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Who is Erling Haaland’s cousin? Jonatan Brunes plying his trade in Belgium’s top flight

Erling Haaland’s cousin Jonatan Brunes is playing for OH Leuven in the Belgian top flight. The 23-year-old is also a striker.

Manchester City's Norwegian striker #09 Erling Haaland celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group G football match between Manchester City and FC Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on September 19, 2023. Manchester City wins 3 - 1 against FC Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade). (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

Jonatan Braut Brunes is the cousin of Erling Braut Haaland and also plays football. Last month he left Norwegian side Stromsgodset for Belgium, where he joined OH Leuven. Brunes, who scored his first goal for the club on Sunday, has made a good start to life with his new employers. In the eighth minute of the clash, he scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against league leaders Gent.

He plays as a centre-forward, and is also tall like his cousin Erling. He is 1.88m, while Erling is 1.94m and they are exactly the same age (23). They were born within three weeks of one another: Erling was born on 21 July 2000 and Jonatan on 7 August. And they are both left-footed and powerful strikers.

Playing with Haaland at Bryne

Both played together in the youth academy at Bryne, the Norwegian town where they both grew up. Cousin Erling has gotten his share of fame, although Jonatan had the honor of becoming the youngest player to make his debut for Bryne. “Erling used to be just a little bit better,” Brunes, who often talks to the Manchester City star, tells Nieuwsblad. “He is the best striker in the world... everyone can learn from him.”

OH Leuven is a small club in the Jupiler Pro League. Belgian coach Marc Brys has two Nordic strikers to find the net this season: Brunes and Jon Dagur Torsteinsson, a good team-mate who has helped the Norwegian adapt to the Flemish university town. “Jonatan can score goals for us,” Brys said after his signing.

Brunes has shown his ability in front of goal. He scored two hat-tricks in the same season for IK Start in the Norwegian second division, where he played in 2022, and that’s when scouts from Stromsgodset and several European teams turned their attention to the striker.

It runs in the family

He is not the only Haaland family member currently playing professional football. Jonatan’s sister Emma Braut Brunes is a defender for Klepp and their cousin Albert Tjaland is a striker for Molde. City striker Erling is the star of the football family but Brunes will be hoping to prove his worth in Belgium this season.