Sebastian Haller scored the decisive goal that qualified La Cote d’Ivoire for the final of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023).
Haller scored the only goal of a close affair in the 65th minute when his volley bounced down into the ground and up over Leopards goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi.
His goal ensured that the Ivorians qualified for the AFCON final for the first time since 2015.
The contribution was the latest in a long list of remarkable contributions for club and country sine beating cancer.
Here are some interesting facts about the Borussia Dortmund striker.
Sebastian Haller was born in Ris-Orangis, Essonne in the southern suburb of Paris to a French father and an Ivorian mother.
After impressing at youth level, Haller was drafted into the French Under 16 team in 2010. He would later represent France at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. After excelling at the tournament, Haller signed his first professional contract with Auxerre on 26 June 2011. The French Ligue 1 side tied him down to a three-year deal.
Haller in his first season at Auxerre
Between 2010 and 2016, Haller played for France’s U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 teams.
A year after signing his first professional contract, Haller was promoted to the first team ahead of the 2012/13 season. On 27 July 2012, Haller made his professional debut in Auxerre’s opening league match against Nimes.
Style of play
The former Ajax striker is renowned for his great hold-up play, shooting technique, precision, excellent movements in the box, and, as his successful recovery from cancer showed, determination.
To a certain extent, Haller shares similarities with legendry Ivorian striker, Didier Drogba.
Tattoos have become a status symbol of sorts for many footballers in the 21st century.
Think of any footballer you know and they are likely to have inked one or multiple parts of their bodies.
Haller retains an inkless body
Sebastian Haller shares a healthy skepticism for tattoos and has therefore stayed away from them.
A frail-looking Haller after he began chemotherapy
After joining Dortmund from Ajax in July 2022, Sebastian Haller was diagnosed with testicular cancer. It was a heartbreaking moment for the Ivorian who had rediscovered himself at Ajax after a difficult spell at West Ham in the Premier League.
After two surgeries and chemotherapy in the ensuing months, the 29-year-old striker made a remarkable recovery. To complete the story, The French born Ivorian scored Dortmund’s third goal in a 5-1 win over Freiburg on World Cancer Day (February 4).
Haller continues to score goals for Dortmund after recovering from cancer
He would go on to score eight goals and provide five assists during the 2022/23 season.
Religion and Spirituality
Haller is a devoted Christian who is happy to tell the world about his faith and religion.
When Haller beat cancer, he rightly gave God the credit for his miraculous recovery.
Haller thanks God after scoring for France at the youth level