I feel slightly uncomfortable even writing this, but it is a question that apparently gets asked of Google quite a lot…
Does Erling Haaland Have Down syndrome?
I think anyone with even the slightest bit of intelligence knows the answer to it, but still, I thought it was worth writing a quick article about it, just for the minuscule proportion of people who might not.
And also to give some context to the question.
So let’s get started…
Does Erling Haaland Have Down Syndrome?
Erling Halaand does not have Down syndrome. However Italian journalist Mario Sconcerti compared Haaland’s face to that of a person with Down syndrome saying the Norwegian striker “doesn’t have a very normal face”. He later apologised for his comments.
Why the Question Has Been Asked
The reason this question seems to have been asked more often than it should have been recently comes down to an interview with an Italian journalist.
At the start of October 2022, Mario Sconcerti was on the Italian radio station TeleRadioStereo talking about the Norwegian striker.
He said: “I must emphasize that Haaland has this face a bit like Down syndrome, that is, he doesn’t have a very normal face.“
The show’s host Federico Nisi immediately tried to dig him out of the hole he had put himself in, but obviously it was too late and by the next day there was an international outcry over the statement.
Sconcerti apologised, saying: “I made a mistake unintentionally because I was celebrating Haaland, but the expression was unfortunate. If so many people were offended, of course the mistake is there”
“It wasn’t my intention, I’m sorry. It confirms that even when you have so many years of words behind you, you never fail to find the right ones to say what you really mean.”
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What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome is a genetic condition in which a person is born with an extra chromosome.
This extra chromosome changes how the body and brain of the baby develops.
People with Down syndrome are affected on different levels, with intellectual and developmental problems ranging from mild to severe.
Most children with Down syndrome have a mild to moderately low IQ and are slower to speak than their peers.
They also have common physical features that include:
- A flattened face.
- A short neck.
- Small ears.
- Short height.
It is estimated that around 1 in every 700 to 1000 babies are born with the condition.
Down syndrome is a lifelong condition, but many people born with the condition go on to have highly successful lives and careers.
These include Angela Bachiller a politician in Spain, Sujeet Desai a multi-instrumentalist who has performed at Carnegie Hall, Madeline Stuart who is a model, actors Jamie Brewer, Pablo Pineda and Zack Gottsagen, Isabella Springmuhl Tejada who is a fashion designer and many more.
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Obviously, Erling Haaland does not have Down syndrome, and the topic has only come up as a result of a silly comment by a journalist.
The condition has not stopped many people from going on to have long and happy lives, and the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome is increasing each decade and now stands at somewhere between 50 and 60 years of age.
Deaths as a result of Down syndrome have also almost halved since 1990.
And not as if any proof is needed either way, but 90% of people with Down syndrome suffer from stunted growth.
At 6’5, Erling Haaland most definitely doesn’t!