After ten seasons with Brann in his hometown of Bergen, Haugen decided to leave the club in December in favor of Cypriot AEK Larnaca.
It all happened a month after a Bergen resident was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Haugen was not particularly severe in November, a few months after he felt the consequences.
– I was sick, but I was not bedridden during the whole procedure. But backwards I felt it. It was like playing football with the handbrake on, Haugen tells TV 2.
The 28-year-old has yet to start the match for his new team AEK Larnaca, which is in fifth place in the Cypriot playoffs.
– It can be complicated, but it is clear that you have known the virus for a long time, when you have to squeeze your body every day. I think it’s important not to start too soon when you receive the crown, he says.
– He was probably a little impatient
Just at the end of this year’s Elite series season, Haugen got the virus. When he really needed a break, he went straight to Cyprus to finish the second half of the season there.
– When I got the virus, I was in pretty good shape. It was hard because people knew little about the virus, and I was probably very impatient very early on. But that’s how I am: I want to train again soon.
He points out that there are a few others on the team who have also struggled with the effects of the virus. More of them have muscle problems.
– Almost a little glad I became as bad as I am
At Haugen, there were heavy bones, heavy heads, and things a man usually feels after a common illness. The difference is that this time it took several months. The first months were the worst, but now he has gradually relented.
– I feel good now, but it was a long time before I felt that my body was back where it was before, says Haugen, adding:
– I won’t complain too much that the virus brought me back a bit. I’m sure I can eventually move to a permanent place. I feel good enough for that.
Return of the fire?
The former Elite Series profile has a one-year contract with AEK Larnaca. Despite the fact that there has been little playing time so far, he is thriving in Cyprus.
– I’m doing very well here. I have a contract for another year and I am bound by it. But you can never know what’s going on in football, he says.
After ten seasons and 276 games for Brann, the midfielder felt he needed little change. Nevertheless, Bergenčan does not rule out that he will return to the club one day in his heart.
– I don’t rule that out. I like Brann very much and in football you never know. I will always follow and cheer for Brann, says Haugen, adding:
– It’s not impossible for me to go to the stadium again.