Top clubs might all be battling for the signature of Borussia Dortmund’s striker Erling Haaland, but it was a Romanian assistant referee who managed to get the Norway international to put pen to paper on Tuesday.
Television footage showed one of the Romanian officials in charge of the Champions League quarterfinal first leg versus Manchester City approaching Haaland in the tunnel after the game to get him to sign his yellow card, and succeeding in his quest.
The 20-year-old Haaland is the most sought after talent in the European game and has been linked with a move to City and their local rivals Manchester United as well as Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.
It is not normal protocol for match officials to ask players for autographs after games, and UEFA could respond, but City boss Pep Guardiola had no problem with the referee’s request.
“They told me. Maybe he’s a fan. Why not?” Guardiola said after the match.
“The referees were brilliant, the game was not a problem. The VAR told me it was not a penalty and [Jude] Bellingham, the leg is higher than expected. Yeah, the referees were perfect,”
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By Ofhani Munyai