It's Erling Haaland's world at the moment, and we are just living in it.
Holding the Golden Boy award in his hands as the city of Qatar lit up behind him in his social media post, the Norwegian truly looked like one of football’s most exceptional stars when he was presented with the award that highlights the best player in Europe under the age of 21.
Hair slicked back, black tie and suit in pristine condition, Haaland looked more like Brad Pitt accepting another Oscar before his peers in Hollywood. Which is perhaps why the topic of Borussia Dortmund seemed so distant or besides the point when it was inevitably brought up.
“I've been with Borussia Dortmund for a year. I'm fine here and happy,” said Haaland, despite his own agent, Mino Raiola, being present at the awards show in Turin and publicly mulling over a move to Italy in the future. This was the young strikers night and the whole world was watching. Dortmund, it seems, came second to all of that.
It may not have been an intentional stunt but if anyone was watching from the club’s offices back in Dortmund it would have surely spurred on the hunt for a successor to the recently fired Lucien Favre.
The last few weeks of turmoil at Dortmund have undoubtedly been the most interesting aspect of the Bundesliga season thus far, with the club winning just one of their last five games in all competitions.
However, if Haaland’s remarkable record of 33 goals in 32 games since arriving at the German club in January wasn’t proof enough of the Norwegian striker’s necessity to Dortmund’s success, then the simple fact that his absence through injury during the last four games directly led to the head coach being sacked certainly will.
On Tuesday, Dortmund president Reinhard Rauball referenced the club’s position in the German top flight and why the decision to sack Favre was made because of the “worrying with regard to our goals in the Bundesliga” but in truth the Westfalen side sit just five points off Bayern Munich and six from first place.
The real worry for the club isn’t so much another ambivalent jaunt to a comfortable top four finish in May and another season of Champions League, but the pressure that is now being applied by its very own squad upon the men that decide just how ambitious the club can and will be in the years to come.
Marco Reus and Mats Hummels are the senior leaders within this Dortmund squad but the real power lies within the emerging stars that the club have plucked from around the world. Giovanni Reyna, Jadon Sancho and most importantly, Haaland, are the players that not only need to be kept happy with big contracts but also the promise of genuinely challenging for silverware.
Dortmund have no problem identifying the stars of tomorrow and seem to find it even easier selling them for huge margins, but they now have to keep the ones on their current roster happy and prove that they can challenge for league titles and go toe-to-toe with some of the best clubs in Europe.
That will be the challenge for the man tasked with replacing Favre at the end of the season. And if Dortmund’s hierarchy don’t find the right coach then their star-studded team may start looking elsewhere before too long.