Having established himself as one of the most promising strikers in world soccer, Erling Haaland was ready to embark on a new adventure this season. His astonishing level at Borussia Dortmund caught the eye of every European giant, with Manchester City ultimately winning the race.
Though the Citizens moved fast to secure his signature, Haaland was previously linked with a host of continental powerhouses. Real Madrid were believed to be a strong candidate, though they were also pursuing Kylian Mbappe.
In the end, Los Blancos were left empty-handed, as the Frenchman opted to stay at Paris Saint-Germain. Many thought that had they not focus so much on Mbappe, they'd have secured Haaland. But it looks like Madrid were his third choice.
Real Madrid were Erling Haaland's third choice
In the documentary 'Haaland: The Big Decision,' which explores how Haaland chose City instead of other offers, Erling's father Alfie revealed his son's wish list heading into the transfer market - and Real Madrid were third.
"On our list, I think City is the best team," Alfie Haaland said, via The Times. "[Bayern] Munich is number two. We have Real Madrid as number three, Paris Saint-Germain as number four. We also have some English teams other than City who are quite good. Liverpool and Chelsea. Also, there is Barcelona. They are sort of in the same row."
Manchester City are wealthy, they have one of the best managers on Earth in Pep Guardiola, and also show off a world-class roster. But for Haaland it's also a special club since his father played there when he was a kid.
The move seems to be working out well for both, as City have found in him a reliable goalscorer, while Haaland has been able to take his game to the next level. However, Madrid are still in good hands with Karim Benzema up front.