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Alf-Inge Haaland

Personal information
Full nameAlf-Inge Rasdal Håland
Date of birth23 November 1972(age 44)
Place of birthStavanger, Norway
Height5 ft 10 in (1.8 m)
Playing positionDefender

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Alf-Inge Rasdal "Alfie" Håland (born 23 November 1972 in Stavanger), anglicised to Haaland, is a retired Norwegian football defender. He grew up at Bryne and played his club football for Bryne FK, and later played for Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Manchester City. Håland won 34 caps for Norway, and is one of six players to have played for the Norwegian national team without ever playing in the domestic top division.

Håland is often remembered for his feud with Roy Keane. In September 1997, when Manchester United were losing 1-0 to Håland's Leeds at Elland Road, Keane injured his anterior cruciate ligament. As Keane lay prone on the ground, Håland criticised Keane for an attempted foul and suggested that he was feigning injury to avoid punishment. Keane was booked as he was stretchered off the field. He was out of action for nearly a year afterwards, missing the remainder of the 1997-98 season.

Three and a half years later, in April 2001, Keane fouled Håland, high up on his right knee. Initially, Keane was simply fined £5,000 and received a three-match ban. However, in his biography he admitted that he wanted to "hurt" Håland as revenge for the criticism he received years previously. After this revelation, Keane received an additional five game ban, and £150,000 fine. Keane never apologized or showed any remorse for the foul on Håland. Keane's account of the incident was as follows:

"I'd waited long enough. I fucking hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that you cunt. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries."

The tackle itself did not cause a major injury to Håland, forcing him to retire immediately as is widely assumed. Haaland finally retired in July 2003 after failing to recover full fitness from an injury to the same knee that had suffered the foul from Keane. However Håland believed the foul from Keane to be the root cause of the later injury as after the premeditated assault from Keane, Håland never played a full match again. Haaland professes no lasting bitterness towards Keane, hoping only that Keane is different now so that he can provide a better example to young people and the players which he manages.

Haaland is a Leeds supporter and follows the club to this day. He has become a cult hero at Elland Road and endeared himself to the fans by saying, in a discussion regarding Manchester United's nickname as simply "United", "There's only one 'United', and I played for them".

Haaland now lives back in his native country of Norway where he is involved in the property business and manages his son's local football team.

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