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Oslo, Norway - 2023

56” x 84” Unframed 71” x 99” Framed Edition of 20

37” x 56” Unframed 52” x 71” Framed Edition of 20

There is no more relevant footballer in the world than Erling Haaland and, given football’s global appeal, that makes him the world’s most relevant sportsman. Aged just 23, he also has many years ahead of him to continue to break goal scoring records at the same ferocious speed that has characterised his early career. He is a true one off and a global sensation.

I was fortunate that through our deep ties in Norway, Erling was contacted and encouraged to spend some time with me during a recent international break in his home country. There are many people to thank that this collaboration finally took place, none, more so, than his father - Alfie - who warmed to the idea that we could take an image that would raise money for causes close to their hearts in Norway.

I was mindful of what an opportunity this was and we worked on a narrative that would embrace Erling’s physical presence and distinctive Nordic look. It was not the hardest decision to play on a Viking theme, because it is difficult to think of another sportsman in the world who could wear that look more naturally.

As we walked into the fjord that afternoon, I remember thinking, he better not stand on a sharp rock, as the subsequent lawsuit would finish my career. So we walked very gingerly - baby step by baby
step - until he was waist deep, which of course is further out to sea than most.

I had my moment and the light, as the low cloud cleared, was increasingly kind. Throughout the shoot, he was fully engaged and charming to all. I look forward to the reaction this photograph will receive and the monies it will raise in the next couple of years. I am very aware of the privilege bestowed upon me that Sunday in Oslo. ~ David Yarrow

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