in the 5-3 win over Augsburg on 18 January. The American youngster is the youngest player in Dortmund’s first team squad, though is also one of their brightest prospects.