Euro 2024: Erling Haaland and Other Stars Missing Out

The Euro 2024 tournament in Germany will showcase Europe’s elite, but some big names will be absent. Among them is Erling Haaland, one of the world’s top strikers. Norway failed to qualify, finishing behind Scotland and Spain in their group, leaving Haaland and Martin Odegaard sidelined.

Haaland’s exclusion from Euro 2024 is surprising given his stature. The Manchester City star has been phenomenal, scoring 30 goals in 32 caps for Norway. However, Norway hasn’t played in a major tournament since Euro 2000, and the trend continues despite Haaland and Odegaard’s efforts.

Critics point to Norway’s lack of depth beyond these two stars. Of the 23 players called up for June internationals, only a few play regularly for top-tier European teams. This disparity in talent makes it difficult for Norway to compete against more well-rounded teams.

Norway’s struggles are not new. Former player Kjetil Rekdal expressed frustration, saying, “We’ve heard the same excuses for 25 years. It’s always the same story with different coaches and teams.” Their crucial qualifying game against Scotland, where they led 1-0 before conceding two late goals, epitomized their woes.

Euro 2024

Haaland’s exhaustion after a grueling season with Manchester City didn’t help. Norway’s manager, Stale Solbakken, noted, “In the final few minutes, we played with one less man. Haaland was completely spent.” Despite his impressive goal-scoring record, Haaland’s frequent absences from international duty have also drawn criticism.

Norway’s inability to field a cohesive, competitive team continues to hold them back. The contrast with teams like Austria, which boasts numerous players from top leagues, highlights Norway’s deficiencies. Solbakken’s future as manager hinges on qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, a challenge that seems daunting given their current trajectory.

For now, Euro 2024 will proceed without one of football’s brightest stars. Haaland’s situation recalls past legends like Ryan Giggs and George Best, who also missed out on major tournaments despite their immense talent. Norway must improve significantly to avoid wasting the prime years of their top players.

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