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Why didn’t Haaland play in Norway’s last game?

Erling Haaland at Man City
© Ace Football

The Norwegian football sensation has been smashing in the goals left and right, so why didn’t he play in Norway’s last game?

Norway manager Stale Solbakken revealed he left Erling Haaland out of Thursday’s game against Jordan to keep the striker fresh for next week.

Even without Haaland, Norway sailed through the friendly with a 6-0 home win. The Lions will now prepare for Tuesday, where Georgia await. They’ll be playing in a Euro 2024 qualifier, and depending on the outcome of Georgia’s match with Spain this Friday, three points could be critical.

“It is about a conversation with him that I have had on the same level as the 13-14 others who are eligible to start,” Solbakken said of resting Haaland.

“They [Haaland’s club Manchester City] started the pre-season 14 days later than everyone else because of the Champions League. There is a small backlog, which is getting smaller and smaller every day. Then we think it makes the most sense for him to build up and train with Bjørn Vidar Stenersen [Norway physio] so that he is 100 per cent by Tuesday.”

At the time of writing, Norway sit level with second-placed Georgia in Group A on four points. They are behind in third, having played one more game. Spain trail the two teams by a single point in fourth place.